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Previewing the East: Buffalo

Adding five veterans in July should make Sabres more competitive this season

Thursday, 07.24.2014 / 12:00 AM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Previewing the East: Buffalo
DETROIT – Ready for some hockey?

Sure you are.

The Red Wings don’t open training camp until Sept. 19 in Traverse City, but over the next eight weeks DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose will preview the 15 teams in the Eastern Conference, including the Red Wings’ Atlantic Division rivals in Boston, Tampa Bay, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Florida and Buffalo. This week it's the Buffalo Sabres:

BUFFALO SABRES
Coach: Ted Nolan

2013-14 INTANGIBLES
Last Year: 21-51-10, 52 points (16th in Eastern Conference)
Detroit vs. Sabres:
4-0-0
5-on-5 Goals:
99 (16th in Eastern Conference)
Power Play Efficiency:
36-for-256, 14.1 percent (15th in Eastern Conference)

POINT RANGE
2013-14 Stats Vs. Red Wings
Player POS AGE rank GM G A PT. GM G A PT.
Matt Moulson* LW 30 80 75 23 28 51 1 0 0 0
Cody Hodgson C 24 117 72 20 24 44 4 1 2 3
Tyler Ennis C 24 125 80 21 22 43 4 0 0 0
Drew Stafford RW 28 202 70 16 18 34 2 0 1 1
Christian Ehrhoff D 32 217 79 6 27 33 4 0 0 0
 
IN THE CREASE
2013-14 Stats
Goalie AGE Rank GM W L OTL GAA SV%
Ryan Miller 34 18 59 25 30 4 2.64 .918
vs. Red Wings
3 0 3 0 2.37 .921






2014-15 OUTLOOK

Regular-Season Games vs. Red Wings: Nov. 2 (at BUF); Dec. 23 (at DET); Jan. 13 (at BUF); Jan. 18 (at DET).

ARRIVALS:  Forward Matt Moulson, Brian Gionta, Cody McCormick, Zac Dalpe and Jordan Samuels-Thomas, and defensemen Josh Gorges, Andrej Meszaros, Tyson Strachan and Andre Benoit.

DEPARTURES:  Forwards Cory Conacher, Kevin Porter, Zenon Konopka, John Scott and Matt D’Agostini; and defensemen Christian Ehrhoff, Henrik Tallinder, Jamie McBain and Alexander Sulzer.

Moulson
PLAYER TO WATCH: A quality scoring forward, Matt Moulson was traded – along with forward Cody McCormick – to the Minnesota Wild at the NHL trade deadline. Both have returned to Buffalo. Moulson signed a five-year, $25 million contract to return to a team that is far from contending for an Atlantic Division title but the 30-year-old forward could help the Sabres move away from the bottom of the standings if he can become a 30-goal scorer like he was three seasons ago.

SEASON SCOPE: The Sabres were quite busy on the first day of free agency, but they had to spend money just to reach the league’s $51 million salary cap floor. Buffalo acquired five players, including four UFAs – forwards Matt Moulson (Minnesota), Brian Gionta (Montreal), Cody McCormick (Minnesota) and defenseman Andrej Meszaros (Boston), along with defenseman Josh Gorges, whom they picked up from the Canadiens in a trade for a second-round draft pick in 2016. They also re-signed forward Marcus Foligno.

The signings should make the Sabres more competitive in the upcoming season. But more importantly, the addition of veteran leaders like Moulson, Gionta and Gorges should help with the development of younger Sabres players, most notably this year's second overall draft pick Sam Reinhart, as he transitions from juniors to the NHL.

2014-15 EASTERN CONFERENCE PREVIEWS
Atlantic Division Metropolitan Division
Buffalo (July 24) Carolina (Aug. 7)
Boston (sep. 11) Columbus (Aug. 21)
Florida (July 29) New Jersey (Aug. 14)
Montreal (Sep. 2) NY Islanders (July 31)
Ottawa (Aug. 12) NY Rangers (Aug. 28)
Tampa Bay (Sep. 4) Philadelphia (Aug. 26)
Toronto (Aug. 5) Pittsburgh (sep. 9)
Washington (Aug. 19)




SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
5 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
11 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
12 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 54 18 20 25 38
H. Zetterberg 55 10 28 5 38
T. Tatar 54 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 55 14 16 -1 30
P. Datsyuk 40 9 21 14 30
J. Abdelkader 55 14 15 -2 29
M. Green 47 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 41 5 11 6 16
D. DeKeyser 51 7 8 12 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 5 .933 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89