One of the best parts about SB Nation is that we have easy access to hockey fans from all other teams. Another one of the best parts is that none of us really take ourselves too seriously. This week we are taking a look at how the other members of the new MassMutual NHL East Division feel about the season and the specific situation on their team.
The Buffalo Sabres with Chad DeDominicis from Die By The Blade
How strong do you think this year’s Sabres team is?
The Sabres an odd team this season in the sense that the range of possibilities where they could finish is wide. In past seasons it has been easy to project them as a bottom of the league team. While that same argument could be made this season, they have a lot more talent.
Eric Staal and Taylor Hall were two huge additions to the lineup. They finally have that second-line center behind Jack Eichel. We’re headed into year three of Rasmus Dahlin. Many are expecting a big leap from him.
Long story short, I’m expecting the Sabres to surprise some people, but still fall a little short of the playoffs.
How do you think the new division will shake out?
I break the division down into three tiers. The Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers are the top two teams. The Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, and New York Islanders are the three middle-tier clubs with some questions about their roster. Then the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, and Sabres fall into the final tier. They’re likely the bottom feeders but could surprise people.
Are we in for any surprises with the 2020-21 Sabres? Any new names we should look out for?
A player that could breakout this season is Tage Thompson. He was part of the Ryan O’Reilly trade a few years ago. He really started to put it together in the AHL last season and then got a shoulder injury that forced him to miss the season.
He has had a great camp to start this year and looks like he could start on the top line with Eichel and Hall.
Dylan Cozens is another one to watch for. He’ll likely begin his pro career this year after a real good World Junior performance for Canada.
What did Taylor Hall see with this Sabres team that I am missing?
The easy answer here is Ralph Krueger. They have experience from their time together with the Oilers and Hall is a big fan of his. Also, Hall looks at this as an opportunity to bounce back from a poor year by teaming up with Eichel.
Those two are going to be dangerous on a line together.
The Flyers and the Sabres have never been in the same division before - how can we really get on your nerves as fans?
While the Sabres and Flyers haven’t been in the same division, there have been plenty of playoff meetings between the two. There’s not much Flyers fans need to do to aggravate Sabres fans.
To be honest, most Sabres fans don’t like the Flyers.
Bringing back the royal blue is one of the best things an NHL team has done this century, what else can we make royal blue?
The new royal blue sweaters are lovely in every way. At least if the Sabres are bad, they’ll look good.
Royal blue is the color of 2021 and we should all embrace this fashion trend.