Sabres must embrace the challenge of playing tough defenses

Oct 12, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres right wing Alex Tuch (89) looks to make a pass as New York Rangers defenseman Braden Schneider (4) defends during the third period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 12, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres right wing Alex Tuch (89) looks to make a pass as New York Rangers defenseman Braden Schneider (4) defends during the third period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Buffalo Sabres should look at tomorrow night’s game as another opportunity to show the NHL that they can hang with tough defensive teams.

As you know, the Buffalo Sabres struggled to get anything going offensively in last night’s loss vs. the New York Rangers. After a while, it felt like we were watching reruns of the same, tragic movie every few minutes. The Blue and Gold tried driving the puck through the neutral zone, and they never had an answer for the Rangers 1-3-1 defense.

The issue, of course, is that there was one simple solution to that – dump the puck and try to gain an advantage while on the forecheck. We didn’t see that happen often last night, and it led to an uncharacteristically bad game for everyone who pulled on a blue and gold uniform.

Luckily, the Sabres get to try again on Saturday night when they fly onto Long Island and face the New York Islanders. The Isles are another strong defensive team that will give the Sabres quite the test – something they did three times last season, and the Blue and Gold emerged victorious twice.

Buffalo Sabres have an opportunity to embrace the chaos this Saturday night

Earlier today during his press conference, Sabres head coach Don Granato expressed his excitement to be playing a team whose style is similar to the one the Sabres just lost to. The video below is the 12-minute clip to that conference. However, you only need to catch the first minute to catch Granato’s quip.

It’s also worth noting that the Buffalo Sabres will be on the road tomorrow, and they had a fair amount of success playing in other teams’ buildings. If they can correct the mistakes made last night, the Blue and Gold will emerge victorious in this outing.

However, just because I’m making that projection, it doesn’t mean this problem will be solved. This is a unit that, while the team looks like it closely resembles what it was last season, that’s not the case.

Must Read. Buffalo Sabres Rookies: Levi and Benson played better than you think. light

Zach Benson and Devon Levi played in their first career season-opening games at the NHL level while Connor Clifton and Erik Johnson were in their first regular season games with the team. Jordan Greenway was playing in just his 18th game in a blue and gold uniform, so he’s still very new to the system by many accounts. That said, the early portion of this season will likely require some chemistry building.