When it comes to the Buffalo Sabres blue line, things went from bad to worst. Buffalo will already be without Mattias Samuelsson for the rest of the season, and now Owen Power will be out for at least a couple of weeks after suffering a hand injury during practice yesterday. In a matter of two weeks, the Sabres have lost two key defenders.
We all know how important Samuelsson is to the team, and even though Power is going through a sophomore slump, he logs tons of ice time for Buffalo along with Rasmus Dahlin. If you're a fan of this team, you know about the defensive struggles. Well, if there's a time for the defensemen on Buffalo to step up, it's right now.
Connor Clifton, Erik Johnson, Henri Jokiharju, Ryan Johnson and now Jacob Bryson who will be playing in place of Power. Last year, the blue line was the biggest weakness for the Sabres. Defensive breakdowns, giving up tons of shots, etc. Fast forward to this year, they are not giving up a lot of shots, but the breakdowns and turnovers are still an issue.
Even with Power and Samuelsson, they were still making mistakes. I would be lying to you if I said I wasn't concerned. However, this is the time to step up if you're any of the guys just mentioned. Rasmus Dahlin will have even more weight on his shoulders with the loss of Power. But this is why Kevyn Adams brought in guys like Johnson and Clifton.
While they are not expected to put up points, they were brought in to be leaders and depth pieces. Even though they haven't had the best season, this is the perfect opportunity to show why they were worth the signing. For guys like Ryan Johnson and Jacob Bryson, now is there chance to prove why they should be in the lineup.
It won't be an easy task tonight as the Sabres are facing a playoff contender in the Los Angeles Kings, but we'll see how it plays out.