By Brandon J. Koch
It’s been a real problem the past couple Sabre teams to have bottom six production.
Entering this season, the Sabres have new facesentering the bottom six. The question is can they produce. I mean that in multiple way, on the stat sheet and defensively.
If the Sabres want to be in contention for the Stanley Cup playoffs and then get over the hump and make it, bottom six production is simply a must. In my opinion, it’s important and it’s going to be something to lookout for.
So who has to step up? Who has to produce? Here’s what I think:
Sam Reinhart: He’s been on the third line since the start of training camp, transitioning to more of a center role. Working with Seth Griffith, a surprise this training camp and preseason. Then on his left side at the start it was Benoit Pouliot, but the last couple practices it’s been Girgensons. This is a big year for Reinhart, final year of his contract, decent season last year~ this team needs him to take that next step.
Matt Moulson: I think we will all take anything we can get out of Matt Moulson this season. The five million dollar a year forward was a power play specialist last year. That’s fine, continue that, but the Sabres need more 5 on 5 scoring. He does that, it’s a big boost.
Zemgus Girgensons: For me, he’s a wildcard in terms of what he’s going to bring to the stat sheet. He was working with Kyle Okposo and Ryan O’Reilly at the start of camp. Now he’s with Sam. I hope he can be a lot better than what he was the past two years. Housley’s system should help him.
Seth Griffith: In 58 career NHL games, he has 16 points. He hasn’t scored a goal since the 2014-15 season. To get any goal production out of him will be such a surprise. I think he will bring energy and speed and some good defense. Anything other than that will be a bonus.
Of course the line combinations and players are subject to change during a long season, but I think this is how it will be the first few games of the season.
By Brandon J. Koch