2009 team preview: Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres have a young team and never seem to age. Of course, that can be because they allow their veterans to leave every few years when they demand more money and call up cheaper players to fill the void.

The Sabres play in a tough division, and it got tougher this year. All five members of the Northeast division are expected to make a run at the playoffs.

Story of the season: After losing in the semifinals two years in a row, the Sabres then missed the playoffs the following two seasons. What team will show up this season?

Former Habs: Craig Rivet

Blog to follow: Die by the Blade

TV commercial break

Pool Picks: Tim Connolly. Yes, the guy is injured a lot (only 98 games total the past three seasons). But when he plays, he’s a point a game guy. If he can stay healthy, look for a 70-point season. Stay away from:Drew Stafford. You may be fooled by the fact that his numbers increase each season, but that’s because his games have increased each year as well. His points-per-game doesn’t fluctuate. Expect about 45 points from his this year.

Award nominees:Thomas Vanek for the Rocket Richard trophy for most goals in a season.

Expected Finish: Fourth in the Northeast, 10th in the East

Cheerleader: They don’t have one. I did a search for Buffalo Sabres girls, and this was the best I could find. I don’t even know if those pads are of the Sabres, but that’s all I got. Sorry.

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