The magazine published its 2012-13 playoff projections this week. It said added grit will benefit the club for the full 82-game grind:
"The high expectations on the Sabres last season were immediately tempered by a collective stumble out of the gate – and while they made a valiant playoff push late in the year, it wasn’t enough. That should tell you this is a team that has to maintain its hardworking identity established under coach Lindy Ruff all season long to keep pace in the East. With new additions Steve Ott and John Scott, they’ll certainly have more grit to dole out. You know Ryan Miller will hold up his end of the bargain between the pipes, so the questions that will decide the Sabres season are: Can the big acquisitions from the summer of 2011 step up? Can Cody Hodgson become a true No. 1? Can Tomas Vanek return to 40-goal form?"
Other playoff projections are, in order of seed:
- Eastern Conference: Pittsburgh, Boston, Washington, N.Y. Rangers, Flyers, Lightning, Senators
- Western Conference: St. Louis, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minnesota, San Jose, Detroit, Nashville
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