Sabres' Mittelstadt has an uneventful game at left wing

The Sabres had very little effort, taking nine shots in 54 minutes

Paul Hamilton
March 09, 2019 - 7:46 pm

Photo: Isaiah J. Downing - USA TODAY Sports


Denver, CO (WGR 550) - Saturday’s game was Casey Mittelstadt’s first in the NHL at left wing, but there isn’t too much to talk about. Buffalo only had nine shots in 54 minutes and virtually no offensive zone time.

The Sabres had exactly four scoring chances in 54 minutes, including none in the second period.

Mittelstadt played the first two periods with Johan Larsson and Jason Pominville, and the third with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart. The biggest thing I noticed is he still had a center’s mentality. He wandered a lot, finding himself on the right wing wall a lot. He really didn't hold his position at all.

The one time a pass came to him on the left wing wall in the defensive zone, the point man pinched and rushed him into a turnover.

Mittelstadt only got 10:32 of ice-time with one shot and two blocked shots.

The overall game was a complete embarrassment. Except for Carter Hutton, the Sabres didn’t show up in any way, shape or form.

They lost most of the battles, and I can tell Jack Eichel is tired of teams coming out-hitting him all the time. Eichel said, “Why is it always the other team doing the hitting and knocking us around? Why can’t we do that?"

Nikita Zadorov hit Eichel hard after a whistle, ripping his helmet right off. Marco Scandella, Sam Reinhart and Jeff Skinner all got there to help their captain, while Casey Nelson just stood and watched. It wasn’t a very good look at all for Nelson.

Later, Eichel hit Carl Soderberg with a hit to the head and it wouldn’t surprise me if the captain hears from the NHL. He got a two-minute minor penalty.

Despite being out-shot 26-7 after two periods, the Sabres were only down 1-0. The goal came after Rasmus Dahlin coughed the puck up in the neutral zone to Nate MacKinnon. MacKinnon then went around Dahlin like he wasn’t there and beat Carter Hutton from the circle.

Hutton had slammed the door other than that and gave his team a chance to win a game. It’s a shame his team wanted nothing to do with winning that game.

It’s obvious the Sabres know they’re not going to make the playoffs as the passion and urgency were totally gone in Denver. Now it’s time for Jason Botterill and Phil Housley to take note of who pushes through to the end and who doesn’t.

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