Buffalo Sabres: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s win total second in rookie class

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been making his mark all season in more ways than one, including his win total. 

The Buffalo Sabres have got to be happy with Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who collected his 13th win in a thriller against the St. Louis Blues. He saved 26 of 29 shots, good for an 0.896 save percentage, and his overall GAA sits at 3.29, a far cry from what it was earlier in the season when it was well over four goals per game.

Luukkonen has also made his fair share of monster saves, including over a handful of clutch stops in the third period last night. There were at least three breakaways as the Sabres defense, once again, broke down, leaving the rookie goaltender to play the role of superhero once more.

His efforts notched him his 13th win, and an overall record of 13-5-1, tying him with Stuart Skinner of the Edmonton Oilers. However, Luukkonen’s win percentage is better than Skinner’s, sitting at 0.710 this season while Skinner is at 0.560. He is also ahead of Logan Thompson (18 wins) in the same category, with the Vegas Golden Knights rookie sitting at a 0.606 percentage.

Buffalo Sabres goaltender tied as second-winningest rookie goaltender

While a goaltender’s win-loss record can be a misleading statistics, it can carry some weight. Such is the case with Luukkonen, whose number of clutch saves have led the Sabres to some improbable wins. And last night, his performance prevented a monumental collapse.

Given his recent performances, there is no question that Luukkonen must remain the starting goaltender for a team that has carried three of them on the roster since Eric Comrie returned from injury. Comrie was supposed to be ‘the guy’ this season, but major inconsistencies have prevented that from happening.

Luukkonen struggled during his first five starts, regularly allowing four or more goals per contest. Since then, he’s been playing at a high level for a rookie goaltender and seems to be getting better as the season progresses. We will see if it keeps up and if it does, the Sabres may have finally fixed their goaltending woes. Time will tell.

(Statistics provided by NHL.com)

Article Source: Observations: Sabres start strong, hold off Blues for fourth straight win by Mike Harrington. 

Want your voice heard? Join the Sabre Noise team!

Write for us!