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Last year's ranking: 90
Title track: 96
Fan relations: 43
Stadium experience: 62
Bang for the buck: 104
Buffalo was the only team in the NHL to score fewer than two goals per game last season, averaging a paltry 1.83 (almost half a goal worse than the next best team). When you look at the roster, it's no surprise the Sabres sat on the bottom rung of the league ladder and registered in the bottom third of the NHL in our rankings (despite actually climbing 15 spots from 90th overall last year). Only four Buffalo players managed double-digit goals, and not one notched 45 points -- not exactly a recipe for success. After franchise goalie Ryan Miller was dealt to St. Louis at the trade deadline, Jhonas Enroth performed well in net but recorded just four wins in 26 starts. Draftee Sam Reinhart has the tools to be a star, and bringing back Matt Moulson and acquiring veteran Brian Gionta will provide an offensive boost, but this team is the epitome of a rebuilding franchise.
Low prices are one way to keep First Niagara Center in the top half of the league in attendance despite another disappointing season; the average ticket costs just $48. And all that losing, is a little easier to swallow when you can wash it down with $3 beers. Last season, the team introduced Sabres Style Girls Night Out events, which include a happy hour, a ticket to the game and promotional items all for $60, presumably attracting new fans to the game. Still, it is telling that Buffalo ranked 24th in affordability but 104th in bang for the buck. Even happy fans require some wins every now and then.