Well, didn’t take long for our first bit of bad news to hit. (Projected) First line center Casey Mittelstadt and (projected) first pairing defenseman Henri Jokiharju are out of commission for the Buffalo Sabres, at least for a few weeks with an upper body and lower body injuries.
"It's not short term. ... They're big losses." - Sabres coach Don Granato on injuries to Casey Mittelstadt (upper body) and Henri Jokijarju (lower bod). The coach says will be at least a couple weeks and could be more.— John Vogl (@BuffaloVogl) October 15, 2021
With them out, the show must go on. With the immediacy, first ones in are scratches Will Butcher and Arttu Ruotsalainen with a promotion for Dylan Cozens.
The Sabres are back, but Casey Mittelstadt (upper body) and Henri Jokiharju (?) are not.— John Vogl (@BuffaloVogl) October 15, 2021
As the season debut progressed, the first line centered by Cozens rather than Mittelstadt saw an improvement in shots over the very small periods of time. The duo of Skinner/Hinostroza went from 2 shots for / 5 against and an expected goals of 45% to 2 shots / 3 against and a whopping 85% expected goals. The likely thing is one or two whopper of scoring chances that Casey/Jeff/Vinnie saw, if you needed some fancy stats to get excited about Dylan getting his due.
If Donnie keeps things the way they are, Dylan is going to get a solid matchup come Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes who got blasted 8 to 2 last night