2 – Defensive play
While the Buffalo Sabres failed to maintain a multiple-goal lead (again) and lacked physicality, it shouldn’t take away from a pair of sound defensive efforts that started on Long Island. It’s still early, but the Sabres have allowed just five goals in their previous two games while scoring five of their own.
If this trend continues, then it shows us that the Blue and Gold won’t need to score four or more goals so much just to bail out poor defensive play, something that ultimately caught up to them last year. As this team continues to mesh and gain experience playing alongside one another with new faces like Zach Benson, Jordan Greenway (he only has 20 games with the team), Devon Levi (10 games), Conner Clifton, and Erik Johnson, it’s realistic to see the entire unit playing better defense.
So far, Benson and Greenway have made for a dynamic duo when flanking Casey Mittelstadt, while Levi has saved 47 of his past 52 shots on goal, good for a 0.903 save percentage. Once Johnson and Clifton continue to get acclimated (remember, they didn’t have much ice time in the preseason), this team may surprise onlookers when they don’t have the puck.