Should we panic about the Buffalo Sabres? That’s a hard no

Oct 6, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres goaltender Devon Levi (27) watches as defenseman Henri Jokiharju (10) tries to block a pass during the first period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres goaltender Devon Levi (27) watches as defenseman Henri Jokiharju (10) tries to block a pass during the first period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Buffalo Sabres looked like they were going to blow out the Pittsburgh Penguins when they took a 3-1 lead. Then they were outscored 6-1.

Yikes! That’s about as bad of a defensive performance as you could have asked for, especially following that debacle a couple of nights back against the Columbus Blue Jackets. To be frank, the Buffalo Sabres looked like an AHL-caliber roster in the second half of this one, and that’s being generous.

But let me be brutally honest about a well-known fact: It’s preseason. That means it’s still the time of the year when you try new things if you’re a veteran player, you try different lineups if you’re Don Granato, and you might realize one more thing too: The games don’t count.

Listen, this was the first time the Blue and Gold, minus Kyle Okposo, had the group out there that you’ll see next week, as Dan Dunleavy and Rob Ray were kind enough to remind us several times. Therefore, do yourself a favor and remember that it’s premature to panic because the Sabres got blown out in a preseason game.

Buffalo Sabres lose their “dress rehearsal” game big, but there’s no need to panic

Alright, yeah, I get it: This was the “dress rehearsal” contest, meaning you’d be more likely to look at next week’s season-opener vs. the New York Rangers with optimism instead of dreading this coming Thursday night. But the Sabres have a week of practice to get ready, to go over what worked and what didn’t work in this contest, and they’ll be absolutely fine come the 12th.

Yeah, they forgot how to play defense, and yes, Devon Levi had himself an abysmal game. But guess what – so has every other goaltender to ever stand between the pipes, so Levi is no outlier. So no, I’m not worried about whether the Buffalo Sabres are ready for next week, and neither should you.

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They played a bad game, and yes, it was the “dress rehearsal.” But at the end of the night, this game isn’t going in the record books because it didn’t count.