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CBJ P4 @ Buffalo Sabres - Sabres Are In the Wild Card?

September 29, 2023, 10:11 PM ET [1 Comments]
Zak MacMillan
Columbus Blue Jackets Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Columbus Blue Jackets return to the ice for the first time since Tuesday to collide with the Buffalo Sabres. Gametime is 3pm on the Blue Jackets’ live side.

Buffalo has had quite the quiet summer.


Connor Clifton and Erik Johnson were added as veteran pieces to the youth on the left side.

Dustin Tokarski and Devin Cooley signed to free agents.

Zach Besnon was a steal at the draft 13th overall.


Lawerence Pilut signed with HC Lausanne (Swiss)

Matej Pekar signed with the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL)

Ilya Lyubushkin was dealt to the Ducks.

The Atlantic became a bigger, tougher, and stronger division despite the top teams weakening, and the bottom teams rising up. The growth and development of Devon Levi, Owen Power, and Rasmus Dahlin are significant factors to them making or breaking the playoffs.

This is the year Buffalo makes the playoffs, breaking the longest active playoff drought in hockey as a second wild card team, and fourth in the Atlantic.

Columbus added Mark Recchi on Monday, and today have claimed goalie Spencer Martin off the waiver wire from the Vancouver Canucks.

Martin, 28, will serve as the trio platooon goaltender for Merzlikins and Tarasov. Expect him to start with Cleveland as he is working on his papers to get across the border.

He has been a main AHL starter for the Avs and Bolts systems, but was the main backup for Thatcher Demko and the Canucks the past two seasons, playing in 35 games for Vancouver.

14 Cuts

The Blue Jackets have slashed their preseason roster from 62 to 48 today, with the following cuts (as reported by the club)

To Cleveland (AHL)

F Tyler Angle
F Jake Gaudet
F Owen Sillinger
F Martin Rysavy
F Cameron Butler
F Luca Del Bel Belluz
F Mikael Pyyhtia
F Roman Ahcan

D Ole-Julian Bjorgvik-Holm
D Samuel Knazko
D Cole Clayton

Released from PTO

D Nicolas Meloche
D Thomas Schemitsch
G Eric Dop (released from PTO)

This will be an entertaining contest to see two of the youngest teams in the league do battle with each other and may have the brightest upsides in each of their divisions.

Projected Rosters

Buffalo Sabres

Jeff Skinner—Tage Thompson—Alex Tuch
Victor Olofsson—Dylan Cozens—Kyle Okposo
Zach Benson—Jiri Kulich—Isak Rosen
Brandon Brio—Peyton Krebs—Lukas Rosek

Jacob Bryson—Henri Jokiharju
Riley Stillman—Ryan Johnson
Jeremy Davies—Joseph Cecconi

Devon Levi
Ukko-Pekka Lukkonnen

Columbus Blue Jackets

Kent Johnson—Adam Fantilli—Patrik Laine
Dmitri Vokornov—Jack Roslovic—Kirill Marchenko
James Malatesta—Emil Bemstrom—Jordan Dumais
Steffan Matteau—Josh Dunne—Justin Danforth

Zach Werenski—Adam Boqvist
Ivan Provorov—Erik Gudbranson
Denton Mateychuk—David Jiricek

Elvis Merzlikins
Aaron Dell

Players to Watch

Buffalo - Devon Levi - he controls Buffalo’s season. Had a quick run last season, and can become the top goalie in the Atlantic in short order. Florida messed up this deal for Reinhart.

Columbus — Jordan Dumais — my comments sections continue to pepper me with the hype around him, and I see it too. Maybe the steal of his draft class so far. Outside shot of making the regular season trail run of 9 games. Stellar Traverse City and great Memorial Cup runs already this year. This can easily be another feather in his cap. (I would’ve said Provorov with it being his preseason Blue Jackets debut)

Predicted Final Score

BUF - 2

CBJ - 3


HB Notes

HockeyBuzz HotStove coming with my take of who will win the Calder Trophy.

My Fantasy pool is up and running on Hockeybuzz! You facing me this season? Let’s do that hockey!
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