5 monumental setbacks that crushed the Sabres 2023-24 season

The Buffalo Sabres season isn’t officially over, but it would take a 180-degree turnaround for this team to end its playoff drought this year.

Buffalo Sabres v Edmonton Oilers
Buffalo Sabres v Edmonton Oilers / Lawrence Scott/GettyImages
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Injuries to the top-liners and Jack Quinn

The Sabres have been disappointing as a group and you don’t like to use injuries as an excuse. But when your top scorers miss extended time, it’s okay to point the finger at the injury bug. This also meant the Sabres, despite trying to get better defensively at the expense of their high-octane game that we loved last season, probably wouldn’t have reached the 296-goal mark anyway. 

But you can also confidently say that their scoring wouldn’t have been so inconsistent. It started when we found out Jack Quinn would miss six months, and 17 games after he returned, Quinn went down with another injury that shelved him for what looks like the rest of the season. He also had 12 points and five goals in those contests, adjusted for 58 points across 82 games. 

Update: Jack Quinn has since returned to practice and appears to be on-track to return.

Meanwhile, Alex Tuch, Tage Thompson, and Jeff Skinner missed a combined 26 games, which often occurred at different times. No, 296 goals weren’t happening this season, despite Casey Mittelstadt (when he was still around) holding steady production-wise and JJ Peterka enjoying what is currently a 24-goal season. 

If injuries don’t hit the Sabres like this next season, expect their offense to at least better resemble what we saw in 2022-23. Even if they don’t revert their style to what it was, Buffalo will score more than their currently projected 246 goals.