The Buffalo Sabres need to send Devon Levi back to Rochester and keep him there

With Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen clearly in the driver’s seat for the Buffalo Sabres, perhaps it’s once again time to give Devon Levi playing time in Rochester.

Jan 9, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Buffalo Sabres goaltender Devon Levi (27) makes a glove save
Jan 9, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres goaltender Devon Levi (27) makes a glove save / Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
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Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been unbelievable in the first half of January, and the Buffalo Sabres have no reason to turn to another goaltender given how well he’s played lately. Luukkonen had a strong January last year, if you remember correctly, but barring a sudden decrease in performance from now until the 27th of this month, he’s light years ahead this season. 

After 22 games and 19 starts, Luukkonen currently has a 10-9-2 record, a 0.906 save percentage, a 2.77 GAA, and his quality starts percentage sits at 0.632. Since the new year began, Luukkonen has saved 115 shots on goal and allowed just five of them, giving him a 0.958 save percentage, and a 3-1-0 record, which only reinforces why he needs to stay in the net for the time being. 

But that also means rookie Devon Levi will be sitting on the bench on most nights. Being such a young goaltender, Levi doesn’t need to be sitting out three out of every four contests when he could be getting reps in Rochester. Since the Sabres won’t be giving up their current arrangements any time soon, or shouldn’t be, then it makes no sense for Levi to keep sitting. 

Buffalo Sabres should reassign Levi, recall Eric Comrie

We can all agree that Eric Comrie is terrible unless he’s rocking in Rochester, but Levi is a potential long-term answer at goaltender, much like Luukkonen is, and Comrie isn’t. Once again, the Sabres aren’t helping Levi by making him sit the bench as a backup goaltender. He would be the undisputed No. 1 guy in the Flower City, and it would also give him experience in trying to help the Rochester Americans embark on a playoff run. 

Right now, Luukkonen has the No. 1 job locked down with the Buffalo Sabres, and Levi is paying the price for it. That doesn’t need to be the case as Luukkonen is clearly capable of pulling off sound performances on most nights, once again allowing Levi to further develop in the AHL.

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)