The Buffalo Sabres are now 6-3-0 after a dominating win last night against the Detroit Red Wings. Right winger Tage Thompson was terrific in the contest, scoring three goals and three assists in just over 17 minutes of ice time while Jeff Skinner, Kyle Okposo and Rasmus Dahlin registered multiple points as well. Although it’s still very early in the season and Buffalo plays in the league’s toughest division, it may finally be time to start looking at the Sabres in a different light instead of as the perpetually terrible team we’ve seen for so long.
One of the biggest differences at the start of this season has been the play of Rasmus Dahlin. The defenseman is finally starting to live up to the promise after being drafted first overall in the 2018 draft. So far this year, he leads the team with 12 points in 9 games, which also leads the league in points as a defenseman. It’s easy to forget that this guy is still only 22 years old and entering his fifth NHL season, but he has made his fantasy hockey owners very happy.
Speaking of youth, Dahlin is far from the only young guy on this team trying to make an impact in the NHL. Dylan Cozens, Casey Middlestadt, John Peterka, Owen Power, Jack Quinn and Peyton Krebs are all players under 24 years old that should be playing most games with the big club this year as well. All these guys were high draft picks, so the potential for Buffalo to continue to improve this season as their players get more and more familiar with the NHL game is certainly there.
Maybe it’s too early to tell, but these Sabres look different this season. After years of disappointment, the city of Buffalo and all of their great hockey fans deserve something to be excited about, and they might finally have it. Not only is the current team one of the youngest in the league, but Buffalo also has more available cap space than every other team in the NHL. If they can succeed this year with money to spend in the offseason, who’s to say that a big-time free agent won’t want to join the Sabres and help turn them into a serious contender? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves but at least we can finally say that this franchise is trending in the right direction.