Johan Larsson Is The Sabre To Watch Versus Leafs

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The Buffalo Sabres are coming off of a beating of a game against the Capitals where they were lit up 6-1, and they are in action against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. The lone scorer in the last game for the Sabres was none other than Johan Larsson.

Johan Larsson has gone through hell and back to make his way into the NHL. He’s had some solid numbers while in Rochester, but for the longest time he could not translate that scoring ability to the highest level. No matter what he did, he just couldn’t seem to get a break and crack the score sheet.

This season Johan Larsson has 2 goals and 2 assists for in 23 games played. The key stat that stands out so much is his plus-minus. Larsson has a plus-minus of -1 this season, and that’s something rather important to keep in mind for a team that is terrible at puck possession.

How to Watch

Johan Larsson will be the center of the Buffalo Sabres first line tonight between Tyler Ennis and Matt Moulson. Despite Varone’s solid play with those two players, Nolan sees enough in Larsson’s play to give him a shot at some top level minutes.

Considering the great amount of scoring talent that Johan Larsson has, pairing him with Tyler Ennis will only help him produce more.

Something that is slightly overlooked about Larsson’s game is his willingness to go to the dirty areas and throw his weight around. Now, granted he doesn’t have much on him, but his willingness to do so will only ever pay off for him.

What you should be watching for tonight is the intensity and positioning of Larsson as he plays on the top line. Look for Larsson to be digging around in corners for the puck, out in front of the net looking for rebounds, and dishing the puck out to his scoring wingers when he has some open room. Johan Larsson has proven that he deserves a shot at some quality minutes in the big club, and tonight is his best chance. I doubt he’ll let this opportunity pass.

Prediction

I think that Johan Larsson will be an intricate part of the flow of the offense tonight. He is a slick and speedy player like Tyler Ennis is, and that will keep the pace high especially against Phil Kessel. If the top line maintains that pace then they will have the Maple Leafs running around to catch them, and we might see some more jerseys thrown onto the ice in Toronto.

I think that the Sabres will come out on top tonight versus a struggling Leafs team, and if the top line keeps the pace then they will win 4-2 tonight. If they do not contain Phil Kessel and allow themselves to be picked on by Dion Phaneuf then they will lose it 4-0.

Either way, I’m rooting for Buffalo and especially Johan Larsson to have a good night.

LET’S GO BUFFALO!!

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