The Buffalo Sabres started the season poorly and one huge reason why is the top players were not producing like they should.
The Buffalo Sabres have had an unremarkable start to the 2023-24 season. They currently have a 2-3-0 record and are last in the Atlantic Division and last in the entire Eastern Conference. One of the key reasons as to why the Sabres are struggling to start the season is that they have not gotten the production they need to get from their top line players.
The top line had combined for two goals in the four games played before Saturday night’s win and that is not good enough. If the Sabres are going to turn their season around, they are going to need their top players to start producing more offense.
The Sabres’ best forward, Tage Thompson, only has one goal through five games. This is not what fans were expecting to see out of him to start the season. After having a career season last year, scoring 47 goals, many expected him to pick up where he left off.
However, that has not been the case. Thompson and his line had provided very little to start the season and it has contributed to the Sabres’ poor record and lack of offense. Thompson is getting shots on goal, as he has 24 in five games, but he hasn’t been able to find the back of the net as often as he and the team would like. He needs to get back on track and start leading the teams’ offense once again.
Buffalo Sabres top scorers have struggled so far in 2023-24
Jeff Skinner is also on the top line and he also only has two goals to start the year. He also had a great bounce-back season last year, scoring 35 goals. He has eight less shots on goal than Thompson, but he is also shooting the puck and it’s not going in for him.
Skinner has had two great back-to-back seasons for the Sabres and he truly has found his game under head coach Don Granato. The Sabres are going to need him to find his scoring touch again, otherwise, it is going to be another long season in Buffalo.
The most disappointing player on the top line has been Alex Tuch. He has no goals and one assist through five games, and he has not played well enough to start the season. Tuch also had a great season last year, scoring 36 goals, which is a career-high for him.
He is one of the best power-forwards in the league, but he hasn’t been able to score quite yet. It doesn’t help that he hasn’t shot the puck enough, with only seven shots in five games played. If he wants to start scoring goals, he needs to start shooting the puck more.
We know how talented the top players for the Buffalo Sabres are. They were one of the most dangerous line in the league last season and while this season hasn’t started great, they have the skill to pick up their game back to the level we know they can play at. It’s time for the top scorers to start playing like it again.
(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)