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Unexpected charges, unforeseen slip-ups

Toronto is playing as good as anyone. Ottawa is playing as poorly as anyone. Boston suddenly looks bad.

If this keeps up, the final month of the season could see some huge swings in the standings.

Everybody had written off the Maple Leafs, and with good reason. They couldn't even rebuild right because the players they wanted to sell off had no-trade clauses. But they're 7-2-1 in the past 10 games and inching into the playoff race.

Ottawa can't win, going 3-5-2 in the past 10. At first it was easy to write it off as Winter Blues boredom, but it's lingered too long for that. As the Sabres showed last season, you can't just flip a switch and expect to start winning again.

Boston, meanwhile, is seeing red. Their goal light is continually going on behind their net.

It gives the Sabres hope that anything can happen in the final month.

"You always look at the schedule and you think that, 'This team's never going to lose or that team's never going to lose,'" Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said today. "But all of a sudden you look at it and Boston can't win. Ottawa can't win. And you've got to take your turn winning. You're going to take your lumps in the odd game, and you've got to move on. So let's have fun with it. We've put ourselves to be right in the thick of it with a couple wins, and that's the way we look at it."

---John Vogl


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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |