One bad preseason game doesn't make or break a player

September 17, 2019

Columbus, OH (WGR 550) - It wasn’t a good first outing for the second group of Sabres playing their first preseason game of 2019. Columbus came out fast and the Sabres didn’t have their legs at all night.

With that in mind I’m not going to judge anybody on their first preseason game. Yes, the passing was horrendous, but through it all it was a one goal game for most of the night.

Casey Mittelstadt had a real tough outing and I don’t know if he’s going to improve enough this season or not, but one bad outing coming out of summer doesn’t tell me much.

Ralph Krueger talks about making corrections as a coaching staff. I’m actually anxious to see what he can do for Mittelstadt to make him into a better player. I loved the fact that Krueger played him 23:23.

None of the youngsters made a statement in this game, but many will get more chances. The team has Wednesday off and lines will be different when they return on Thursday.

Linus Ullmark played just under half the game and stopped 19 of 20 shots. It was a cross-ice pass to the circle for a power play one-timer that beat him. He absolutely was screened on the play, but admitted that he needed to read the play faster and should’ve been across in position.

After that he made some good saves to keep the score 1-0 while his team struggled. The Buffalo goal was scored by Jake McCabe from the point and it included good work along the wall by Will Borgen and Rasmus Asplund. The best part was Victor Olofsson planted himself in front of the net and totally took the eyes of Matiss Kivlenieks away.

I was excited to see C.J. Smith play with Mittelstadt and Sam Reinhart, but in the third period, Krueger took Smith off the line and replaced him with Olofsson. They immediately went in on a 2-on-1, but Olofsson missed the net.

I thought Jacob Bryson looked OK on defense. Metaj Pekar was never really in the play being a disturber which I think he has to do or he’s not playing his game. He has to be involved.

After five long days of training camp the team gets Wednesday off. The coaches are going to use that time to really evaluate the two games and it’ll be interesting to see what the lines will be Thursday going into a weekend home and home with Toronto.