The Buffalo Sabres earned a very impressive win over the Colorado Avalanche. Here are a few major takeaways from the shutout win.
The Buffalo Sabres were looking to end the month of October strong as they were hosting the Colorado Avalanche on Hockey Halloween. Going into the game 3-5-0, the Sabres would hope that the black alternate goathead jerseys would change their luck.
I was at the game and my goodness, what a game it was for Buffalo. In this article, I’m going to give you some things that stood out to me in the Sabres victory. Spoiler alert, it’s mostly good with just one little negative. Enough talk, here are my takeaways from Buffalo’s 4-0 victory over one of the best teams in the league.
The one negative…
Let’s get the negative out of the way. I don’t know what’s going on and I understand we’re going into November, but the power play is an issue. I don’t know what the problem is but with the amount of talent that is on both units, Buffalo is not getting much production.
For the entire month of October, the Sabres power play went 3/28. It’s mind blowing that with the players they have, they could only score three times with the man advantage. You have to give credit to the team penalty killing but regardless, the power play unit still needs work.
PK unit was stopping everything
Sticking with the special teams, Buffalo’s penalty kill was perfect today as the Avalanche had six power plays and the Sabres shut them down all six times. All October long, the penalty kill unit has been a plus.
I know it’s not ideal to take that many penalties but when you can shut down an elite team with an elite power play, you must be doing something right. Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Cale Makar are just a few of the names on the Avalanche’s power play but the Sabres found a way to shut them all down. Hopefully they can keep it rolling.
Sabres play good hockey for 60 minutes…FINALLY!
Something else that stood out to me, the Sabres finally played a full 60 minutes and did not let up. Other than the first few minutes, Buffalo closed the game out with their 4-0 lead. The last time they had a huge lead, they nearly blew it and it’s been an issue for a while.
Not only did they shut it down, but they did it against a very good team. After the first two periods, you couldn’t celebrate just yet with the caliber opponent they were facing. However, they remained clean and were able to score an empty netter to officially seal the deal.
JJ Peterka and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen deserve some credit
My final takeaway is two into one. It’s showing some love to two players. First, JJ Peterka. After an impressive rookie season, Peterka is picking up right where he left off. He has four goals in nine games played. It’s good to see one of the young guys having success.
Last but not least, shoutout to Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. There were so many fans who thought the Sabres were going to lose with UPL in net but he played a fantastic game. It was great to see him getting his first NHL shutout. He made some awesome saves and was the reason why the Sabres remained tied despite struggling the first few minutes of the game.
(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)