One thing each Buffalo Sabres player MUST get better at in the second half of 2023-24

The Buffalo Sabres enter the second half of their 2023-24 season tonight in what is their third game vs. the Ottawa Senators, and each player must improve.

Jan 9, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Buffalo Sabres left wing Jeff Skinner (53) celebrates his goal
Jan 9, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Jeff Skinner (53) celebrates his goal / Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
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Erik Johnson
Dec 13, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Erik Johnson (6) waves to the / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

20 - Erik Johnson - Consistency

Inconsistent play has plagued the 35-year-old so far in 2023-24, and if the Sabres are to break out in the second half of the season, their leaders and most experienced players must set the standard. 

21 - Ryan Johnson - Taking more shots

Ryan Johnson has played well for the most part defensively, but it’s demoralizing to see just 16 shots on goal and 45 total shots in 22 games. If he takes more shots from the blue line, then someone in front of the crease has a chance to deflect the puck into the net. 

22 - Devon Levi - Consistency

Devon Levi’s 2023-24 season reminds me a lot of what Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen went through last year, morphing from some hot streaks to pedestrian play, meaning inconsistency has been his only consistency. While it’s not feasible to expect fully consistent play from the 22-year-old, Levi should log more quality starts in the second half.

23 - Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen - Positioning

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s numbers still may be below league average, but he’s nonetheless improved when compared to last season, with a respectable 0.625 quality starts percentage. However, opponents still lure him out of position far too often, and that must change in the second half of 2023-24.


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)