Sabres' Thompson is learning as he waits for another chance to play

October 26, 2018 - 2:17 pm

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Tage Thompson has struggled so far in his first season with the Sabres. Thompson has been a healthy scratch in the last three games and will be hard pressed to get back into the lineup because Buffalo has won all three games.

Phil Housley said he scratched Thompson because he wanted him to get a look at the game from a different perspective. The young winger said, “Watching from up top is a different game, it’s a lot easier to see the game from up top, so it was nice to take a step back.

“Obviously you don’t want to be out of the lineup, but it was good get to get a little break there, see the game from a different perspective and realize that I have more time out there to make plays, not to grip my stick too tight and now I know next time I get in, they’ll be open.”

Thompson is a big man, but skating fast is not a problem for him. He said, “It’s a fast moving game, not only moving your feet, but making plays with the puck fast, knowing what you’re going to do with it before you even get the puck, so it’s a constant reminder that you’ve always got to be thinking two plays ahead.”

Thompson has one of the best shots on the team, but he rarely uses it because he’s not in good shooting position. Thompson said, “I see that I have more time to make plays and not to panic with the puck, just relax and play my game and I think now I’m going to go into the game with some confidence and just play my game and play hard.”

I think a weakness in Thompson’s game is not engaging in enough battles. The winger said the coaches have told him that’s what got him out of the lineup, “Yes, that’s why I got pulled out and it’s just a learning curve. I’m still young and I’m very fortunate to be in a opportunity with coaches and teammates that are willing to work with me and allow me to make mistakes and help me fix them, so there are some things that I need to clean up and when I get the opportunity I’m just going to work on those.”

Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart and Conor Sheary were all given maintenance days and missed practice on Friday. Phil Housley said he expects all three to play on Saturday in Columbus.

 

Friday’s lines:

 

Skinner  Rodrigues  Pominville

Berglund  Larsson  Girgensons

Beaulieu  Sobotka  Elie

Thompson  Mittelstadt  Okposo

 

McCabe  Ristolainen

Scandella  Bogosian

Dahlin  Nelson

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