3 bold predictions for the Buffalo Sabres entering the second half of the 2023-24 season

The first half of the Buffalo Sabres season did not go as planned, but the second half will be a much better experience.

Buffalo Sabres v Chicago Blackhawks
Buffalo Sabres v Chicago Blackhawks / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages
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While we technically won’t be “halfway” through the year until Game No. 41, the NHL is on its annual break. So with that being said, it’s time to get bold for the second half of the season. But before we do, let’s state the obvious: The Buffalo Sabres, if they stay healthy, will be a much better, much more entertaining hockey team.

We know this because we have the familiar top-six back, and since rolling with that lineup and their “old school” approach, the Sabres have scored 12 goals in two games. Not that every game will go smoothly, but we shouldn’t be surprised when they are much more in-sync offensively from late-December until mid-April. Now that the obvious is out of the way, let’s get bold three times regarding what will occur. 

3 bold predictions for the Buffalo Sabres in the second half of 2023-24

1 - Devon Levi solidifies himself as one of the best young goaltenders

It’s no secret that Devon Levi had his fair share of rough outings, but other than his performance in the Columbus game, he’s been lights out. Currently, Levi is the Sabres best goaltender, with a record of 7-4-2 in 15 games, a 3.25 GAA, and a 0.892 save percentage to go with six quality starts. 

For the second half of 2023-24, look for Levi to play in at least another 20 games, logging a 2.75 GAA, and a save percentage of 0.911, which will further solidify momentum that he will be the team’s unquestioned top goaltender heading into next season. Throughout that span, Levi will also record a 10-6-2 record, giving him a solid 17-10-4 outing on the year.

2 - Sabres finish the year ranked in the top-five in scoring

Offensively, the Sabres have been much more efficient lately, and that efficiency will continue should injuries not ravage the team like they did earlier in the season. The Sabres will also figure out that they can’t tread water lightly on their weaker opponents, and they have plenty of them coming up

Look for the Sabres top-nine to grow formidable, and put together strong, five-goal outings routinely now that there has been some chemistry built between each of them. Maybe it’s too late to snag another top-three finish in goals, but they will at least crack the top-five with some highlight-reel performances reminiscent of what we saw vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs.

3 - Rasmus Dahlin finishes as the Sabres leading scorer

Rasmus Dahlin is currently tied for the team lead in points, but he earns the tiebreaker over Casey Mittelstadt based on fewer games played. Dahlin currently has 29 points in 34 contests, but let’s get ultra-bold here and project he will slowly climb until he’s averaging a point per game. 

Dahlin’s efforts should warrant him another bid in the 2024 NHL All-Star Game, and he could even get strong consideration for the All-Star Team, plus consideration as a finalist for the Norris. Like many on the Buffalo Sabres, Dahlin has struggled at times this season, but he’s looked elite as of late. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)