Sabres coach scratches struggling young stars
It’s a hard thing for the Buffalo Sabers and their fans to watch rebuilding teams like Toronto and Calgary reaching for playoff success, while their own reconstruction is seemingly mired at the bottom of the NHL
That’s not to say there isn’t some great young talent in Buffalo, but some of the Sabers’ youth movement haven’t been coming along as quickly as we hoped. Head coach Dan Bylsma seems to feel the same way.
Bylsma confirmed that Jake McCabe, William Carrier, and C.J. Smith will be working with the assistant coaches instead of playing in tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
McCabe is the oldest of the three healthy scratches, at 23-years-old the defender has 160 NHL games under his belt, providing 3 goals and 17 assists in 74 games this season. The second-round draft pick from 2012 has a +/- of minus-8 and a career low 26 penalty minutes.
Bylsma had this to say of his young defenseman: “He’s made a few gaffes with the puck in costly situations, costly areas… He’s kind of gotten into a bit of a hole as a result of it and lost a little confidence with his puck play, and we’ve seen that the last couple games.”
Winger Will Carrier, 22, has played 40 games in his rookie season and amassed 4 goals and three assists over half a season. C.J. Smith, also 22, has only played in two NHL games since joining the club after finishing his NCAA career with UMass-Lowell this season. Smith has a single assist in those two outings.
Buffalo plays their last home game of the season tonight against the division leading Canadiens. Buffalo sits tied for second-last in the Eastern Conference with a 32-35-12 record good for 76 points.