Sabres Set To Face Bruins With Six Games Left
With only six games left in the 2021 NHL season, the Buffalo Sabres are looking to finish the year on a positive note. With a 13-30-7 record, the season was a disappointment to say the least. However, with several better performances as of late, the Sabres will look to build towards the future.
A large part of that future is young goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. Luukkonen maid his NHL debut against the Boston Bruins on April 23, where he recording his first NHL win. Since then, Luukkonen has played one additional game in which the team fell to the Rangers. Luukkonen, the former OHL goalie of the year, is set to make his third NHL start tonight against the Bruins. The 6’4″ Finish youngster is a former second round pick by the Sabres.
Young Talent Beginning To Make A Difference
In addition to Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Buffalo has a handful of young players who have taken advantage of the teams lack luster season. With six games left in the Sabres season, it has been a struggle to find positives in the Sabres play. However, since the hiring of Don Granato, it seems that many young members of the team have a new found confidence. Casey Mittlestadt and Tase Thompson are perfect examples of this.
Under former coach Ralph Krueger, the Sabres became almost unbearable to watch. Although the season is all but over, it is crucial for the Sabres going forward that this young stars find their form at the NHL level. Rasmus Dahlin has scratched his way into this category as well. This seems to be an ongoing trend under the new leadership of Granato, and is as close to a positive as one can find after this year. The three players mentioned specifically were heavily scrutinized for the majority of the past several seasons but have since found key roles on the team.
The Importance of Goaltending As Shown By Ryan Miller
As the Sabres prepare for the final six games of their season, additional news has been released regarding former Buffalo legend Ryan Miller. Miller has announced his retirement following this season after 18 years in the NHL. Miller was a key part in making the Sabres franchise what it is today, and was able to captivate the entire city of Buffalo every time he was in the crease.
In addition to the memories of Ryan Miller, his retirement reiterates the importance of solid goaltending. With all the doubt that has surrounded the Sabres this season, goaltending seems to be another positive as the year ends. Linus Ullmark played outstanding for Buffalo this season when he was able to stay healthy. Furthermore, Luukkonen has stepped in and performed well for his first taste in the NHL. Between the rejuvenation of young stars, and new potential goaltending tandom, Buffalo fans may finally have something to feel good about going into next year.
“From Our Haus to Yours“