Can the Buffalo Sabres Win Their First Stanley Cup This Season?
If you followed the NHL last season, you’d be wondering if the writer of this headline has gone crazy. In the 2021 season, the Buffalo Sabres finished rock bottom of the East Division standings. They won just 15 games of 56. They also achieved something no team wants to be associated with their name – the joint-longest losing streak in NHL history with 18 games lost in a row.
However, there is currently casual optimism with Sabres fans. They have a young, exciting squad. They have started the 2021-22 season strongly and currently sit second in the Atlantic Division. Can the Sabres be the latest miracle on ice story and win their first-ever Stanley Cup?
Are the odds a fair reflection of their chances?
At the time of writing, if you look at the odds for the 2021-22 Stanley Cup winner, you’ll have to scroll to the bottom of the page before you find the Buffalo Sabres. That’s right: along with the Arizona Coyotes, they have the longest odds of any team to win the NHL’s greatest prize this season. Now, the Sabres are at +18000 at Betway to win the Stanley Cup.
This is perhaps harsh. While the Coyotes are propping up the Central Division after losing their first six games and conceding 30 goals, the Sabres are currently second in the Atlantic Division and sitting in a playoff position. Very early days, yes, but it’s a promising start all the same.
After six games, the Sabres have a 4-1-1 (GA 11) record. When you consider the calamity of their previous season, that’s a highly respectable start. The teams they have beaten include the Montreal Canadiens, Arizona Coyotes, and the Vancouver Canucks.
Those teams are no great shakes, admittedly, but the Sabres’ last match saw them post their most impressive result to date this season. A 5-1 win at home over the current Stanley Cup champions, Tampa Bay Lightning. This marks the first time they’ve beaten the Lightning since 2018.
As for their losses, neither are a cause for concern. First, although the match was closer than the score suggests, they went down to the always tough Boston Bruins 4-1. Second, in overtime (2-1), they then lost away from home to the in-form New Jersey Devils.
The Sabres have a youthful core with plenty of potential. 21-year-old Rasmus Dahlin is one of the best young defensemen in the league, and he is joined at the back by Robert Hagg. Their frontline is led by sniper Victor Olofsson, and he already has four goals and two assists to his name.
If this young squad can work together and use their fearless optimism to their advantage, they can spring a few more surprises throughout the season.
So, can the Buffalo Sabres win the Stanley Cup?
After the recent 2016 sporting miracle where 5,000/1 Leicester City won soccer’s English Premier League, you cannot outright say ‘No’ to the aforementioned question. What you can say, however, is that it’s highly, highly unlikely to happen.
Even with the strong start to the season under their belt, trying to sustain this form is a challenge that’s possibly beyond the current young Buffalo Sabres team. Yet if they remain competitive and put themselves in a place to challenge for a playoff place, anything’s possible.