BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Buffalo Sabres didn’t play Wednesday night, but other results around the league mathematically eliminated them from playoff contention.
That makes 11 consecutive seasons for the Sabres without making the playoffs, breaking the NHL record.
The Sabres (26-34-11, 12th in the Eastern Conference) had been tied for the NHL record at 10 seasons, which matched droughts reached by Florida and Edmonton. Prior to the current drought, which coincides with the Pegulas’ ownership, the longest the Sabres had ever gone without making the playoffs was three seasons.
The current Sabres team is offering fans some reason for hope, at least, with a young core that is coming together nicely down the stretch. Tage Thompson reached the 30-goal mark and Jeff Skinner should get there, too. Rick Jeanneret Night brought out every positive vibe Sabres fans could muster, and the team is, in fact, on a bit of a hot streak: Since Jack Eichel’s petulant return to Buffalo, the Sabres have an 8-2-3 record, which would be a 120-point pace if they played that well over a full season.
The Sabres’ postseason drought is tied for the third-longest in major American professional sports. Only the MLB’s Seattle Mariners and NBA’s Sacramento Kings have gone longer without making the playoffs.
Longest active playoff droughts
- 20 — Seattle Mariners (MLB)
- 16 — Sacramento Kings (NBA)
- 11 — New York Jets (NFL), Buffalo Sabres (NHL)
- 10 — Philadelphia Phillies (MLB)