3 studs and 2 duds for the Buffalo Sabres in the first half of 2023-24

The Buffalo Sabres haven’t enjoyed anything even remotely close to a good season so far in 2023-24, but a few players have been productive.
Buffalo Sabres v Boston Bruins
Buffalo Sabres v Boston Bruins / Winslow Townson/GettyImages
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The Buffalo Sabres have collectively taken a step back in 2023-24, having logged just two measly winning streaks throughout the first half of the season, and none have been over two games. But even the worst teams in the NHL have their studs, and the Sabres boast three players who deserve recognition for their contributions through the first 41 games of the year. 

But there is also a dark side, as many of the Blue and Gold’s players have failed to live up to their lofty expectations set for themselves following last season. However, it would take a novel to cover every player who has taken a step back, so we will focus on just two of them.

One player who just missed the cut in the stud category is Alex Tuch, who despite a horrific start to the year has 29 points in 34 contests. He’s nearing a career-high in average total ice time, and is also showing off a sound two-way game with 36 blocks and 34 takeaways. 

As for the duds, Connor Clifton barely missed being listed, but improved performances in recent games saved him. However, there is one defenseman you will meet who wasn’t so lucky, as he seemingly has struggled all year. 

Casey Mittelstadt
Jan 6, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt (37) skates / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

3 Buffalo Sabres players who have played well and 2 who haven’t

1 - Stud: Casey Mittelstadt, C

Even when the Sabres are playing their worst games, you can still count on Casey Mittelstadt to enjoy some outstanding outings. In last night’s loss vs. the Seattle Kraken, for example, Mittelstadt added a pair of assists to his resume, and he now has 35 points in 41 games played. 

While the 25-year-old performed well over the second half of 2022-23, it’s fair to say we didn’t know if Mittelstadt would continue to produce well in 2023-24, or if his play would revert to mediocrity. With 35 points, 11 goals, and 24 assists, however, he answered that question for us, and you can expect Mittelstadt to continue pacing the Sabres in points at the rate he’s going.