Sabres roundtable: Answering lingering questions ahead of the 56-game season

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Buffalo Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger talks to the players during a timeout Saturday at KeyBank Center.

James P. McCoy / Buffalo News

Lance Lysowski ,  Mike Harrington

There won’t be fans inside KeyBank Center when the Sabres open the season Thursday night in Buffalo.

Covid-19 protocols have prevented the Sabres from spending much time together off the ice. A 56-game schedule against the same seven East Division opponents adds another unusual challenge to Ralph Krueger’s second season as coach.

Jack Eichel acknowledged the Sabres will have to handle “curveballs” as a result of playing during the pandemic. While all the unknowns may make predictions futile, what’s clear is Krueger’s roster now is better than the one he had last fall.

With that in mind, The Buffalo News’ Mike Harrington and Lance Lysowski answered eight lingering questions ahead of the Sabres’ season opener against the Washington Capitals:

Aside from Jack Eichel and Taylor Hall, which player is most important to the Sabres’ playoff chances?

Harrington: Rasmus Dahlin. The offensive numbers have been historic for a teenager over his first two years but his overall play has not been. Dallas’ Miro Heiskanen, the No. 3 pick in 2017, has already played in a Stanley Cup final and is pushing Norris Trophy candidacy. Dahlin needs to become more of a game-changer like that in year three. Get the puck out of the zone and up…

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