The Buffalo Sabres have announced their preseason schedule, which consists of seven games. The Sabres will face-off against four teams in preparation for the season: the Minnesota Wild, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Columbus Blue Jackets. Hockey returns to Buffalo on September 23rd, in the team’s second preseason match-up, when they take on the Senators at the First Niagara Center.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) June 16, 2015
Here’s a look at the entire preseason schedule (Eastern Standard Time):
Sept. 21 Buffalo @ Minnesota… 8 p.m. – Excel Energy Center
Sept. 23 Buffalo vs. Ottawa… 7 p.m. – First Niagara Center
Sept. 25 Buffalo @ Toronto… 7:30 p.m. – Air Canada Centre
Sept. 26 Buffalo @ Ottawa… 7 p.m. – Canadian Tire Centre
Sept. 29 Buffalo vs. Toronto… 7 p.m. – First Niagara Center
Oct. 1 Buffalo @ Minnesota… 8 p.m. – Excel Energy Center
Oct. 2 Buffalo vs. Columbus… 7 p.m. – First Niagara Center
Preseason ticket information is still to come.
While the preseason is “meaningless” as far as the standings go, it should provide some insight as to how the Sabres will perform this season. Chances are, Buffalo fans will get to see the new Sabres (Evander Kane, for example) in a Buffalo jersey for the first time. Plus, it may very well be Jack Eichel’s first shot at proving himself as an NHL-caliber forward.
Ultimately, the Sabres preseason will be as important as it ever has been this season. A lot of changes are occurring in Buffalo, and the seven preseason games will give us a pretty decent feel as to how well the Sabres actually stack up this season. On top of that, it will be interesting to see how Dan Bylsma lines up his new team. Will Bylsma, for example, put Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart together, as he has hinted at in the past?
What could make the preseason better? Personally, I’d like to see some more variety in the schedule. Playing Ottawa and Toronto is great and all, but why not shake it up and take on a division rival who’s a bit bigger of a threat… say, the Tampa Bay Lightning for example. Or for that matter, why not play every team in your division once (with eight teams in the division, that would still shake out to seven games). It just makes more sense to me to see a wider variety of teams in the preseason, so you can get a bit better of a feel for how you should stack up against the rest of the division.
What do you think? Is the preseason good as it is, or should they change it up, and add more variety to the schedule?