The Buffalo Sabers have worked hard over the past decade, missing out on the playoffs for 10 seasons in a row and on their way to their 11th season without a playoff berth. For the most part in the 2021-22 regular season, things have gone as expected: the Sabers are at the bottom of the overall NHL standings and they have stretched long without winning multiple events. Although March was a different month for this team. In March, the Sabers posted an 8-3-3 record in 15 games, and created an impressive 8-game point streak before dropping 5-3 against the Florida Panthers, their second game in April. . They showed signs of real growth, progress and chemistry. Perhaps that is why General Manager (GM) Kevin Adams was relatively quiet during the NHL trade.
Sabers posted the strongest month of the year
Sabers’ 9-3-3 record in March set for one of the strongest months of their hockey year. The most successful month in recent memory came back in the 2018-19 season when they won 10 games to secure their place in the NHL standings, before finally cooling off and missing the playoffs. This time seems different, though, and probably because there is less pressure for a team that could miss the post season anyway. It is certainly creating a favorable environment for personal growth and development.
Experienced forward “We’re starting to figure out how to play each game.” After a recent comeback attempt against the New York Rangers, Kyle Okposo said a short time in overtime. “It simply came to our notice then. I’m not saying we’re still there, because we aren’t. But we are starting to show some hints of where we are stuck in our game no matter what. ” (From ‘The Sabers wipe out multiple deficits, extending the point streak to Rangers’ OT losses. NHL.com3/27/2021)
“It’s a sign of a really good team in this league and we’re showing signs of getting there,” Okaposo said. “By no means is this a finished product.” Okposo is a Sabers player who has made a real comeback this season, as he currently has 18 goals, 23 assists and 41 points, his most fruitful season in a long time.
Okposo is not the only one who thinks the Sabers are heading in the right direction. Even young players are starting to get on board and noticing the trend. “I told her later in the locker room [the game]Young forward Tage Thompson recalls after last week’s 6-5 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. “We really have a special team. I think people outside the locker room are starting to see it. You know, it was very easy for us to fold the tent after the first period, just pack it and leave.
Related: Sabers Weekly: Thompson, Comeback, Point Streak and more
“But in the room our boys like to compete for each other. We are very proud of the culture we are building and what we want to be in the future. I think we’re moving in the right direction and that game was just a product of the work. “Sharpen Up: March 29, 2022 | Sabers win wild game in Chicago ‘ NHL.com3/29/2021)
Adams puts trade on deadline
Adams and Sabers decided to stay relatively calm during the trading period, when most people expected them to be sellers in and around that day. Adams defender Robert Hague was traded to the Florida Panthers, which was not a big move, but somewhat significant because he acquired him from the Philadelphia Flyers in the summer and he played quite well in the blue and gold, given his role. Other than that, though, there wasn’t much when the news reached Sabers on the day of the deadline.
One of the reasons Adams could stay is that head coach Don Granato said after the team’s win over the Blackhawks: “I think we’re all in Buffalo.”
“I’ll tell you with all honesty, I love Chicago, that’s where I grew up,” Granato said. “But as I said, when there were other job opportunities in the summer, I wanted to stay in Buffalo. And I told our players after the game. ” It looks like Sabers management, coaching staff and players are all helping to build a new culture in the organization and it is keeping them all there. If it doesn’t break, don’t fix it.
Amerks update and Sabers week ahead
The Sabers’ American Hockey League (AHL) approved Rochester Americans have been playing well lately. Artu Rootsleinen, who has played 18 games with the Sabers this season and recorded two goals and two assists in that competition, was named AHL.The best player of March. He scored eight goals, 10 assists and 18 points in 13 games for the Americas in March. Rootsleinen has 16 goals, 26 assists and 42 points in 44 AHL games this season.
The Sabers will play some tough opponents this week, as they battle the Carolina Hurricanes in back-to-back games on Tuesday and Thursday, first at the Keybank Center and then on home ice at the North Carolina Railroad. The Sabers will then travel to Florida for their second meeting against the Panthers in a week. They are 1-1-0 so far in April and want to finish the last 12 games of their regular season on a high note, to make something for next season.
Brandon is a Buffalo Sabers contributor to THW and co-host of THW’s ‘Sabers Scoop’, who graduated from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY with a degree in Sport Administration and founded his website Celtiting in 2017. He is an interested hockey writer and podcaster with previous work experience at OJHL, NWHL, and NCAA. Twitter: @ BSalts15