10 Sabres thoughts

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By Brandon J. Koch

With a few weeks to go in the Buffalo Sabres season, we are seeing the blue and gold playing better. We are all looking for something to hang our heads on into the offseason. For me, it’s not all that bad in Sabres land.

Here are some thoughts:

  1. Mittelstadt watch has begun. I think Jason Botterill’s plan is signing him to a PTO so he can play in Rochester for their playoff run. Here’s the thing~ I don’t think that will happen. It’s smart for Mittelstadt, on the Sabres side, to NOT play any of these games in Buffalo. If they’re going to sign him to his ELC, do it in the Spring/Summer. He will have a full off-season to get ready for next year.
  2. Signing Mittelstadt to a ELC will automatically give me excitement and hope going into next season. It means Botterill is transitioning to a younger team. Mittelstadt is that “core,” player. I don’t want to put heavy expectations on the kid, but seeing some young faces in here next season will be refreshing.
  3. It’s a good sign seeing Bailey, Baptiste and ERod playing together and playing well. Fans were getting on Baptiste and Bailey. Maybe too high of expectations for them. I think the Sabres see them as bottom six players moving forward.
  4. Speaking of bottom six, that will be the hardest task for Botterill and staff to figure out is how can the Sabres get better there. I have some players in mind, but that’s for the offseason.
  5. Why is Victor Antipin continuing to be a healthy scratch? I thought he’s been playing well. He’s one of the best puck movers on the team. What’s going on there?
  6. It’s intriguing to think about what kind of contract Sam Reinhart will get. Getting back to the corner stone pieces, I think he’s one of them.
  7. Chad Johnson has played well. He’s 6-2 in his last 8 games and even prior to that has been performing. Is Botterill thinking Ullmark-Johnson for next season?
  8. The last couple times I’ve been walking down to the arena for games, I’m always thinking about the future of this franchise. Wouldn’t it be great to get lucky and win the lottery.
  9. Rasmus Dahlin is a franchise changing defenseman, another cornerstone piece. Right up there with Eichel.

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