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Sabres Grades: Thompson, Dahlin, Krebs Best Ottawa



Tage Thompson Buffalo Sabres grades

It should come as no surprise that Tage Thompson leads the way in the Sabres grades from Thursday night against Ottawa. Thompson netted two goals, Rasmus Dahlin had two assists, and Peyton Krebs had goal of his own in the the Buffalo Sabres home win versus the Ottawa Senators Thursday.

The production was key, but each player stepped it up in other areas that helped contribute to the positive outcome. While the Senators controlled most of the shot attempts, the Sabres were able to get into the more dangerous areas and really make it difficult on the Ottawa goalies.

Must Read: Thompson Scores Twice in Sabres Victory

If you missed Wednesday’s introduction to the new grading system, we’re assigning letter grades to each Buffalo player based on game performance. The letter grades are assigned based on statistical computation based on the following factors:

  • Production
  • Quality of offense
  • Quality of defense
  • Volume of offense
  • Volume of defense
  • Powerplay performance
  • Penalty kill performance
  • Penalty differential
  • Role
  • Minutes played

One amendment was made to factoring in minutes played is not to dock someone for injury. In this case, Tage Thompson left the game a couple different times and ended up with the fewest even-strength minutes of any Sabres skater. Since he played spectacular in the time he was available, it seemed unfair to dock him for the time missed.

Previous Sabres Grades: Mittelstadt Excels; Power, Levi Struggle

GradeLower LimitUpper Limit


Tage Thompson

Grade: B+

Production: A+
Offense: C-
Defense: A+
Special Teams: D+

Without a doubt, Thompson was the best player on the ice Thursday night. That is, when he was on the ice. What looked to be a facial injury in the second period limited him to only about 12 minutes of ice time. Thompson took full advantage of those minutes though with two eye-popping goals and very impressive defensive play. It just proves that if he can be this efficient on a weekly basis, he can carry Buffalo on his back even without producing consistent shot quality for he and his linemates.

Rasmus Dahlin

Grade: B+

Production: C+
Offense: A-
Defense: C-
Special Teams: B+

You might be wondering in what world is a multi-point night only slightly better than average production. Call it a tough grading system if you want, but both of Dahlin’s assists were basically just getting the puck to Thompson and letting him do the rest. Shots on goal and blocks also factor in, and one shot doesn’t exactly dictate full involvement in the box score.

That being said, Dahlin produced offense at an “A” level throughout the game. Driving play is a key attribute for a defenseman, as it’s become crucial for the modern blueliner to get the puck out of the zone and up the ice while maintaining possession. Dahlin did so at an impressive rate, and created quality chances for the team at even-strength in the process.

Peyton Krebs

Grade: B

Production: B+
Offense: A-
Defense: B+
Special Teams: N/A

It was quite the turnaround from last game for Krebs, as in limited minutes he was able to produce on an all-around solid performance. The only reason he didn’t receive an “A” for Thursday is due to the limited minutes and easier role he was designated by the coaching staff. Still, his goal was on a nice give and go play and there were other high-danger scoring chances for he and his linemates.


Dylan Cozens

Grade: D

Production: C-
Offense: F
Defense: D+
Special Teams: C+

After his line dominated the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday, Cozens really struggled in this one. Yes, he potted the empty netter at the end of the game on a nice individual effort and assisted on the first goal. (Note: empty net goals do not affect the “production” rating.)

The offense just wasn’t there, however, as Ottawa’s line of Brady Tkachuk, Ridly Greig, and Claude Giroux constantly had Cozens pinned on the defensive zone. The good news is he still managed two points, but this is why we do these grades – to tell the real story and not hide behind box scores.

JJ Peterka

Grade: D+

Production: C
Offense: D
Defense: D+
Special Teams: D+

Peterka scored the first goal of the game right as the powerplay expired, so perhaps the special teams grade is deceiving here for he and Cozens. The two simply were not good at even-strength, and Peterka bears a lot of that weight as well. Again, the goal will have his spirits up, which is good heading into Saturday against Vancouver.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

Grade: D+

For the majority of the game, Luukkonen was solid. Shots were coming from the outside, and he was eating them all up. In the third period however, things went awry for Luukkonen and the Sabres. 43 seconds in, an odd chip play initiated by Greig and finished by Giroux found its way past the big Finnish goalie. A little over midway through the third, Giroux scored again on a turnover as he spun around a took a slapshot that beat Luukkonen five-hole.

When it comes to goaltending, goals-saved above expected is a stat to lean on. Those two Giroux goals sank Luukkonen’s GSAx, and considering the bind it put them in late in thee game it’s hard to argue against docking him for the blemishes. There’s plenty to build on, but the quality saves weren’t there when needed.

Sabres Grades

Tage ThompsonF74%B+
Rasmus DahlinD70%B+
Mattias SamuelssonD66%B
Peyton KrebsF66%B
Alex TuchF59%B-
Owen PowerD59%B-
Eric RobinsonF57%B-
Zach BensonF55%B-
Casey MittelstadtF54%C+
Jordan GreenwayF49%C+
Zemgus GirgensonsF48%C+
Kyle OkposoF45%C
Connor CliftonD37%C-
Erik JohnsonD34%C-
Jack QuinnF34%C-
Ryan JohnsonD31%C-
Ukko-Pekka LuukkonenG27%D+
Jj PeterkaF24%D+
Dylan CozensF22%D