While I will continue as always focusing on rumors (when they are out there) it is time to start team previews. With the world still being so "covidy" and many out there struggling, I decided why not focus my preview energies on the positives going into this very new thing we call a "FULL NHL season."
Therefore in each of my previews I will be explaining why each of the 32 NHL teams will win a Stanley Cup. I don't like to predict, but I do see one of these 32 articles proving out to be quite prophetic...
Each day I will spin the Hockeybuzz wheel and that is the team I will be talking about...click, click, click......And today…we get a challenge.
The Sabres have everyone right where they want them. When you read other Sabres previews I am quite sure you will see more people placing the Sabres as a favorite for the top pick then you will for the big trophy. EVERYONE and EVERTHING right now appears to be going against the Sabres, including the team be mired in a situation with their top gun that has yet to play out.
But be careful ruling out these Sabres completely. There is talent here…Some young talent and some proven talent that looked a whole lot better last year under head coach Don Granato…who may be the very best coach to make this miracle run a reality. Granato is a former AHL coach, and he knows what it means to be unsure of who will be in the lineup each night.. He is a big reason…
*Hockey has a history that has plenty of examples of teams who everyone counts completely out rallying to be a force.
*The Eichel situation will be resolved, and with that will come a true sense of where these players are. The Sabres will get some very good players who can help them now…add a player like Alex Tuch and the whole lineup looks that much better…
*Rasmus Dahlin is a young superstar in the Hedman mold. There are few players better to build a team around than Dahlin and he loves playing for coach Granato.
* The addition of Robert Hagg gives the Sabres a true hard hitting defender who will always be among the NHL leaders for hits. Hagg is a coach’s dream and will have an immediate impact
* The addition of Will Butcher was a sneaky good add. Butcher will help the Sabres keep scores down and enable this group to be in every contest. They will be playing playoff style hockey from day 1. The Sabres are going to be more consistent and physical in their own end.
* Jeff Skinner WILL be a factor once again under Granato. There is little doubt he will be approaching this season with a new lease on life.
* The Sabres have an ace up their sleeve in Victor Olofsson. Olof is a sniper and will likely lead the Sabres in goals and scoring. He will be among the most talked about players in the NHL this year.
* Casey Mittelstadt and Henri Jokiharju are both way better than people right now realize. What is missing from Mittelstadt is confidence….and again, there is no better coach in the NHL at helping players find their unique roles and building confidence than Don Granato.
*In goal the Sabres have the kind of veterans that will stabilize the defense and build confidence. Anderson and Dell have both played a lot of games and they have both stolen games for their teams in the past. Anderson has seen playoff success in the past and will be a force again.
The Sabres will be able to sneak up on teams like they very much did towards the end of last season. They play VERY fast and when they get confidence they will drive teams absolutely crazy. I see this Sabres team a lot like I see Vegas in their expansion team. Misfits with speed who are well coached and out for revenge are the kind of team that can make the prognosticators look really bad. If you believe in hockey miracles I can think if no better hockey market than Buffalo to witness what may be one of the most miraculous Cups in recent memory..