3 burning questions for the Buffalo Sabres in Week 15 following Monday’s win

The Buffalo Sabres scored their second shutout win of the season when they beat the San Jose Sharks 3-0, but the win didn’t happen without questions arising.
Jan 13, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (1) looks to
Jan 13, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (1) looks to / Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres played a solid game on Monday, but despite the shutout win, it was a rather unspectacular performance. Buffalo pinned themselves against the wall early in Monday’s matinee, unable to generate consistent puck movement and giving the San Jose Sharks way too many opportunities to create scoring chances. 

Luckily for the Sabres, goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen once again brought his A-game, and the team eventually pitched in defensively to help him out. Such play on both sides of the ice has raised a few more burning questions for Week 15, such as whether the Sabres can finally get more than a two-game winning streak going. 

Burning questions for the Buffalo Sabres in Week 15

1 - Will the Sabres continue to play well without the puck?

The Sabres defense, goaltending, and penalty kill have been sensational in the last three games. If you’re keeping track, they allowed just four goals in that span, and it hasn’t just come from goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s stellar play. 

The past three games have seen much better positioning for the most part defensively, sans a few sloppy minutes early in Monday’s matinee. Players also started doing a better job at keeping traffic away from the front of the net, and in two of the last three games, they constantly invaded shooting lanes. 

And yesterday, the Blue and Gold needed to step up considering how poorly they played offensively for most of the game’s first 30 minutes. If that’s the case on Wednesday and Saturday, they must continue to play solid hockey under pressure. 

2 - Will the Sabres find their offensive rhythm?

While the Sabres can celebrate their shutout win all they want, it still doesn’t take away from the fact it took them a period and a half to score when Casey Mittelstadt finally broke the 0-0 tie. If you’re doing the math, it means the Sabres were going on five straight periods without scoring a goal, and that must change for the final two games of the week. 

The good news is that they didn’t lack scoring chances, as Tage Thompson gave himself a few good looks, as did Henri Jokiharju, and Alex Tuch. But still, three scores on 35 shots on goal won’t cut it against most teams, so hopefully the Sabres will build on their three-goal performance in the final 29 minutes of Monday’s contest.

3 - Will the Sabres put together their first three-game winning streak?

Recent history is on the Buffalo Sabres side vs. the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning as they already snagged wins against both teams this season. With that in mind, the Sabres should feel rather confident going into a pair of games that the fan base will expect them to snag two more W’s.

It may be rather late in the season, but such a streak would make this homestand a successful one, as Buffalo would finish it 4-2-0 and head into their West Coast road trip with a lot of confidence. For a team that is currently 19-21-4 (42 points), that will be the best thing to happen to the Sabres, and who knows how it will affect their season.


(Statistics and information provided by Hockey-Reference)