Does Peyton Krebs deserve a chance to move up the Buffalo Sabres lineup?

Recently, Buffalo Sabres center Peyton Krebs has been playing more than well, and he capped off a series of strong performances with a goal in last night’s win.

Jan 11, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Buffalo Sabres center Peyton Krebs (19) celebrates his goal
Jan 11, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Peyton Krebs (19) celebrates his goal / Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres received bad news earlier this week when they discovered winger Jeff Skinner would end up missing time, opening the door for a lineup change in the interim. Last night, we saw Mittelstadt rightfully get his chance on the first line at wing, but we also saw Kyle Okposo return to the lineup on the third line while Jordan Greenway started as the center.

Peyton Krebs, however, didn’t get a chance to move up from the fourth line, despite solid play recently. And last night, he and Eric Robinson teamed up and displayed immaculate chemistry that led to Krebs scoring the Sabres fourth goal of the game. It was the latest example in a string of good performances for the 22-year-old, and it should lead fans to ponder whether he should get a chance on the third line.

Buffalo Sabres should move Peyton Krebs to center the third line

During Skinner’s absence, Krebs centering Zach Benson and Jordan Greenway would be more than beneficial. We already know Benson’s and Greenway’s respective tendencies to crash the net, and it’s something we have also seen Krebs doing often. This would create a rugged trio should the Sabres give him that chance while Skinner is out, assuming the top-six remain as-is. 

The Buffalo Sabres could slide Zemgus Girgensons inside to play center and start taking more faceoffs - he’s got 29 faceoff wins in 52 attempts this season - moving Eric Robinson to left wing while Okposo plays right wing. Or, as mentioned in a previous piece, insert Jiri Kulich on the fourth at wing and scratch Robinson if the team is so committed to playing Okposo. 

Overall, there is no wrong way to create the bottom line should the Sabres give Krebs a chance to compete on the third and receive even more ice time. His offensive play lately should be enough for him to at least get a chance to move up. 


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)