I have read several seasonal previews and most have the Sabres finishing last in the division and finishing 12th or worse in the conference. Sorry Mr. experts, I don't see it! Maybe I am under estimating everyone else but I truly believe the speed of quickness of the Sabres will be a serious surprise for NHL teams. This team will be able to score and they will have a strong powerplay, and they will have many more odd man chance than their opponents.
I'll go on record and say:
Buffalo finishes 2nd in the Northeast behind Ottawa.
The Sabres finish 5th in the conference and win their first round playoff series.
Vanek ends up 3rd in the Calder race after a 35 to 40 goal rookie season
Miller starts 50 to 55 games
My only prediction is the Sabres will be in the hunt for a spot all the way, finishing anywhere from 7th to 10th... There's alot of potential for good things to happen this year, and many sports writers have underestimated this team in the past year after year, despite being proven wrong (that was more prevalent during the Hasek era, of course, but still...)
So long as the effort and focus is there, I think they have the talent and drive for more than a modicum of success.
...and in all honesty, unless we have a case where the hype surrounding a certain Mr. Crosby blinds everyone... I would not be surprised at all to see Vanek take the Calder.