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The Sabres are basically already eliminated from the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs. They have only 9 games left, and they are a full 8 points out of the top eight spots – the playoff teams. They fell to the 10th spot and have been hovering there for quite a while, thanks largely to long absences by their top two stars, Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek.
But perhaps, really, it’s just because they’re not that good.
Still, after watching them fight back two days ago – impressively, I might add – from a 3-1 deficit against the team directly above them in the standings… there’s still a very small glimmer of hope.
In fact, it’s really only as big as the next two games.
Toronto has had a rough season. The Sabres should beat them. It’s a home game, and they should win. (After their most recent slump, though, the Leafs are only 3 points behind the Sabres in the conference standings!)
The big game is tomorrow night, in Montreal. Hockey Night in Canada. Montreal is currently holding the 8th playoff spot. The Sabres will effectively be eliminated if they give that team two points. If they win both the next two, they will climb to within 4 points though, with seven games remaining. That’s still doable.
So, it should be interesting… looking forward to watching the next two games to see if this team has any fight left in them. They get their star goalie back tonight… perhaps that (plus the big come-from-behind win on Wednesday) will be just the boost they need.