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Sabres keep slim hopes alive while Ryan Miller sets franchise record

Apr 5, 2013, 10:31 PM EDT

millerandsabresgetty Getty Images

Things have been grim for the Buffalo Sabres lately – just ask Steve Ott – but Friday brought up what seemed like an unthinkable question: can they make a run for the playoffs?

Buffalo kept its shaky postseason hopes alive with a 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators while Ryan Miller made history.

Miller, 32, passed Dominik Hasek for first all-time in Sabres history for saves, finishing the night with 35 stops to push his franchise (and career) total to 13,332. Sabres PR guy Ian Ott points out that his mark gives him the sixth-most saves for a goalie with a single franchise.

Moving back to more immediate numbers, the Sabres are now four points out of eighth place with 36 points. There are plenty of good news/bad news bits:

  • Sure, they’re four points away, but three other teams are closer to the eighth-ranked New York Islanders (40 points).
  • Sports Club Stats still only gives them a 5.5 percent shot.
  • On the other hand, the Sabres play seven of their final 10 games at home. That could boost their numbers considerably (their outlook improved by 2.6 percent tonight, for instance).

In the grand scheme of things, all those numbers can be a little dizzying. Sports Club Stats also gives teams a benchmark to shoot for, record-wise:

7-0-3 finish: 81.9 percent chance
8-2-0 finish: 66.1 percent chance
7-1-2 finish: 59.4 percent chance
6-0-4 finish: 53.0 percent chance

Things fall off the map quickly once you get into 7-2-1 territory (33.7 percent chance), though, so Buffalo would need to be close-to-perfect to make it happen.

Then again, many probably didn’t expect Miller to break one of Hasek’s club records when he began his days as Buffalo’s No. 1 either, so you never know.

  1. bruceleroy1 - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    I think I speak for many Sabres fans when I say please lose guys. We don’t want this team in the playoffs. We want a top 2 or 3 pick in the draft.

    • bensawesomeness - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:05 AM

      I’m a little curious, what’s the general thought among Buffalo fans : Trade or keep Miller?

      • tarotsujimoto74 - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:52 AM

        IMO, he’s only worth trading if they receive a very strong offer for him. I wouldn’t look to trade him, but if someone blows you away with an offer, you have to take it.

  2. canucks30 - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    With all due respect;

    Dominik Hasek>Ryan Miller

    when it comes to Sabres goaltending

  3. thedavesiknowiknow - Apr 6, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    I’ve seen this one before. You can call it a playoff push. I call it a meteoric rise to 10th that’ll only cost us picks.

    • zetaone - Apr 6, 2013 at 4:16 AM

      The Buffalo Bills have been doing that for the past 14 years.

  4. patrickhelper - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    So you’re saying there is a chance? While the Sabres have hope, it may only be hope. Some fans don’t know how to think. Do they wish for wins, or hope for better draft picks? I guess it all depends on what kind of fan you are. Short term ,or long term… http://www.helpersports.wordpress.com

  5. patrickhelper - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    http://helpersports.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/slim-to-none/ Sabres need to remember where they play

  6. steelers4385 - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Wish we could fire everyone and bring folks in who care

  7. kgun80 - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    There are 2 pretty good arguments for both sides.. He’s getting older and his contracts almost up. Someone will offer him a boat load of money and be in cap hell for at least 5 years due to an aging goalie… Not sure if that’s a good plan.
    On the other hand… He’s one of the top goalies in the league and very good goalies are not everywhere. So if you want to win soon.. You keep him.
    But as a Sabres fan I think we should trade him.. To much money for an aging goalie, might as well get some value. Some teams will give up a lot to get a goalie of his caliber.

  8. buffalomafia - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    I agree with kgun & bruceleroy!

  9. valoisvipers - Apr 6, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Well fine and dandy to trade Miller for something but who tends the net when he is gone?

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