The Buffalo Sabres have a tough matchup coming up on Tuesday against Carolina, but the back end of their weekly schedule is promising.
The Buffalo Sabres once again find themselves at 0.500, and this is the most pivotal week of the season for them to forge a winning streak. As of Monday morning, the Blue and Gold are currently tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens with 12 points, and they sit just one point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Therefore, if they have a strong outing in Week 5, expect them to head into Week 6 in third or fourth place, assuming the rest of the Atlantic doesn’t enjoy a perfect week. Whether Buffalo will excel is one of three burning questions facing them, and a big part of it has to do with whether they can gain consistency with the puck.
3 burning questions for the Buffalo Sabres in Week 5 of 2023-24
1 – Is this the week the Blue and Gold break the 0.500 barrier?
The Sabres will face a Carolina Hurricanes team that has won all three of its games at PNC Arena and has spent most of its time on opposing ice. However, the Hurricanes aren’t stellar at home, having won a game in overtime vs. the Seattle Kraken, with their most recent outing coming vs. the San Jose Sharks, so yeah, go figure.
It’s a winnable game for the Blue and Gold if they can play a good game offensively, and their following opponents, the Minnesota Wild and Pittsburgh Penguins, both have losing records. If Buffalo can just win two out of three games this week, they will be 8-7-0, and above 0.500 for the first time this season.
2 – Can the Sabres finally develop consistent chemistry with the puck?
So far in 2023-24, it’s been a tale of which Sabres offense will decide to show. Luck was on the Blue and Gold’s side once last week, but that luck ran out quickly, as they found out on Friday night. On Saturday, the chemistry returned, and Buffalo returned home with a W against their heated rivals.
This week, the Sabres need three games with the puck identical to what they showed us on Saturday. If they can put forth that kind of effort, there is no doubt that their record will eclipse 0.500 heading into Week 6.
3 – Where will Matt Savoie end up?
If you watched Matt Savoie play in Rochester over the past two weeks, you’ll know he put up some encouraging performances. Though not as outstanding as Jiri Kulich or Isak Rosen, Savoie is ready for a nine-game trial, so don’t be surprised if that trial begins this week.
There is a chance he’s reassigned to Wenatchee, and it’s something we will find out later this week, if not today, hence the reason this article is being published so early. If Savoie gets his chance, expect him to, like Zach Benson and Ryan Johnson, enjoy some fine moments in a blue and gold uniform.
Update: Per Katelyn Kardaman of Sabres.com, Buffalo has recalled Savoie.