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Toronto Puts Buffalo on the Brink of Elimination

Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Buffalo Sabres no longer control their own playoff destiny thanks to back-to-back losses over the weekend. While losing to the Penguins is somewhat understandable, the choke in Toronto could be Buffalo’s undoing. Pay-back’s a bitch (remember the Andrew Peter’s golf swing a few years ago), and a loss to Toronto tomorrow night would make the rest of this argument moot. But let’s assume the Sabres win out. What help do they need to clinch a playoff spot?

Four points or a Sabres loss puts the Capitals in.There is no tiebreaker the Sabres can win over the Caps, they have to beat them straight up. The Caps play a horrendous Tampa Bay team tonight, Florida on Thursday and close the season against the Rangers.

Oddly,the Sabres next best chance of making the playoffs might rest with the Florida Panthers who lost to Detroit yesterday. The Panthers need two points in their last three games to clinch over the Sabres, and they have a pretty soft schedule (of course, the Sabres lost to Toronto so anything is possible).

Yea, it’s an unlikely scenario, but the Sabres put themselves in this position. They threw points away often this season. They couldn’t score on Pittsburgh’s backup goalie, and never tested Toronto’s AHL call up. When it’s crunch time in the NHL every point counts and the good teams find a way to make it happen.

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