In the 2022-23 season, the Buffalo Sabres won over 20 games by two or more goals with blueliner Mattias Samuelsson in the lineup.
It’s no secret that Buffalo Sabres defenseman Mattias Samuelsson helps this team win more games than arguably anyone else on the roster. No one will ever recognize him as a star player, but that’s okay. If the Sabres keep winning games with him in the lineup, then he’s doing his job.
In 2023-24, if Samuelsson stays healthy (he missed 27 games last season), you will also see the Sabres winning more than just nearly two-dozen games by multiple goals when he’s on the ice. Had he stayed healthy for most of the season, it’s safe to believe that:
- The Sabres would have made the playoffs
- They would have won at least 30 regular season games by at least two goals with him in the lineup.
Buffalo Sabres threaten 36 wins by multiple goals with a healthy Samuelsson
This year, the Sabres figure to be a better hockey team, so even if Samuelsson only saw action in 55 games this year, their number of multiple goal wins still threatens 30. But this is a bold prediction, where we project ceilings in 75 situations. So let’s assume Samuelsson plays in 75 games for 2023-24.
Nearly half of the games he’s in – 36 – or at least close to, will see the Sabres win by two or more goals. A good deal of these wins will come because Buffalo will ice the game on empty-net goals. But you will also see many instances when they just turn in solid performances, preventing opponents from keeping up with them.
The Buffalo Sabres are a collectively better team with Mattias Samuelsson on the ice, and if he reaches the 75-game mark, expect convincing wins. 36 W’s by multiple goals is a lofty number, even in a bold predictions setting. But Samuelsson’s on-ice presence has this team winning games roughly two-thirds of the time, so it isn’t exactly unrealistic.
(Historical data provided by Hockey-Reference)