Quite a tease, the Sabres. They win three in a row to draw close to a playoff spot, then lose three straight, including back-to-back losses to the worst teams in the league.
But all we heard was how the poor Sabres had to play at high altitude in Denver the first game back from the bye. True, the bye has hurt teams. That doesn't explain the third-period collapse in Arizona the next night. Or was the desert an issue?
There's always an excuse. The big one is Jack Eichel's injury at the start of the season. But they haven't been much better with him. They're 26-26-10 overall and 17-17-5 in their last 39 games with Eichel.
That's who they are, a mediocrity, a .500 team in points. They were 9-9-5, 12-12-8, 17-17-9, 21-21-10. They've been skating in place all year, despite some great goaltending by Robin Lehner and the best run of Evander Kane's career.
With 20 games left, they probably need to go 14-5-1 or better to have a chance at the playoffs. It's hard to imagine. They're more likely to finish last in the East.