Sabres Set to Embark on a 7 Game Road Trip

Ryan EvansContributor IJanuary 13, 2010

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 8:  Jason Pominville #29, Tim Connolly #19 and Steve Montador #4 of the Buffalo Sabres line up on the ice during the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at HSBC Arena on January 8, 2010 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

The Buffalo Sabres are preparing to embark on a seven game road trip beginning tomorrow night in Atlanta to take on the Thrashers. 

This trip will then take them up to Long Island before it swings the Sabres out west to take on the Coyotes, Ducks, Kings, Sharks and Canucks. This type of trip can serve as a statement to the rest of the NHL that the Sabres mean business come playoff time. 

On this road trip Buffalo will face some of the best teams the Western Conference has to offer. Of the five western teams they will visit, only Anaheim would be on the outside looking in if the playoffs ended today. They got a taste of what the West has to offer on Saturday when the Colorado Avalanche, second in the Northwest, and fifth in the conference standings, came into HSBC Arena and dealt the Sabres a hard fought loss.

The Sabres, who currently sit atop the Northeast Division, have been a major success story up to this point in the season, coming of back to back years of missing the playoffs.

The Sabres brass came into this season saying that this was a statement year for the team's young core group of players. The year where the front office could really judge if the team had put together the right group of players to compete in the playoffs for years to come. 

Those players can make a huge statement about the type of team they are with a winning record on this road trip. By going up against some of the top teams in the West the Sabres can build up substantial momentum for a long playoff run come April and cement their place among the league's elite teams.