BUFFALO, N.Y. [WKBW] — The longest winless streak in Buffalo Sabres franchise history has come to an end. On Wednesday the Sabres topped the Philadelphia Flyers 6-1 for their first win in more than a month.
5 Observations from Wednesday’s win:
The worst skid in the history of the Buffalo Sabres is now a thing of the past. After 18 games without a win, the Sabres picked up their first win since February 23 on Wednesday night. This is also the first regulation win for the Sabres in the month of March since March 31, 2018. The question now becomes: can the Sabres start a win streak tomorrow night against the New York Rangers?
Well, let’s not get carried away.
This was also the first-career win for interim head coach Don Granato. It may be there first win wit Granato behind the bench but this team has certainly played better wit him as the man in charge.
Mittelstadt making strides
During the first intermission, we did a Q&A on Twitter like we often do to pass the time. Brian asked “is Mittelstadt actually good at hockey?” and that question had me thinking.
5) Mittelstadt still has the potential to become a solid NHL player. It doesn’t help that he was drafted where he was. But failing to meet expectations doesn’t mean he’s bad. https://t.co/rjgamfFjNT— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) April 1, 2021
So here’s the deal — Casey Mittlestadt still has a long way to go. There’s a reason the Sabres had him on the taxi squad to start the season and not on the opening night roster. That said, as of late, he’s playing better. He still doesn’t look like the guy they were hoping for when he was drafted with the 8th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. But he looks like a young player with upside who can provide secondary scoring for a more competitive team.
Mittelstadt hasn’t proven to be a full-time NHL player but he’s well on his way.
Every once in a while Jacob Bryson makes a play that just leaves your jaw on the floor. He had a few of those on Wednesday night on what I would say was one of the best games of his NHL career.
That’s not saying a ton considering he’s only played in 17 games. But still, Bryson is making plays with confidence. If he can continue to play with poise and limit the mistakes in his own end, he certainly looks like a player we could be watching for a long time. In a year full of disappointments, Bryson has been one of the few players who have exceeded expectations.
Good for Steven Fogarty. Before the game started, plenty of Sabres fans probably had never even heard his name.
On Wednesday that changed, as the first-year Sabre scored his first NHL goal and added an assist. That assist, by the way, was a pretty one as he sent a perfect pass to the aforementioned Mittelstadt. This was just Fogarty’s fourth game with the Sabres and 22 NHL games. Safe to say it’s his best NHL performance up to this point and will be quite the memorable night for the 27-year-old.
Lights Out Linus
How ridiculous is this stat? This season, Linus Ullmark is 6-5-3! For a team that has lost 23 times in regulation, it’s wild to see how well Ullmark has played. Just look at it this way — Ullmark has been in net for all but one of the Sabres’ wins this season. You’d have to imagine Ullmark’s agent will be showing these numbers to everyone he can when negotiating a contract this summer.