Mar 21, 2013, 12:09 PM EST
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.”
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head 150
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller 97
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ 119
- Lecavalier out 3-4 weeks with non-displaced fracture in back 8
- Islanders players hold closed-door meeting after ninth straight loss 15
- Penguins’ Neal has phone hearing for knee on Bruins’ Marchand 89
- Shawn Thornton confirms hearing with NHL Department of Player Safety (Updated) 88
- Video: Penguins’ Neal knees Bruins’ Marchand 69
- Penguins announce Brooks Orpik ‘alert and conscious’ (Updated) 47
- Shawn Thornton: ‘People could probably criticize that I’m a little too honorable’ 78
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (181)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (150)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (128)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (119)
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller (97)