Are the Buffalo Sabres turning the corner and starting to turn into a playoff team? Well it’s certainly a long way off yet the the Sabres form over the last 10 games certainly gives me some hope.
Following possibly the worst start to a season for a long long while and being the worst team in the NHL by a long way, the Sabres have now won 7 of their last 10 games.
The latest win came with a 1-0 win over defending Stanley Cup Champions the Los Angeles Kings. This young team certainly seems to have a lot of spring in it’s step at the moment.
At the back Jonas Enroth seems to be edging ahead in the race to be the starting net minder and with Josh Gorges return from injury the Sabres defensively look a lot stronger.
Up front Tyler Ennis is in fantastic form and Brian Gionta seems to be bringing great leadership. One returnee from injury that for me is helping the team is the return of Patrick Kaleta. For me he is one of the most underrated players on our roster and his return for me has been key in our recent good form.
Coach Ted Nolan is really believing in this team and giving them time to develop, although there is still a long way to go for us to get back into the playoff picture it certainly seems that things are on the up.
My other team over the pond, the Belleville Bulls, are still performing well and looking good for a playoff spot. The excellent early season form though has now died off as a 7 game losing streak proved last month.
However form seems to have picked up over the last week or so and the team still sit 3rd in the Eastern Conference, hopefully the team can keep up the recent momentum and have a strong Christmas period.
Finally back over the pond to the Nottingham Panthers who find themselves at the right end of the table and challenging for the elite league title.
Now although the team doesn’t seem to be a team in the traditional ‘Sexy Neilson Hockey’ style, this team certainly epitomises the sense of ‘TEAM’. An injury to Craig Kowalski has seen Mattias Modig return between the pipes for a 2nd spell.
The team densely as I have said before certainly look strong but the forwards have seem to struggle to find some consistency and form. This hasn’t been helped by several injuries that we seem to pick up every weekend.
Panthers though despite this find themselves sat 3rd in the league and just a point behind the Clan and Steelers. With a busy Christmas period coming up I’m sure we’ll see whether we are genuine contenders in the new year!
One thing I do have to say though is that there does seem to be a lot of parity in the league this year and it could be a real fight right down to the wire.