3 burning questions for the Buffalo Sabres heading into Week 14

The Buffalo Sabres finally enjoyed an undefeated Week 13, even if they only played in two games. Keeping this going is one of a few burning questions.

Jan 6, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Buffalo Sabres right wing Tage Thompson (72) at the
Jan 6, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Buffalo Sabres right wing Tage Thompson (72) at the / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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It may’ve taken 13 weeks, but the Buffalo Sabres snagged their first undefeated week of the season, even if it was only two games. Still though, you’ll take them any way they come if you’re a fan of the Blue and Gold, considering how tough winning streaks have been to come by this season. 

But, the going gets tougher in Week 14 with a resurgent squad coming to town that the Sabres have never beaten. They’ll also face a team that crushed them just one week ago, along with a group that is one of the best in hockey. Therefore, despite the winning streak, a few questions surround the Sabres as we dive into the first full week of January. 

Burning questions for the Buffalo Sabres in Week 14

1 - Will Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and Devon Levi keep trending north?

Though it was only two games, goaltenders Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and Devon Levi stole the show in their respective contests. And get this: the duo collectively saved 100 percent of all even strength shots and allowed a combined two goals - both on special teams. 

It was a remarkable effort from a pair of goaltenders whose age averages to 23 with 90 combined games of NHL experience. If they can at least come close to repeating for the upcoming week, the Sabres will be in good shape, especially with who they are facing.

2 - Will the Sabres stifle some hot competition?

If there is a time for the Blue and Gold to rise up, Week 14 would be the time. We will dive in deeper depth regarding Buffalo’s competition this week in a later piece, but for now, they are facing a red-hot Seattle Kraken team - a group they can also aspire to given the Kraken’s recent performances, the Ottawa Senators, and the Vancouver Canucks. 

As you know, the Sabres had a lot of trouble the last time they faced Ottawa, and Vancouver is one of the league’s best. But the good news regarding the latter is that Buffalo has fared pretty well when they face elite competition, so what’s one more?

3 - Will the Sabres finally get consistent offensively in Week 14?

Even during an uglier win like what the Sabres had against the Pittsburgh Penguins, they still managed three goals. And we all know how much they dominated the Canadiens, giving them nine goals in the two-game span. 

The Buffalo Sabres top scorers also looked good with Jeff Skinner, Tage Thompson, Alex Tuch, Rasmus Dahlin, Jack Quinn, and Casey Mittelstadt each contributing. If this team wishes to stifle the incoming competition for what will be the start of a long homestand, the aforementioned players must bring more than their A-Game and find the net often. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)