Columbus Blue Jackets Staring Down the Barrel: Sabres and Wings

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 11: Columbus Blue Jackets Center Pierre-Luc Dubois (18) skates with the puck as Buffalo Sabres Left Wing Johan Larsson (22) defends during the Columbus Blue Jackets and Buffalo Sabres NHL game on January 11, 2018, at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY. (Photo by John Crouch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 11: Columbus Blue Jackets Center Pierre-Luc Dubois (18) skates with the puck as Buffalo Sabres Left Wing Johan Larsson (22) defends during the Columbus Blue Jackets and Buffalo Sabres NHL game on January 11, 2018, at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY. (Photo by John Crouch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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What about the other Fresh Faces in the 716?

Columbus Blue Jackets
BUFFALO, NY – OCTOBER 25: Jeff Skinner #53 of the Buffalo Sabres before the game against the Montreal Canadiens on October 25, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images) /

Lansing Murphy: How about the other fresh faces? Jeff Skinner looks dominate and Casey Mittelstadt is still finding his way it looks like? Tell us more about how the Sabres are using these two players.

Rob Berger: Jeff Skinner got off to a quiet start skating with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart but has been red hot since moving to a line with Casey Mittelstadt in the fourth game. Skinner has four goals and five assists in the last seven games, including a hat trick against the Kings. Mittelstadt is still growing (he is just 19) and an argument can be made that he still needs time in the AHL. For now, Mittelstadt and Skinner are on the second line with Kyle Okposo.

Jacob Strozyk: Casey Mittelstadt is a crafty and quick forward who has distinct playmaking ability. This ability is put on display not just in his passing skills, but his ability to make a play out of almost nothing. He fights every shift for the puck at both ends and he is out to prove he belongs.

Skinner has found the scoring touch that all Sabres fans were hoping for when he was traded for. Seeing him work so well with Jack Eichel is both exciting and refreshing Skinner benefits from having Eichel on his line to make plays, and that makes him more dangerous than he already is; here’s the catch though.

Skinner does not NEED Eichel to make plays. Similar to Mittelstadt’s playing style, he can make plays happen on his own, the difference being a much better goal scoring touch; something naturally lacking in Buffalo since Thomas Vanek.