The Buffalo Sabers dropped out of the NHL Playoffs for a record 11th season
NHL records for the most consecutive seasons since the off-season on Wednesday night.
The Sabers were mathematically eliminated by a victory over the Washington Capitals ‘Tampa Bay Lightning and extended the Sabers’ futility streak to 11 straight seasons.
Buffalo’s most recent playoff appearance – the 2011 semifinal elimination for the Philadelphia Flyers – came about two months after owner Terry Pegula bought the team. The buffalo has not yet returned to its postseason.
Along with the Florida Panthers (2001-11) and the Edmonton Oilers (2007-16), the Sabers have been tied for a consecutive season without playing in the playoffs. They outscored the Panthers technically: neither team has appeared in the playoffs for 11 consecutive years, but Florida’s streak was only 10 consecutive seasons due to the 2004-05 NHL lockout, which ended that season.
Sabers’ streak includes the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs, which were extended to 16 to 24 teams due to a regular season interruption due to the Covid-19 epidemic. Buffalo were the 13th best team in the Eastern Conference that season to lose a cut.
The buffalo is now tied for the third major post-harvest drought in four major sports. They are behind the MLB’s Seattle Mariners (20 seasons) and the NBA’s Sacramento Kings (16 seasons) and have been linked with the NFL’s New York Jets (11 seasons).
When they are officially removed, the Detroit Red Wings will have their second consecutive NHL playoff drought in six consecutive seasons.
Sabers’ playoff elimination comes at a time when the team is finally on the standings. Since March 1, Buffalo has the eighth-best record in the NHL (10-4-3).
“Our kids are making progress and that’s what we wanted from day one,” coach Don Granato said after Tuesday’s victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. “We want to get better. I don’t care about winning. At some point, we get better so we’re going to win more consistently.”