Losing Streak Ends Versus Flyers
On Wednesday, March 31, the Buffalo Sabres snapped their 18-game losing streak. The teams first win in over a month came against the Philadelphia Flyers. After a close contest on Monday, the Sabres finally received their revenge against the Flyers. The game started in similar fashion with the Sabres jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. The Flyers responded less than four minutes into the second period making the game 2-1. After a collapse in their pervious game allowed the Flyers to climb back from a 3-0 deficit, the team responded well. The game remained all Buffalo after that, resulting in a 6-1 final.
The game was capped off by Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour. After scoring in Monday nights game, Montour scored two goals in under a minute, both of which were short handed. Montour also mentioned that players seemed to be playing more freely under new coach, Don Granato. This seems to have contributed to the Sabres success. The four additional Sabres goals were scored by Sam Reinhart, Curtis Lazar, Steven Fogarty, and Casey Mittelstadt. In addition to offensive production, Linus Ullmark made 31 saves on 32 shots to snap the Sabres 18 game losing streak.
Trade Rumors Still Circulating After Win
With the NHL trade deadline right around the corner, the Sabres are still looking to sell. One name that has came up is that of Brandon Montour. Although Montour has played well as of late, he is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. This makes Montour a valuable selling piece to several playoff bound teams. In addition, Taylor Hall has been mentioned in trade conversations recently. Similarly to Montour, Hall is a free agent at the end of this season. As a former first overall pick and Hart Trophy Winner, Hall would be a stellar addition to any potential playoff team.
Although the Sabres have players of value available to trade, the price may not be right in the current market. One large concern is this years NHL draft. Even with their own pick likely to be first overall, this years draft class has been deemed weaker than recent drafts. One reason for this could be the lack of exposure many players have received due to Covid-19. Whatever the reason may be, first round picks for the upcoming draft are holding less weight in the current market than usual. However, it seems that the Sabres are aware change needs to be made. This became evident when Buffalo moved Eric Staal to Montreal for two late round draft picks and retained a portion of his salary.
Sabres Set To Play Rangers on April 1
The Sabres next contest is set to be played just 24 hours after their 18 game losing streak was snapped. The team will play the New York Rangers at home on April 1. Although a late playoff push is out of the question, there is still time to reduce the pain of the 2021 season. Both Brandon Montour and Sam Reinhart spoke to the players ability to play more freely under their new coaching staff. This is something that cannot be overlooked, especially after a much needed win. The team will look to carry their recent success into the contest against the Rangers. The Rangers currently lead the season series 3-1 but have yet to face off against the rejuvenated team on display last night. Puck drop is set for 7pm.
“From Our Haus to Yours“