3 things we want to see from the Buffalo Sabres in Week 14

Week 14 kicks off tonight for the Buffalo Sabres, and there are several things that must happen for this team to remain consistent.
Dec 15, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Buffalo Sabres right wing JJ Peterka (77) warms up before a
Dec 15, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Buffalo Sabres right wing JJ Peterka (77) warms up before a / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
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The Buffalo Sabres finally have a chance to string together three wins in a row, and it’s a chance they last had in early November. One thing we know is that the Blue and Gold have proven themselves capable of playing for an entire 60 solid minutes, as was the case in their 6-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. But there are also times when they must win ugly, which you can argue was the case last Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

We know the Sabres can win games handedly when they are taking away scoring chances and moving the puck quickly in the offensive zone. But we don’t yet know they will consistently win when things aren’t going their way, something we’ve seen them falter at plenty of times this season. Luckily, there are a few players who must take the mantle this week and help the team create consistency overall for Week 14 to be successful. 

Owen Power
Jan 6, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Owen Power (25) warms up / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

3 things the Buffalo Sabres must do to remain consistent going into Week 14

1 - Owen Power parlaying his strong recent play 

Contrary to what a strong contingent of fans have claimed, Owen Power hasn’t played poorly this season. But that doesn’t mean he couldn’t improve his game, and it seems like he’s been a far more productive player since the Columbus Blue Jackets soundly beat the Sabres on December 19th, something Paul Hamilton of Audacy noted yesterday.

Looking at Power’s game logs since that ill-fated outing, it’s clear Hamilton couldn’t be more correct, given Power’s plus-10 rating between then and January 6th. He was minus-6 in his first 33 games with 12 points, but since December 21st, Power also has four points and a goal, plus 20:24 of average total ice time. 

While the Sabres blueliners have been up-and-down lately, depending on the game, Power has recently been arguably their most consistent player in all the right ways. And if inconsistency continues to strike Buffalo’s defensive rotation, then Power must once again bring his A-Game.