In a previous bold prediction, we stated Buffalo Sabres goaltender Devon Levi would edge Connor Bedard for the Calder in 2023-24.
There is no player on the Buffalo Sabres more underrated than goaltender Devon Levi, so don’t be shocked when he exceeds expectations this season. Levi should have a chip on his shoulder for a multitude of reasons, from being relegated to backup status on Team Canada (again), to somehow finding himself ranked below the likes of Anton Wahlberg and Maxim Strback in The Athletic’s pipeline rankings, mainly because of his size.
In this prediction, Levi is going to show us why he’s not just capable of winning the Calder, but perhaps becoming a Top 15 goaltender in the process when the regular season concludes in April. While the Atlantic Division is still tough, even with two of its three top regular season teams from last year on a potential backslide, Levi will win at least one game vs. all seven of them.
Buffalo Sabres goalie wins at least one game vs. all seven Atlantic Division teams
You may question on just how bold of a prediction this is, as if Levi won just a single game vs. the other seven teams in the Atlantic, he could realistically finish with a record of 7-19-0. But Levi will likely start between 40 and 45 games if he’s healthy all season, so in all likelihood, he plays the Atlantic between 12 and 14 times this season.
This would, at worst, give him a 0.500 record if there are no overtime losses if he sees action vs. the Atlantic in 14 contests. The worst he could finish against the division in this scenario would be 7-5-0 for 12 games, and 7-6-0 for 13 games.
You may also say that the Buffalo Sabres could squeak out a win despite Levi toiling through a potentially poor performance. So I’ll cut out that claim right now, as in each of his seven (or more) wins vs. the Atlantic, Levi also logs a quality start, and his saves help the Blue and Gold win a few games vs. their division rivals they otherwise would not have won last year.
While this is a bold prediction, in light of everyone, from coaches (not Don Granato) to experts still forcing Levi to prove them wrong even if he’s made a living doing just that since he first stepped into the crease, it’s one of my lesser bold predictions through 27 of 75 episodes. That said, I’m confident Levi pulls this one off.