Buffalo Sabres Stats, Odds, Standings and Schedule for NHL Season 2023
Buffalo Sabres Last Season Performance
Despite missing the playoffs for the 12th straight season, the Buffalo Sabres made considerable improvements. The team finished with its first winning season since 2010-11. Young stars like Tage Thompson and Rasmus Dahlin led an NHL newsworthy offense that finished third in the NHL. For the first time in over a decade, there is hope in Buffalo.
And that’s why the NHL odds have the Sabres as a legitimate playoff contender. Buffalo just missed the playoffs last year and is now expected to finish within the 93½-point range. If this team can improve its defense or get excellent goaltending, the Sabres could be a dangerous team for 2023-24.
Buffalo Sabres Offseason Changes
Defenseman Erik Johnson is the biggest name Buffalo acquired over the offseason. The former first overall pick is now 35 years old and will likely play the role of mentor to budding stars like Dahlin and Owen Power.
Buffalo also signed Connor Clifton from Boston to bolster the blueline. The Sabres were the seventh-worst team in the league in shots-against average (33) and goals-against average (3.62). Having two veteran defensemen from elite teams could be the remedy the team needs.
The Sabres also had a productive draft. With their first-round pick, Buffalo selected left winger Zach Benson out of the WHL. The diminutive yet prolific scorer could be a part of the main roster as soon as next season.
The Sabres’ NHL lines shortened this season thanks to being able to retain most of its key players. Their most notable loss was netminder Craig Anderson, who retired after 757 appearances in the league.
Buffalo Sabres Head Coach Analysis
Don Granato enters his third full season with the Sabres. In each of his past two seasons, Granato improved the team’s points percentage. Last season was a feel-good story for him and the team, but Buffalo should keep improving. Otherwise, a regression may just put him on the hot seat.
Buffalo narrowly missed the playoffs last season after Its offense slowed down in the final quarter of the season. The Sabres did not make too many moves so the front office must believe that this team is already good enough to make a playoff run. The pressure is on Granato to make Buffalo a worthwhile NHL picks.
Buffalo Sabres Prediction for the 2023-24 Season
Buffalo enters the season with renewed optimism. The sportsbook lists Buffalo at -120 to make the playoffs, which denotes a 54.5% probability. Doing so would be like winning a title in a city that has not seen playoff hockey since Barack Obama’s first term. To do so, Buffalo will need to improve its ability to defend.
The Sabres did acquire Johnson and Clifton to stabilize their blue line. But the forwards will also have to get better in two-way hockey. Buffalo’s on-ice save percentage was lower than 90% when its top six forwards were on the ice. So as potent as Buffalo’s offense was, it proved unproductive when the other team would score right back.
In net, Devon Levi should also be as good as everyone hopes. Buffalo did not acquire any new goaltenders despite this being a glaring weakness. Levi led the team in goals-against average (2.94) though that’s not saying much. If he’s anything but outstanding, Buffalo could regress.
Buffalo Sabres FAQs
When is the Buffalo Sabres’ home opener?
The Sabres will open their 2023-24 NHL season at home on Thursday, Oct. 12. Buffalo will face the New York Rangers. Expect Buffalo to be a slight underdog or at pick’em odds heading to this game.
Who are the best players on the Buffalo Sabres now?
Buffalo has one of the best young teams in the NHL right now. Chief among them are forwards Tage Thompson and Dylan Cozens and defensemen Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power. In goal, Devon Levi could be the team’s franchise player.
What is the Buffalo Sabres’ arena called?
The Sabres’ arena is called the KeyBank Center. Located in downtown Buffalo, the arena seats up to 19,000 people for Sabres games. It first opened in 1996 and is also home to the NLL’s Buffalo Bandits.
Have the Buffalo Sabres won the Stanley Cup?
As of the start of the 2023-24 season, the Sabres have yet to win the Stanley Cup. Buffalo twice made the Stanley Cup Final: in 1975 and 1999 where it lost to Philadelphia and Dallas, respectively.