Sabres News & Rumors: Levi, Thompson, Skinner & Cozens
The New Jersey Devils will face the Buffalo Sabres of their second of three regular-season video games tonight. The Devils wish to bounce again from a 2-1 time beyond regulation loss to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, their fourth loss within the final 5 video games.
The Sabres are additionally on a shedding skid. They’ve misplaced eight of their final ten and are struggling to maintain their playoff hopes alive.
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The Sabres presently sit eight factors behind the Pittsburgh Penguins within the wild-card race and can be dealing with a workforce coached by Lindy Ruff. They haven’t made the playoffs since he was their head coach in 2011, and so they have gone by way of six totally different coaches since he left.
Both groups are coming off irritating losses on Tuesday. However, the Devils are sitting solidly within the playoffs. That makes Friday’s recreation extra essential for the Sabres in the event that they need to at the least have an opportunity on the postseason.
Item One: Goalie Prospect Devon Levi Finally Lands in Buffalo
The Sabres are excessive on goalie prospect Devon Levi. With his papers now finalized, the younger goalie confirmed up in Buffalo and was seen training on Friday morning. Levi signed an entry-level contract with the workforce final week and needed to resolve his work visa standing earlier than becoming a member of the workforce.
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Levi is well-traveled for a 21-year-old. He’s from Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec, and is 6 toes and 185 kilos. After being chosen by the Florida Panthers within the seventh spherical (212th general) of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, he was concerned in just a few trades.
First, his draft decide rights had been traded from the St. Louis Blues to Toronto Maple Leafs in 2019. Then, the Maple Leafs traded these rights to Florida in 2020. He got here to Buffalo in a commerce from the Panthers in 2021, together with a first-round decide within the 2022 draft (Jiri Kulich) in alternate for Sam Reinhart.
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Levi started his profession taking part in for the Carleton Place Canadians within the Central Canadian Hockey League (CCHL) in the course of the 2019-2020 season. In his 37 video games in junior, he had a goals-against common (GAA) of 1.47 and a save share of 0.941 (SV%).
Levi moved to Boston’s Northeastern University for the 2021-2022 season, the place he performed 32 video games with a GAA of 1.54 and an unimaginable .952 SV%. In his second season in Boston, his success continued. In 34 video games, he had a GAA of two.24 and a .933 SV%. During his younger profession, he’s proven promise, with spectacular statistics in any respect ranges.
Levi is considered the Sabres’ goalie of the long run. However, at the moment – at the least till the Sabres’ postseason is settled – it’s robust to know if he’ll get an NHL begin.
Item Two: Goalie Eric Comrie Ready to Play
Sabres goaltender Eric Comrie is anticipated to be able to play this weekend. He’s been out with a lower-body harm since March 9.
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The goalie scenario in Buffalo is a bit like musical chairs. Other than Comrie, two different goaltenders are searching for taking part in time, with maybe yet another on the best way (Levi). Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and Craig Anderson have been splitting time with Comrie out. Comrie’s document on the season is 8-9-0, with a 3.95 GAA and a .877 SV%.
Item Three: Jordan Greenway Is Practicing But Won’t Play Friday
Jordan Greenway, who has performed eight video games with the Sabres since being traded from the Minnesota Wild, practiced on Thursday. However, it seems as if his upper-body harm will forestall him from taking part in in tonight’s recreation towards the Devils.
Item Four: Vinnie Hinostroza Was Absent from Practice for Personal Reasons
Sabres ahead Vinnie Hinostroza didn’t observe yesterday for private causes. He’s been a wholesome scratch in six of the Sabres’ final seven video games.
Item Five: Tage Thompson Finally Scores a Goal
In the loss to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday, Tage Thompson lastly scored a aim after three video games off the scoresheet. Although it was within the workforce’s 7-3 loss to the Nashville Predators, it was good to see him discover his offense.
Thompson has now scored 43 targets and 45 assists (for 88 factors) in 70 video games this season, together with 32 factors with the person benefit, which has doubled his manufacturing from final season. Thompson’s power-play success is one purpose he’s improved a lot since 2021-22, when he had “only” 68 factors all season.
Item Five: Jeff Skinner Adds to Career Season
Sabres ahead Jeff Skinner is having a profession 12 months. While he won’t hit the 40 targets he scored throughout his first season with Buffalo again in 2018-19, his assists are means up. He has 38 assists on the season, and his earlier excessive was the 30 he registered final season.
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In the loss to the Predators, he scored his thirtieth aim of 2022-23, which marks the second consecutive season wherein he has reached the 30-goal milestone. Skinner additionally has a complete of 68 factors in 67 video games this season. He’s a point-a-game participant for the primary time in his profession.
Item Seven: Dylan Cozens Scores His twenty seventh Goal
Dylan Cozens additionally scored a aim within the Sabres’ loss to Nashville on Tuesday. It was his twenty seventh aim and his 58th level in 69 video games this season. Similar to Thompson, he additionally ended a three-game scoring drought.
What’s Next for the Sabres?
Although it’s going to be a tough climb into the postseason for the Sabres, they’re a workforce for the long run. They have the scoring for positive. However, their protection and goalie play has fallen on laborious occasions. They simply aren’t there but.
The Sabres had a significant 15-goal swing in aim differential over the previous week due to their inconsistent play. March has not been good for them; they’ve solely received two of their previous eleven video games.
They’ve additionally had just a few lopsided losses at house, with margins of 4, six, and even seven targets. This season’s workforce has had moments of nice success, however their latest struggles have been epic. This won’t be their season, however I imagine that season is coming quickly.