The Buffalo Sabres are entering the 2023-24 season with lots of excitement. The question is, can they matchup with the top teams in their division?
The Buffalo Sabres are going into the 2023-24 season with the hope that they can finally end their playoff drought after missing the postseason for the last 12 years. While they made some additions on defense, the core of the team remains the same from last season.
With other teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs making multiple new additions and the Tampa Bay Lightning still being considered a favorite, the question is do the Sabres matchup well against these top teams in the Atlantic Division?
Starting with the forward core, the Sabres have one of the top groups in the entire NHL. They were third in the league last season in goals scored and they have those same players coming back this season.
Players like Tage Thompson, Alex Tuch, and Jeff Skinner are all going to be relied upon to build off their success from last season. They also have good depth to matchup against these other top teams.
It can be argued now that the Sabres have a better overall forward group than the Boston Bruins with all of their departures this offseason. They may even have a better overall forward group than the Florida Panthers. They have the skill and the depth to matchup well against the other top teams.
The Sabres made two adds on defense, bringing in Erik Johnson and Connor Cilfton. Both of these players will provide experience to a young group as both of these new players have made it far in the playoffs before. Johnson won the Stanley Cup with the Avalanche and Clifton made it to the finals with Boston in 2019.
Buffalo Sabres could matchup very, very well with the Atlantic in 2023
Adding them to a group that already has players like Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power, and the Sabres defense is looking more complete. While Dahlin may not be as good as Charlie McAvoy, he is arguably the second best defenseman in the Atlantic Division. With an overall better group heading into this season, the Sabres defense can matchup better now than they did last season.
The biggest question is the goaltending. If Devon Levi is going to be the number one guy, it will be a lot of pressure on him and he only has seven games of NHL experience. He looked okay last season, but having a full regular season in front of him is going to be a new challenge.
The goalies behind him were not good last season. Eric Comrie and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen are likely fighting for the backup role and both of them will need to prove that they can be better than what were last season. The Sabres goaltending is not as good as the other top teams in their division.
The 2023-24 season is going to be a very exciting one for the Sabres. While they feel they are a better team, other teams around them have also added and feel they are better. It is going to be a battle and we will see if the Sabres are ready for it.