Dear Sabres: You lock it up!

The year was 2007.

The Sabres had two captains. They had been in first place in the league since October. The Bills still sucked. And that was the last time Buffalo saw the postseason.

After tonight’s action, the magic number for the Sabres to clinch their first playoff berth since the “Better Days” campaign is a mere five.

8th place Boston knocked off 9th place Atlanta, 4-0. Ottawa took sole control of fifth in the East with a 2-0 win over 6th seed Philadelphia.

The playoff race is shaping up exactly how the Sabres could possibly want it. Ottawa is poised to pull away from floundering Philadelphia (who’ve lost three in a row) and has a little distance on 7th place Montreal (four points with the Habs having a game in hand) for that fifth place spot. Which would force the Sens, who have owned the Sabres for the better part of two years, to face the Devils or Penguins in the opening round of the playoffs. Their only way out of that is to catch Buffalo, who has them beat by five points and still has three games in hand over the Sens.

The Sabres can play their way into a good matchup over the next two weeks by clinching the division. They can really help themselves this week by gaining enough breathing room to lock up the division title and a nice banner for the rafters. With Montreal and Ottawa visiting this week, there’s four points at stake that can leave some margin for error in early April. The magic number for the division is 12, which is whittled down by every point the Sabres earn and every point the Sens fail to gain.

Locking up the division gives the Sabres a first round date with either Montreal, who is very beatable, or maybe Philadelphia, who are poised to see the wheels come off their campaign.

The Sabres are in control of their playoff destiny. It’d be great if they could make it easy on the fans and do a little “T.C.B” (ya know, takin’ care of business) in the next few days. The team is in the Northeast driver’s seat.

Now they just gotta lock it up.

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Posted on March 24, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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