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Sabres’ Ott: Playoffs are ‘in our grasp’

Mar 21, 2013, 12:09 PM EST

SteveOtt

Over at the Buffalo News, John Vogl has penned a rather interesting piece about Steve Ott‘s emergence following the firing of Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff.

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.”

/record scratch

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.”

  1. buddysguys - Mar 21, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    uggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  2. jpelle82 - Mar 21, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    bahahahahahahaha

  3. jcmeyer10 - Mar 21, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    What you mean we are only playing 48 games this year? Yah, nevermind.

  4. thedavesiknowiknow - Mar 21, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    • letsgopens8771 - Mar 21, 2013 at 4:38 PM

      OMG HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

      Come on, you have to thumbs up for that!
      My favorite parts were the underachievers section and the “Little guys, big guys” LOL.
      I don’t know about Pominville or Vanek, but Buffalo might have to have a fire sale and fast.

  5. ballistictrajectory - Mar 21, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    At least he feels good about playing…

  6. letsgopens8771 - Mar 21, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Ott really must be clueless. Sabres are a mess, and they aren’t digging themselves out of the hole anytime soon. Buffalo is to Playoffs as Don Cherry is to normal.

    One thing was funny though. It was the night before another Devils-Sabres game and animosity was clearly building up between them after Buffalo won the last 2 meetings in a shootout and at the end of the previous one, Adam Henrique got into a heated argument with Ryan Miller after Miller saved his shot to win. On NHL.com’s preview article, I saw a Sabres fan getting owned by 2 Devils fans. Sabres fan starts getting all high and mighty saying stuff like, “Ennis is better than Henrique” and “Henrique sucks.” Devils fan #1 says, “Call me when Ennis scores two series clinching goals in the same Playoffs.” Devils fan #2 says to Devils fan #1, “You’ll have to explain what you mean. Sabres fans don’t know what “Playoffs” are.”

    • tarotsujimoto74 - Mar 21, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      Congrats on your team being absolutely atrocious for many years and lucking into 2 amazing players. It’s not like we’re the f–king Leafs.

      • bigblackzaranek - Mar 22, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        Taro, that wasnt luck that was pure last in the league skill to land those two…

  7. hockeyflow33 - Mar 21, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    With the shortened season, anyone who is close towards the end of the year has a real shot. A bad week by a couple teams and these guys are in instead of out.

  8. govtminion - Mar 21, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    “The playoffs are within our grasp… since several of us are likely getting traded to contenders in the next couple of weeks.”

  9. bagjr387 - Mar 21, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    My guesstimation is, a 14-4 or a 15-3 finish is needed (before tonights TOR@BUF game) to POSSIBLY get 8th place….Not very likely.

    However, You will never hear Steve Ott(or any professional athlete) say “we know we suck, and we aren’t making it”. First of all, its the politically correct answer, Second of all its not in most players blood to give up. even if they are mathematically out of it…

  10. mc321984 - Mar 24, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Just checked the standings, aren’t they 2 points out of 8 spot? Guess that might qualify as in their grasp

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