Bylsma Needs More Wins to Stay in BuffaloPosted by: Mike Davis
While the world of hockey betting is used to its fair share of surprises the way the Buffalo Sabres performed last year surprised no one. After finishing dead last in the league with 54 points in 2014, the Sabres were able to scrape by a 35 – 36 – 11 record in the 2015 – 2016 season. While it was a modest improvement Buffalo still has a long way to go before they are Stanley Cup Playoff contenders. But the organization made it clear that they were serious in their chase of a Stanley Cup when they elected to bring on former Cup winner Dan Bylsma to be head coach in 2015. With his first year at the helm the former Pittsburgh Penguin was able to raise Buffalos standings from dead last to bottom of the league. It may be a mild improvement but Bylsma´s record includes a Stanley Cup victory and his small success should be a beacon to hockey betting fans of the future success the Sabres will enjoy with him at the helm. Let´s check in on the top sportsbooks and see what they have to say about Bylsma´s chances for his second year in Buffalo.
Odds to Win 2016 – 2017 Stanley Cup
Buffalo Sabres +6050
Odds to Win 2016 – 2017 Eastern Conference
Buffalo Sabres +2750
Ted Nolan was the man Bylsma ended up replacing and the reason he was dismissed was a combination of poor performance on the ice and disagreements with higher ups in management. Bylsma was released from Pittsburgh in 2015 and witnessed his former team win a Stanley Cup without him (albeit they had to make another coaching change to get there). Bylsma´s first year at the helm was a step in the right direction. The Sabres were able to win 12 more games and score 27 more points earning the penultimate position in the Atlantic Division. While it may be enough for his first year it’s important that Bylsma finds more success this upcoming or he may have to look for another position. Other than the Stanley Cup win back in 2008 Bylsma postseason record is riddled with losses. From 2009 – 20014 his Penguins were sure bets in the world of hockey betting to lose in the playoffs. Although making it deep in the playoffs is certainly an accomplishment, the fact that the team won a cup so quickly after his departure says more about his coaching abilities than his Stanley Cup victory.
If a team doesn’t meet expectations the finger gets pointed at the coach first, but that´s not always the case. Certain teams have players that can obstruct the progress the team is making; Buffalo has one of those players. Evander Kane joined the Sabres back in 2015 and brought along with him a heap of legal troubles. Getting suspended for committing illicit acts can definitely hurt a team, but being a bad influence can even more detrimental. Going into next season Kane is definitely an X-factor and it will be the job of Bylsma to handle both the player and the situation.