3 glaring regrets for the Buffalo Sabres after first quarter of the season

The Buffalo Sabres are a good hockey team with a bad record, and there are three glaring reasons that this is the case.

Oct 19, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Buffalo Sabres defenseman Erik Johnson (6) celebrates his
Oct 19, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Erik Johnson (6) celebrates his / Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
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The Buffalo Sabres are one of the most disappointing teams in the NHL this season, and it’s that way for a variety of reasons. As a young hockey team, the Sabres still had a few lessons to learn this year that are still sinking in, like figuring out how to win games in ways other than passing the puck around and seeking the perfect play.

While this has been a setback, there are also a few more reasons this team is struggling, and it lands with the front office. While general manager Kevyn Adams has a sound system in place that is working despite the poor record this year, there are a few things he could have done to perhaps avoid some of the issues this team is facing. 

Here are the biggest regrets for the Buffalo Sabres after the first quarter of 2023-24.

3. Not shopping Eric Comrie early in the season

When the Buffalo Sabres opened their preseason, Devon Levi and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen were the projected 1A and 1B goaltenders. Then Eric Comrie enjoyed such a solid training camp, it made sense to the front office to keep three goaltenders, but in hindsight, this has been a huge mistake. 

While it’s true Comrie outplayed Levi early in the year, it’s becoming clearer the latter was just going through growing pains associated with young goaltenders. Following a brief stint in Rochester, Levi has more than gotten it together, saving 81 of the last 86 shots on goal he faced in three straight starts between Dec. 7 and Dec. 11.

Comrie’s production has tanked, having allowed 14 goals in his previous three starts, and he’s now a distant third in the goaltender rotation. The 28-year-old’s value didn’t skyrocket in camp, the preseason, and even early in the regular season, but it rose enough to at least draw interest from other teams. That’s no longer the case, and the Sabres are stuck with Comrie in the organization for the rest of the year.