Mar 21, 2013, 12:09 PM EDT
The piece highlights a lot of things — Ott taking the heat off captain Jason Pominville by intercepting a TV crew, Ott’s increased minutes under Ron Rolston, Ott’s faceoff prowess — but it’s one thing in particular that stands out:
Ott’s belief in his team’s playoff chances.
“Our last game of the year, that will be the judge,” he said. “If we’re a playoff team, that’s my expectations of this team. That hasn’t changed.
“We’ve got some work cut out ahead of us, but by all means it’s in our grasp.”
With just 11 wins in 30 games, the Sabres currently sit 13th overall in the Eastern Conference. They’re six points back of eighth place, with four teams between them and the final playoff spot.
According to Sports Club Stats, the Sabres have a 1.8 percent chance of making the postseason. That’s the second-lowest percentage in the league, ahead of only Florida (who, at 0.0 percent, can probably start booking tee times.)
Obviously, Ott has to say all the right things publicly. He can’t very well admit he and the Sabres have acknowledged and/or accepted this season is done, what with 11 home games left on the schedule.
And to be fair, it’s not like the Sabres haven’t nearly risen from the dead before.
Last season, the Sabres were sitting 14th in the East on Feb. 19 with a 25-27-7 record, only to mount a furious rally (they went 14-2-3 from Feb. 19-Mar. 27), finishing just three points back of Ottawa for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
Ott figures this year’s Sabres can do the same, with the Ruff-for-Rolston switch being the catalyst.
“Since the changes have occurred, I think we’ve continued to get better,” he explained. “By the end of all this stuff, if we continue to grow and continue to get better, I like the success of this team.”
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal 28
- Report: Canucks, Sutter closing in on five-year deal, north of $20M 23
- Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs 45
- Report: Bernier and Leafs more than $2 million apart ahead of Friday’s arbitration hearing 10
- Flyers re-sign Couturier: six years, $26 million 40
- Benning calls Sutter a ‘foundation piece’ for Canucks 24
- Here’s a chart that shows which teams have been good/bad at drafting 40
- Penguins sign Fehr to three-year, $6 million contract 22
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening 54
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 58
- He’s baaaaaack: Leafs pull a stunner, hire Lamoriello as GM (Updated) (84)
- Bettman says NHL would have to ‘consider’ putting Quebec City in the Western Conference (70)
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million (62)
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 (58)
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening (54)