Team-by-Team Season Preview – Buffalo Sabres

Updated: September 29, 2014 at 8:20 am by Brock Seguin


Additions: Subtractions:
Matt Moulson – LW Christian Ehrhoff – D
Josh Gorges – D Kevin Porter – LW
Brian Gionta – RW John Scott -LW
Andrej Meszaros – D
Cody McCormick – C
Tyson Strachan – D
Andre Benoit – D

2013-14 was a terrible year for the Sabres, who finished 21-51-10 (52 points) which was good for last place in the NHL–14 points behind the 29th placed Florida Panthers.After a disappointing season, the Sabres landed the second overall selection, which they used to add Sam Reinhart. The 18-year-old centre has an extremely high hockey IQ and plays a great two-way game. He was the captain of the Kootenay Ice and the Sabres have picked a player who will very likely sport a letter in the near future.

In addition to Reinhart, the Sabres brought in a number of talented players via free agency and trade (Click HERE for BUF Cap Situation). They signed Matt Moulson to a five-year deal. Moulson spent half the season with the Sabres last year, tallying 29 points (11G / 18A) in 44 games. They also brought in a pair of Montreal Canadiens. Brian Gionta, who will turn 36, but brings a ton of leadership to a young team. The other for Hab is Josh Gorges, who they acquired for a second round pick. Gorges should steady a fairly young blueline that will also feature veteran Andrej Meszaros this season.

Between the pipes, the Sabres have three twenty year olds to choose from. The pre-season favorite to be the starter is 26-year-old Jhonas Enroth. Last season he posted a 2.82 GAA and a respectable .911 SV%, but that only translated into four wins in 26 starts (4-17-5). He will be pushed by fellow 26-year-old Michal Neuvirth, who was 4-8-2 with a 2.78 GAA and .921 SV% between the Capitals and Sabres last season. Their third option is Matt Hackett, 24, who will likely start the season in Rochester where he was 13-17-2 last year. In eight NHL starts he went 1-6-1 with a 3.10 GAA and .908 SV%. Heading into the season, none of these goalies are considered great fantasy options because the Sabres likely have another rough season ahead of them.

It will feel like the Sabres added Chris Stewart in the offseason as well. Stewart suffered an ankle injury just seven days after being acquired from St. Louis in the Ryan Miller trade. He played in five games, but failed to record a point. Stewart should play a big role in the Sabres’ offence along with Cody Hodgson and Tyler Ennis, both who are just 24 years old.

Buffalo was the only team in the NHL to average under two goals per game, but now have at least five players who have legit 20-goal potential. Do not expect Buffalo to make the leap from the basement to the playoffs, but they should score significantly more goals than they did last season.

Look to the Draft (Ranking Sabres Fantasy Players)

  1. Matt Moulson – LW
  2. Cody Hodgson – C
  3. Chris Stewart – RW
  4. Tyler Ennis – C/LW
  5. Tyler Myers – D
  6. Brian Gionta – RW
  7. Sam Reinhart – C
  8. Andrej Meszaros – D

Click HERE for the Sabres’ potential line combinations heading into the 2014-15 season. 

Season prediction: The Sabres finish eighth in the Atlantic Division and draft in the top-5 of the 2015 draft.

Other Season Previews: Anaheim DucksArizona Coyotes, Boston Bruins

Andre Benoit, Andrej Meszaros, Atlantic Division, Brian Gionta, Buffalo Sabres, Chris Stewart, Christian Ehrhoff, Cody Hodgson, Cody McCormick, Jhonas Enroth, John Scott, Josh Gorges, Kevin Porter, Matt Hackett, Matt Moulson, Michal Neuvirth, NHL Draft, Ryan Miller, Sam Reinhart, Tyler Ennis, Tyler Myers, Tyson Strachan