by Ryan

With the NHL schedule now out, we’re just waiting for the Sabres to decide what price to assign the home games before we can really tear into it. As far as value is concerned, the variable ticket prices are where its really at.

Last season we broke down the five best and five worst deals on the schedule, and I thought it would be interesting to see just how much value you got out of those games. There’s no real rhyme or reason to this, I’m just curious to see how good a deal these games turned out to be. Let’s go with the “best” deals first:

1. Thursday, October 30th: Tampa Bay (Value)- Final: 5-2 Lightning
This was a veritable no-show of a game, with the Sabres sleepwalking through a bad matchup against a bad team. Not much of a value afterall.

2. 10/27 and 2/11: Ottawa (Bronze)- Finals: (10/27) 5-2 Senators (2/11) 3-1 Senators Both of these were pretty awful showings, with the Sabres continuing their utter inability to handle Ottawa no matter how bad they are themselves. Good times.

3. Monday, December 22nd: Pittsburgh (Silver)- Final: 4-3 Penguins, OT
This was probably the most competitive game out of the bunch, with the Sabres losing in overtime on a slightly controversial Sidney Crosby goal. Still a loss.

4. Tuesday, February 24th: Anaheim (Bronze)- Final: 3-2 Ducks
This was the first game after Miller’s injury against the Rangers. The team looked tentative and scared. It was game over after Selanne scored 70 seconds in on a breakaway.

5. Monday, April 6th: Detroit (Silver)- Final: 4-1 Red Wings
The Sabres got curb-stomped by a team light years ahead of them, but it actually was a lot of fun to watch. It’s a toss up I suppose, but it might have turned out to be the best “deal” of them all.

So what about those “worst” deals? Let’s see how those turned out as well:

1. Friday, November 7th: Atlanta- (Silver) Final: 5-4 Thrashers, OT
This one was definitely not worth the money, as the Sabres blew a third period lead and lost in overtime. If it makes anyone who was in attendance feel better, you saw Maxim Afinogenov’s first goal of the season. So there’s that.

2. Friday, December 19th: Los Angeles- (Silver) Final: 5-0 Sabres
This game took place the same day as a huge snowstorm, but those that made the trip downtown were in for a treat. Buffalo scored early and often, and the Kings looked downright confused. An easy win in a season that lacked many of those.

3. Saturday, December 27th: Islanders- (Gold) Final: 4-3 Sabres, SO
This game was almost a disaster, and the final score does no justice to how quickly things fell apart. Buffalo gave up a two-goal lead with less than two minutes left in the third, only to blow chances in overtime and salvage the second point in a shootout. Fans got a win, but one covered in a lot of curse words.

4. Friday, February 6th: Montreal (Platinum) Final: 3-2 Sabres
I don’t think many games in the “Platinum” price bracket are actually worth it, but Ryan Miller stole this game. Connolly made a great play for the game winner, but this one was all about Miller stoning Montreal. Probably not worth the price of admission, but still a decent show.

5. Saturday, January 17th: Carolina (Silver) Final: 3-1 Sabres
This one was probably the best value out of the five. With Vanek and Connolly on the same line they made plenty of noise, and Connolly’s two-goal game signaled the start of a nice scoring run he had while things were going well.