Buffalo’s struggles in the goaltending department are no struggle in recent seasons in the NHL.
The first seven games of the 2020-21 NHL campaign has proven no different, with 21 goals shipped already.
Head coach Ralph Krueger has already split playing time between Linus Ullmark and Carter Hutton so early in the season, whilst 25-year-old Jonas Johansson has also made an appearance during the opening weeks, nearly one year on since making his NHL debut.
None of the current goalies on the roster look good enough to be long-term options in Buffalo however. And with an impressive start in our attacking game this season, the front office really needs to make a move for a new goaltender as soon as possible if we’re to end our playoff drought this season.
The sportsbooks tend to agree, with only four teams currently at a longer price than the Sabres just to make the playoffs, according to the latest WV online sports betting odds.
Here are a couple of options that could prove to be a quick fix for the Buffalo Sabres:
Marc-Andre Fleury (Vegas Golden Knights)
An option that we really need to pursue in the coming weeks is over in Vegas. 36-year-old Marc-Andre Fleury is seeing his time with the Golden Knights come to an end it seems. Firstly, Robin Lehner was acquired on trade deadline day last season. Then Lehner started splitting time with the 2010 Olympic gold medalist, before starting the majority of their playoff run last season.
The two are splitting time again this season and it appears that will be the case whilst they both remain at the T-Mobile Arena.
That is of course unless we come in for a trade for the three-time Stanley Cup winner. Whilst he is coming towards the end of his Hall of Fame career, he could still prove to be an upgrade on what we currently have. And as a $7 million cap hit, there’s little reason for Vegas to keep him around.
John Gibson (Anaheim Ducks)
The Anaheim Ducks are entering a rebuilding stage and with the goaltender in his late 20s, John Gibson could be one moved on.
Gibson had a down year in 2019-20 but there’s no reason he shouldn’t find his form again this term, given his age suggests he should be hitting his prime. It’s also worth noting that he played behind a woeful defence last campaign too.
Prior to that, you would have ranked John Gibson as an elite goaltender in the NHL. That means Anaheim hold the cards if anyone wants to come in for a trade. One that could be seen as a risk by some given last season’s outings.
Joonas Korpisalo (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Arguably best known for his heroics in the 5 OT battle versus Tampa Bay Lightning, in which he pulled off an incredible 85 stops from 88 attempts. Joonas Korpisalo is coming off his best season but is not a regular starter.
The Blue Jackets could certainly be open for a trade, but again, it’s one that would be considered a risk, because his statistics prior to 2019-20 were below par, at least after his rookie campaign of 2015-16.