It is time for the Sabres to turn the starting job over to Linus Ullmark.
Carter Hutton has been a rock for the Sabres in goal for most of this season. In fact, goaltending as a whole has been a strength for Buffalo for most of the year. Both Hutton and Ullmark have stolen games for the Sabres on more than one occasion.
However, it is time for a change. Hutton has allowed four or more goals in each of his past four starts, including five in the 7-2 rout at the hands of the lowly Edmonton Oilers.
There are certainly more issues that are plaguing the Sabres right now including lack of goal scoring and disastrous defensive zone play. Making a change in goal could be the spark the Sabres need to move in a positive direction for the second half of the season.
Ullmark has had a few strong performances of late, most notably the games against the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames. In the Dallas game, Ullmark allowed just one goal. Though the Sabres ultimately lost that game, Ullmark kept it close and gave the team a chance to win. A goaltender allowing one goal in a loss is hardly an indictment on the goaltender himself.
Making this move is also not necessarily an indictment on Hutton either, but sometimes throughout the course of a season when things aren’t going right something has to change.
After the loss against Chicago, Buffalo still has a string of six home games in a row. This is perhaps the Sabres most important stretch of games and they cannot afford to let weak goaltending derail their season.
Should Ullmark struggle with the pressure of being a starting goaltender, Buffalo can turn back to Hutton in hopes that he can return to the form he was at earlier in the season.
After all, the Sabres sent the Vegas Golden Knights a draft pick to protect Ullmark during the expansion draft likely believing he is a big part of the future, so why not show it? Give Ullmark the starting reigns and see if it makes a difference for the betterment of your franchise.