What do the Sabres Need?
The Sabres have obviously been struggling since the incredible 10 game win streak earlier this year. Since the streak, the Sabres have not looked like the same team. A lot of this is due to a lack of secondary scoring. The first line of Eichel, Skinner, and Reinhart have been the go to guys all year, and rightfully so, they have the most talent. However, other guys on the team have not been producing. Kyle Okposo is the first to mind for me. He has had less than an average year with very little production. Granted he his getting older, but not that old. The Sabres need secondary scoring just to make the playoffs this year since teams like the Islanders and the Bruins are hot on our tails in the playoff race.
I don’t want to say we should sell the barn at the trade deadline and gun for an all star but if the price is right a second line center would go a long way. Artemi Panarin has been a name thrown around about the trade deadline and him wanting to leave Columbus. Making a second line with a solid center like Panarin would be incredible for the struggling second and third lines of Buffalo. Another possibility would be to simply switch the lines around a bit. Last nights game against the Panthers proved that Skinner and Reinhart are able to perform without Eichel as their center. My suggestion would be moving Sheary and Thompson up to first line with Eichel when he returns and moving down Skinner and Reinhart to play with Rodrigues or Mittelstadt on the second line. This would spread the wealth around enough and maybe allow the Sabres the produce more and push into the playoffs in a very tough division.