At 16-19-4, the Buffalo Sabres are still seven points from snagging a spot in the wild card as they now have 36 on the year, which is amazing considering how turbulent things have been in 2023-24. Now that we’ve established the Blue and Gold are still very much in this, they will only reach that evasive pinnacle if they find consistency in the new year.
But hey, they’re 1-0-0 in 2024, so at least they started things correctly, and you couldn’t ask for anything better than a 6-1 blowout win. It also gave us a few major takeaways that this team must get consistent with heading into Saturday’s showdown with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
One of them is something the Sabres have failed miserably at the first two times they faced Pittsburgh, even if they snuck away with a win the second time around. As for the other two, it’s all about offense, so that’s your hint.
3 things the Buffalo Sabres must stay consistent with come Saturday
1 - Special teams
The only real blemish on the Sabres special teams came when Rasmus Dahlin mishandled the puck, which Joel Armia turned into a goal for the Canadiens. But other than that, the Blue and Gold’s man advantage was picture-perfect scoring on back-to-back opportunities for the first time in forever.
Buffalo methodically moved the puck up-ice to score the game’s opening goal with Casey Mittelstadt doing the honors while Jeff Skinner and Rasmus Dahlin provided the helpers. Something identical happened on Skinner’s goal less than a minute-and-a-half later, with assists coming from Alex Tuch and Tage.
Meanwhile, the struggling penalty kill also saw a renaissance last night, finishing the game a perfect 3 for 3. Buffalo’s PK unit was hot toward the beginning of the year if you remember correctly. And on Thursday night, it once again showed off its prowess and perhaps it means they will start tanking opposing power plays once more.