Seven wins in their first nine games have positioned the upstart Sabres among the NHL’s early-season elite.

Right now, having already earned 15 points, they’re tied for first overall and rank first in the Eastern Conference entering tonight’s game against the San Jose Sharks.

Few expected the Sabres, who earned just 16 points over their final 33 outings as they imploded last season, would turn things around so quickly.

The offseason additions – defensemen Henri Jokiharju and center Marcus Johansson, for example – have quickly made positive impacts.

But how much has coaching – the players clearly respond to Ralph Krueger – impacted the Sabres’ shocking 7-1-1 start?