Owen Power’s NHL career is a week old and we spend some time reflecting on his strong play through the first four games he’s appeared in. We also touch on how he and Rasmus Dahlin are rounding out a formidable top-four for the Sabres.
Also on the show is a discussion over Devon Levi and Erik Portillo each returning to school and how that affects Buffalo’s decisions in net for the offseason. We wrap up this week’s show talking about the introduction of ads on NHL jerseys.
The Sabres celebrated Rick Jeanneret on Friday night and they put on quite a show in the process. We talk about the whirlwind evening and many of the highlights of the team’s impressive pregame ceremony, decisive win over the Predators and touching post-game tribute.
We also touch on prospect Devon Levi and the news that he will be returning to Northeastern for his junior season after finishing 2021-22 as a Hobey Baker finalist. Levi isn’t the only collegiate goalie the Sabres need to be tracking, as there are signs that Erik Portillo could qualify as a free agent as early as the 2023 offseason. That, plus Levi’s return likely puts him front-and-center to the Sabres plans to ink their collegiate prospects.
The last few months haven’t been kind to the Sabres. Injuries have plagued the roster as losses keep stacking up. They’re flirting with winning only 10 of their last 50 games and another lost season has fans wondering when the reinforcements might arrive.
Unlike previous seasons, the Sabres prospect pipeline is a bit richer these days. Meaning there’s more than just one or two prospects worth looking forward to seeing. Jack Quinn was just returned to Rochester after recovering from injury. He joins JJ Peterka, who is steaming along at a point per game pace and Ukko Pekka Luukkonen, who is working back from an injury of his own. Mattias Samuelsson and Peyton Krebs are already in Buffalo and there’s an opportunity for Ryan Johnson, Devon Levi and Owen Power to arrive once their respective NCAA seasons wrap up.
Some of Buffalo’s Buffalo’s CHL prospects could even see action in Rochester on ATOs when their seasons end.
There ought to be space on the Sabres roster for some of those prospects to fill out after the trade deadline. There could be upwards of four-to-six openings depending on how many deals the Sabres swing and who they move on from. Thanks to the later start to the NHL season, NCAA prospects can play in far more games than they would under normal circumstances, which is a great sign for the ability of Johnson, Levi and Power to impact the Sabres lineup.
Exactly when those three could arrive is still up in the air. A few well-placed losses could get the trio to Buffalo sooner, which is what this rooting guide is for.
The main focus of this week’s show is Alex Tuch and the impressive impact he’s had since arriving in Buffalo. We talk about the underlying numbers he’s carrying, the incredible point production and simply how good he’s looked taking a step up in the lineup and helping to anchor Buffalo’s top line.
We add some thoughts about how Tuch’s emergence can help fuel the next moves the Sabres make in terms of free agent or trade acquisitions, and how he’s become a cornerstone of the young core they’re building with.
Prior to that, we touch on the trade between the Montreal Canadians and Calgary Flames that saw Tyler Toffoli head to Alberta. We discuss Jack Eichel’s impending return and the disappointment in not seeing Devon Levi receive any action for Team Canada at the 2022 Olympic Games.
It’s been a busy week in the NHL and we open this week’s episode with a conversation over Aaron Dell’s suspension and the bind that it has put the Sabres in to with their goaltending. Not only do we discuss how the suspension affects the Sabres but the actions Dell took and if he was deserving of the penalty he received.
Along the way, we touch on the new hirings of Kent Hughes, Patrick Allvin and Émilie Castonguay. The Philadelphia Flyers’ recent exploits were also a topic as the club held a press conference addressing their current struggles and the path forward.
We wrap up with a discussion about Owen Power and Devon Levi’s future once the Olympics wrap up and just how they can fit into the Sabres roster after the Olympics, NHL Trade Deadline and the completion of their respective NCAA seasons.