Buffalo Sabres prospects learning playoff hockey the hard way

The Buffalo Sabres gave their Rochester affiliates help for the Calder Cup Playoffs, but the Amerks still struggled in a monumental collapse against Utica.

Jack Quinn might be the hottest prospect for the Buffalo Sabres down in Rochester. Despite injuries taking their toll, Quinn still managed 61 points in 45 games this season, and he also logged two points in a cameo appearance with the Sabres.

This season, Quinn never went pointless for over two games. Now, he’s facing a three-game drought. And it shows that life in hockey, whether at the NHL or the AHL level, gets a lot tougher come the playoff tidal wave.

Buffalo Sabres prospects learning playoff hockey the hard way

As for Quinn’s line mates Peyton Krebs and J.J. Peterka, both of whom also figure to be playing full-time in the NHL next season, combined for just a single point versus the Utica Comets in Game One of the North Division Semifinal. They also combined for one point in Game One against the Belleville Senators.

Game Two was a different story, in which Krebs and Peterka combined for four points. But other than their breakout performances in Game Two, this triumphant trio has been a non-factor. So what’s the deal?

It’s really nothing more than an adjustment to the AHL playoff atmosphere. Krebs, who spent most of his time in the NHL with the Sabres this season, noted the overall physicality is higher at the AHL level.

Also, both Belleville and Utica hold the edge over the trio in experience. This makes it easier for them to key on the Krebs, Quinn, and Peterka, especially Quinn, and limit their respective outputs. Combined, Belleville and Utica are 2 for 3 in stopping the three.

We will wait and see whether Quinn and company respond well in tomorrow’s contest when the puck drops at 7:00 pm in Utica. If the Amerks win, they will even the series 1-1.

(Statistics provided by Hockey DB)