The Buffalo Sabres still have issues to work on, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a few things going for them following last night’s win.
In their season-opener vs. the New York Rangers, the Sabres allowed a power play goal, and they have been nothing but stellar since when facing the man advantage. Last season, the Sabrehood probably uttered collective groans every time someone from the Blue and Gold entered the penalty box, but there has been a different mentality so far this season.
Following their loss to the New York Islanders, the penalty kill was one positive from Week 1 to look fondly at. But here we are just one game into Week 2, and it’s safe to say the PK was dominant once again last night. The Sabres are currently 10 for 11, good for a 90.91 PK percentage following the third game, so let’s hope that continues into tomorrow’s contest vs. Calgary before they again face the New York Islanders.
But we recently talked about the Sabres improvement at 4-on-5 earlier in the week, so let’s discuss three other areas of their game that look to be trending north.
3 things trending up for the Buffalo Sabres
1 – The Tage Thompson line
Yesterday, I asked whether the Tage Thompson line would see success vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the answer was a resounding yes. While neither Tage Thompson nor Alex Tuch scored, Jeff Skinner gave the line its first of what will eventually be many goals of the season, mark me.
But it doesn’t mean Tage and Tuch didn’t make an impact, because per Hockey Stat Cards, only Skinner, Tyson Jost, and Zemgus Girgensons enjoyed greater impacts as far as forwards go. They both offered more than a fair amount of overall impact on offense; the duo just didn’t grace the stat sheet in the points column.
Tage was especially close to scoring, however, giving himself a few good looks in front of Lightning goaltender Jonas Johansson. This line hasn’t found its stride like it enjoyed last season just yet, but if Tuesday night’s win was an indicator, they are closer than close to a breakout game.