There continue to be injuries in the Buffalo Sabres lineup and the most devastating one just happened. Tage Thompson was injured by a Charlie McAvoy skate in the loss against the Boston Bruins and Thompson had a tough time skating to the bench. After the game, Sabres head coach Don Granato said that Thompson would miss significant time. Now, he is listed as week-to-week.
Although Thompson doesn’t lead the team in goals for points this season, he is their best forward and top-line center. He isn’t replaceable in the lineup, but the Sabres have to try to work with what they have. He broke out two seasons ago and has scored 85 goals over the previous two seasons combined. The Sabres’ center is coming off a 47-goal, 94-point effort in 78 games and has six goals and 12 points in 16 games in 2023-24. There isn’t a doubt that he will pull himself back to a point-per-game.
The Sabres have a decent team, but it won’t be easy for them to get through without Thompson. With that said, there will be players who will benefit. These players will get bumps in fantasy as well, but there will also be players negatively impacted. Let’s take a look at the fantasy hockey impact of Thompson’s injury.
Which Sabres Players Get a Bump From the Tage Thompson Injury
Thompson is the first-line center on the Sabres and plays on the top power-play unit. On top of that, he also gets time on the penalty kill. He averages the most ice time of the forwards on the team too. This is a lot to replace. As I noted, the Sabres can’t exactly do so. What they can do is move pieces around and hope that production and success still come.
Who is set to benefit most from the Thompson injury is Dylan Cozens. As the second-line center, he naturally moves up. He may be up to the challenge, but he has proven to be a very good centerman. While the matchups will get harder every night, he will also be playing with better players. On top of that, Cozens should get to move from the second power-play unit to the first. He will get more ice time and start the power play plus play with the likes of Rasmus Dahlin and Jeff Skinner at the moment. His fantasy hockey value rises significantly because of this. With more ice time comes more stats overall like shots and points. On the top power-play unit, he’ll have a better chance to provide that stat as well.
The other player that I’m very confident will get a bump and should be available at the moment in your fantasy hockey league is JJ Peterka. He is proving to be a strong top-six player and already has six goals and 11 points in 16 games. He should see top power-play minutes too right now and will find himself sticking in the top-six. I would jump on adding Peterka if he’s available.
Who is Negatively Impacted on the Sabres
With a top player like Thompson out of the lineup, it negatively impacts the team for sure. Specifically, the top power-play unit might not click as effectively, impacting everyone who was already on it like Skinner and Dahlin. Skinner takes an extra hit because of this injury because he has been the winger of Thompson for a while now and they have great chemistry. Skinner leads the team in goals (7) and points (13), but may find it tougher to produce without an elite player like Thompson out of the lineup. Not only will Skinner lose his linemate, but the Sabres may opt to spread the wealth, limiting the production even more.
Alex Tuch is listed as day-to-day and has missed three games. When he comes back into the lineup, he will also be negatively impacted. Don’t expect the scoring to be as prominent for the next while. The Sabres and the players are hoping for a speedy recovery from Thompson. If you haven’t already grabbed Peterka, make sure to do so. He has the best opportunity to benefit greatly from this injury and continue rolling afterward.