The Buffalo Sabres have a busy week lined up in the NHL

Buffalo Sabres
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MARCH 02: Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins drives to the net against Jacob Bryson #78 of the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at the TD Garden on March 02, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Saturday, March 18th – 10 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 91
Dallas Stars at Calgary Flames

A rematch of last year’s opening-round playoff series that the Flames took in Game Seven overtime.  Almost twelve months later, it’s the Stars that are looking good heading into the post-season, while the Flames are slowly slip-sliding away in the Pacific Division. There is still time to right the good ship Calgary, but it’s gotta start now. And tonight, they play host to the young Dallas team that has designs on top spot in the tough Central Division.

Sunday, March 19th – 1 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 91
Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres

It’s a rare event when the Bruins lose a game, but the Sabres are going to have to find a way to make it happen if they still entertain any realistic hopes of qualifying for the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Whether they make the cut or not, the young Sabres have taken impressive steps toward returning to the top half of the NHL. As for Boston, they reached 100 points faster than any team in league history and will enter the playoffs as the Stanley Cup favourite.

Monday, March 20th – 9:30 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 167
San Jose Sharks at Edmonton Oilers

The first day of Spring and the Stanley Cup Playoffs are just around the corner. Where will the Oilers finish in the West? First in the Pacific, second, third…or in the wildcard spot? They have still been guilty of hanging their goaltender’s out to dry, and they won’t go far in the spring if that trend continues. The Sharks are playing for next season but can take two points away from you on any given Monday night.

Tuesday, March 21st – 7 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 81
Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers

It’s a Metropolitan Division heavyweight battle tonight from MSG as the Rangers take on the visiting Carolina Hurricanes. The Met has been the domain of the ‘Canes pretty much from day one, though the upstart New Jersey Devils have been nipping at those skate heels all the way through. New York is not that far behind the two top teams, and with time running out on the regular season, if they want to secure home-ice advantage for the first round, every two points matter.

Wednesday, March 22nd – 8 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 91
Pittsburgh Penguins at Colorado Avalanche

The Penguins’ push to the playoffs probably is for one of the two wildcard spots in the Eastern Conference, which means their reward for making it is most likely a first-round date with the league-leading Boston Bruins or the equally impressive Carolina Hurricanes. Nonetheless, the post-season is the goal, and the Penguins are close. Tonight they are in Denver to clash with an Avalanche team that won the Stanley Cup last year and have to be considered one of the top contenders again, even after a rash of injuries to top players.

Thursday, March 23rd – 7 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 91
Toronto Maple Leafs at Florida Panthers

While the Maple Leafs looked locked into second place in the Atlantic Division (and a first-round rematch with the Tampa Bay Lightning), can the Florida Panthers make a late-season run at an Eastern wildcard?  They have been one of the more disappointing teams to date after being a regular-season behemoth last year. That can all be forgotten with a playoff berth and an extended Spring run.

Friday, March 24th – 7 pm Eastern – SiriusXM
New Jersey Devils at Buffalo Sabres

The two upstart teams in the Eastern Conference face off in Western New York this Friday night, with the young Devils pretty much guaranteed to be involved in the playoffs come mid-April. For a while, it looked as though the young Sabres might be following suit, but some recent setbacks have put a bit of a damper on those plans. There is still time to make the cut, but even if they don’t, Buffalo appears to be on the right track after over a decade of being a place where playoff aspirations go to die.