Sabres finish 2nd in the Eastern Conference feeding off of victories over very poor Toronto and Montreal teams. Ottawa regresses after last years surprising finish and Boston runs into injury problems preventing them from catching the Sabres.
Miller embraces the tight schedule, continuing his strong play from late last season he becomes the most consistent goaltender in the NHL...though loses the Vezina to Quick who manages to post better numbers.
Hodgson fails to click with Vanek and Pomminville early and is moved by Ruff to the third line. Grigorenko is given the opportunity to step up and proves to be equal to the task. Grigs finishes with 38 points, but it is not enough to catch Calder Trophy winner Justin Schultz who puts up 40 as a defenseman...and a plus minus of -15.
Despite being demoted Hodgson clicks with Ott and Leino. They become one of the best two way lines in the league and show a knack for scoring clutch timely goals when the top two lines fail to produce. Hodgson begins to remind some informed league commentators of a certain defensively minded co-captain who played center after the last lockout.
Ennis, Folingo and Stafford keep on truckin. While their offensive numbers fail to live up to the pace they were on last season the trio gains a reputations for being one of the most feisty, tenacious second lines in the entire NHL. Opposing teams learn quickly that failing to get the puck out of their own zone quickly will likely result in a prolonged cycle for the Sabres.
Tyler Myers continues his inconsistent play but still manages to put up 20 points. Frustrated fans begin to mention his name on the Trade Rumours Board.
Andrej Sekera and Christian Ehrhoff become Buffalo's top 2 D men. Ehrhoff becomes a key factor in Buffalo's power play being in the top five in the league.
The sabres make it to round two only to have to play the New York Rangers. After a hard fought 6 games the Rangers eliminate the Sabres. Vanek gets no goals the entire series and Myers looks shaky, sparking the media to suggest moving both players in the offseason. Grigorenko also does poorly in this series but gets a pass because he is a rookie.