One year ago today, the Sabres lost to Florida, 7-4, giving them a home record of 9-16-3 and putting them on pace for the worst home record in their history.
Slowly, they came around. They finished 7-3-3 at home a year ago. After a slow start to 2016-17, the Sabres have finally found their winning personality at KeyBank Center, where they expect to win and are never out of a game.
Over a one-month span from Jan. 7 to Feb. 7, starting with a 4-3 win over Winnipeg here, they won five times after trailing in the third, three at home.
Tuesday's 5-4 OT win over San Jose, when they rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the third period, was the most dramatic evidence yet. The Sabres are 6-0-1 in their last seven at home. Tonight against Anaheim, they'll look to go eight straight at home with a point for the first time in five years.
They're a flawed team on the rise. But to become a contender, they need to own home ice. Jack Eichel seemed miffed when fans booed Tuesday. Fans had good reason, but they should also realize this isn't the same lifeless Sabres of years past.