Twelve out of 16 teams in the Eastern Conference are still chasing the Stanley Cup. The season has already ended for four teams, the Buffalo Sabers, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings – with different conditions and consequences.

Individually great, not with the team yet: Jack Eichel at the Buffalo Sabers.

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Buffalo: Out for the ninth time, but light on the horizon

The Buffalo Sabers ended the ninth consecutive season prematurely after the main round, only because of a point cut 0.02 percent lower than that of the Montreal Canadiens, who as the 24th team just slipped into the expanded field for the re-start . The Sabers started the season excellently under the German-Canadian coach Ralph Krueger and were even the best team in the league for a short time in November. But like a year earlier, there followed a, especially in his vehemence, hardly an explicable break-in and finally the end. Then there was a tabular rasa: General Manager Jason Botterill was released in June and with him almost the entire scouting department (over 20 employees). Coach Krueger was allowed to stay.

New Jersey Devils – Vereinsdaten

New Jersey Devils

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Ottawa Senators – club data

Ottawa Senators

Date of establishment


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Detroit Red Wings – Club data

Detroit Red Wings

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Buffalo Sabers – club details

Buffalo Sabres

Date of establishment


Club colors


Botterill’s successor, Kevyn Adams, offers a team with good prospects, which recently lacked consistency, probably due to numerous injuries and the inexperienced star players of tomorrow. While captain Jack Eichel, who was by far the best in the team with 78 scorer points, is already one of the NHL stars, hopes rest not least on Rasmus Dahlin, who as a 19-year-old already had 40 points in 59 games in his debut season – as a defender! Apart from Constance, the biggest shortcoming: the penetration. Because just five players scored more than ten goals. For the future, Dominik Kahun, who only came in February (four points in six games), or the first-hour pick 2019, Dylan Cozens, could help in 2020/21.

New Jersey: Subban & Co. disappoint – new start with Ruff

P.K. Subban

Year one in Newark was not as hoped for PK Subban.
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In many ways, the situation in New Jersey is similar to that in Buffalo in the summer of 2020. A young, promising squad ultimately disappointed with the end, although the Devils remained below expectations from the start, but in the end almost – also only 0.02 percent behind Montreal – would have landed in the top 24. Unlike in Buffalo, the owners around Josh Harris had already reacted to the sporting situation during the season and fired general manager Ray Shero in mid-January, who had previously fired coach John Hynes (now working in Nashville). The transfer from superstar Taylor Hall to Arizona in mid-December may have contributed to Shero’s demissions.

The main reason for the athletic imbalance was, however, more than the players lagged behind: PK Subban, who was chosen as the number one defender, scored just 18 scorer points from 68 games, with a plus / minus balance of -21. The “First Overall” draftpick of the year 2019, Jack Hughes (21 points), also had more familiarization problems than expected. In order to be able to exploit the good prospects with many young and talented players around Hughes and the Swiss Nico Hischier, the Devils now hired the experienced Lindy Ruff (60) as the new head coach, who was recently only a few kilometers east of Newark as an assistant coach Rangers had worked.

Ottawa: old problems, new stars

Brady Tkachuk, Bobby Ryan (re.)

Future and past of the senators in one picture: Brady Tkachuk and Bobby Ryan (right).
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Despite six points less than Buffalo and New Jersey, the main round of the Ottawa Senators is to be rated differently. Because of a deliberate personal bloodletting in recent years, the third missed play-offs after the narrow semi-final loss to Pittsburgh in 2017 was definitely factored in. Owner Eugene Melnyk wants to save money, the budget is therefore valued at the salary floor, which all teams – as well as the upper limit, the Salaray Cap – have to adhere to. Some respectable successes with a very young squad and in the end 62 points were therefore in the middle of the expected range.

The future belongs to the senators. Players like top scorer Brady Tkachuk (20) or defender Thomas Chabot, who will be joined by two more high draft picks (numbers three and five) in Draft 2020, have the talent to develop into stars in the medium term. In view of the club’s financial situation, which also has to do with the unpopular arena far outside the city limits (the planned construction of a hall in the city center is delayed), Ottawa will face further years of reconstruction in the near future.

Detroit: Yzerman called for a deep bottom

Steve Yzerman

He will be busy redesigning the Red Wings for a while: Detroit Sports Director Steve Yzerman.
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Until 2016, the Red Wings were always represented in the play-offs for 25 years and thus the epitome of sporty consistency and success in the NHL. With just 17 wins and only 39 points, Detroit, the weakest team in the main round of 2019/20, has now reached a low point. However, with an announcement, because sporting director Steve Yzerman didn’t expect anything else, can only be seen from the fact that he has his top talents for the German Moritz Seider, who could have been an improvement in the weak NHL squad in terms of quality prefer to leave better development in the farm team Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL).

How quickly the bottom of the valley has been crossed will ultimately have to do with the further development of the still relatively young top strikers around Dylan Larkin (23), Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi (both 25), and of course that of Seider (19 ) or the Czech Filip Hronek (22) on the defensive. The necessary luck as the worst team with the best draft lottery chance for the number one voting right in 2020 was not held by Yzerman, Detroit slipped to fourth place. However, the former elite center and captain of the Red Wings, who already made Tampa a Stanley Cup contender, can be expected to at least initiate a turnaround for the better within the next two or three years.