Last year, the Sabres finished with the fewest points in in the NHL (52), while the Panthers followed them up with 66, "good" for 29th overall. The Cats famously went on to win the Draft Lottery, nabbing Aaron Ekblad with the first overall selection.
So far, both teams are picking up right where they left off in April. The Panthers are 0-3, though Buffalo (1-3) has at least recorded a victory; that lone win notched against an injury-ravaged Carolina squad currently without the services of Andrej Sekera, Jordan Staal, and Jeff Skinner. Both teams are looking to turn their fortunes around before digging themselves too big of a hole so early in the campaign.
Games this early in the season usually aren't "must win", but Florida has been lifeless thus far on the scoresheet in their first three games, only scoring 3 goals (and allowing 9, but that's for another day). Special teams have crushed the Panthers again, and if coach Gerard Gallant doesn't figure out how to get the best out of the Cats' penalty kill and powerplay, then the trend of losses that we've seen early in the season will continue until we all give up on this team.
If the Panthers don't come back from this four game road trip with at least one win, there's gonna be a new record low attendance at the next home date.
However, three full days between action may have been the perfect antidote to whatever is ailing the club. We'll see tonight (LBC GameThread at 6:30).
Head on down to Die By The Blade for the Sabres side of the coin.