The Buffalo Sabres once again find themselves banged up, so the ‘next man up’ mentality is needed. Who’s taking the mantle in Week 9?
The Buffalo Sabres will likely continue to perform below preseason expectations until everyone is healthy. But unfortunately, this team’s best chance to possess a lineup at or even near full-strength won’t be until January when Jack Quinn returns, meaning the ‘next man up’ mentality is more vital now than it has been all season.
Yet as bad as things have looked for this hockey team, at least they have a few players who have the potential to make something happen through this awful stretch. The burning question is: Who will it be, and can they take over a game or two? It’s time to answer that inquiry and two others below.
3 burning questions for the Buffalo Sabres in Week 9
1 – Who will step up if injuries continue to plague the Sabres?
Three players come to mind: Dylan Cozens, Casey Mittelstadt, and JJ Peterka. Cozens has struggled this season, and it’s something covered in an earlier piece, but he also showed us what he can do offensively last year. Cozens put on a good show on Sunday night, even if he couldn’t score, so that should at least encourage the fan base.
JJ Peterka and Casey Mittelstadt are the two prime candidates, with the former looking as though he’s on pace for a breakout with 18 points in 25 games. It would be great to see Peterka take things one step further this week and put up points when his team drastically needs them.
Mittelstadt still leads the Buffalo Sabres with 21 points, and he’s shown the ability to step up in the past. Perhaps he finds it in himself to climb another rung this week when the sense of urgency is at a season-high.