BUFFALO – Just three games into the new season, Sabres winger Victor Olofsson, a healthy scratch down the stretch last year, will be taking a seat again.
The 0-2 Sabres plan to scratch Olofsson for tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning and insert center Tyson Jost, who sat out the first two contests.
Jost replaced Peyton Krebs this morning between Zemgus Girgensons and captain Kyle Okposo. Meanwhile, Krebs moved up to Olofsson’s spot at right wing with center Dylan Cozens and JJ Peterka.
“We’ll see how that looks with Krebs, Cozens and Peterka – three young guys together,” Sabres coach Don Granato said in KeyBank Center. “That was the driving force of it.”
Peterka has scored one of the Sabres’ three goals this season. In the first two games, his line generated a team-low 36.4 Corsi For percentage. Olofsson’s 36.1 Corsi For ranks last among Buffalo forwards.
“I don’t question his effort, his intent, they’re both very high,” Granato said of Olofsson. “He cares a lot about his teammates and the team. And somebody has to come out for somebody to go in. And we felt we needed to put somebody else in.
“Every player’s details can be better. And that was a message I’d give anybody that’s coming out of the lineup. Be better in those areas when you’re in a lineup.”
Olofsson, 28, just experienced an odd season in which he scored a career-high 28 goals but sat out five critical late-season games. He registered an awful minus-23 rating, the worst number among the team’s forwards. He also endured long goal droughts.
Granato wanted to make sure Jost, 25, did not sit too long. He enjoyed regular duty last season after the Sabres claimed him off waivers from the Minnesota Wild.
“Very important to get Tyson in the lineup,” Granato said. “He means a lot to the guys in the locker room and he does a lot. He’s a very good role model for his young players. He’s walked the walk very recently. He’s got a few hundred games in the NHL, but he’s still very young and very in-tune with being young.
“He’s helped JJ Peterka, he’s helped all our guys that are younger than him, especially his path going from Colorado to Minnesota to here. It’s just a different perspective that he’s shared with guys. And then as an athlete, he’s an incredible athlete. He works very, very hard every day. It’s important to give him an opportunity sooner or later.”
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