A healthy Jack Quinn would have given the Sabres far more hope this season

The 2023-24 Buffalo Sabres season is about to end, and while the team struggled all season, a healthy Jack Quinn would have changed a lot.
Ottawa Senators v Buffalo Sabres
Ottawa Senators v Buffalo Sabres / Kevin Hoffman/GettyImages

If the NHL had a ‘Most Snakebitten Player of the Year Award,’ Jack Quinn would probably take the “honor.” Two major injuries this season have limited him to just 25 games in what has been a disappointing year for everyone involved with the Buffalo Sabres, but what a sample size it’s been for the second-year pro. 

Quinn has 16 points and eight goals in those 25 contests, and while it’s adjusted to between just 52 and 53 points and between 26 and 27 goals, we also need to remember that he never managed to fully hit his stride. An Achilles injury kept him out until December 19th before another lower body-injury on January 27th shelved him for exactly two months. 

In his 25 games as of April 12th, the Sabres finished with a 13-11-1 record, good for 27 points, adjusted to between 88 and 89 points across 82 games. No guarantee for a playoff berth, but after 80 games, the mark would have put the Sabres neck-and-neck with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have 86 points in 79 contests.

Jack Quinn may have turned the Sabres into more legitimate contenders

I can’t stress enough that a healthy Quinn over at least most of an 82-game stretch would have likely helped the Sabres reach an even greater mark points-wise. It doesn’t mean this team would have been less flawed - as their offensive consistency and lack of chemistry on the power play has been paramount - but there’s also a good chance the number of points listed and adjusted above would have been higher. 

How do we know this? Look at how well the Blue and Gold played while Quinn was hitting his stride. Of the 25 games he’s played in, 17 came between December 9th and January 27th, and the Sabres were 9-7-1 with 19 points, good for 1.11 points per game, and between 91 and 92 points overall. 

That mark would have certainly ended the playoff drought, given the way things have gone in the East. And it makes you wonder where this team would be right now if Quinn didn’t get hurt in late January. But it also makes you wonder where this team could end up next season if Quinn and the rest of the Sabres can avoid missing extended ice time. 


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)