Sabres' Mittelstadt is building with each game

November 03, 2018 - 4:27 pm
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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - In 20 NHL games, Casey Mittelstadt has three goals and seven assists for 10 points. This season he has just two goals and three assists in 14 games. A goal and an assist came in Saturday's game against Ottawa. 

The rookie has had trouble offensively to start this season. He said, “It’s tough, we’re getting chances, I think last game we had quite a few I mean it’s been like that all year. I think, we’re getting chances and then we miss one and they go down and score, but I think we definitely have got to step up here and get something going.”

Mittelstadt has just four points and is minus four on the season. He said, “I have to just keep going at it and when we get our chances, bear down and once we start getting a few, it seems to flow, so we’ll try to step it up here.”

For Mittelstadt it isn’t all about points. Last year he was a freshman at Minnesota and the year before that, he was playing high school hockey. He said there was much that needed to change in his game, “There’s other things I’ve been working on that have gotten a lot better in my game, I’ve won a lot of faceoffs the last two games (He was 4-of-7 in Ottawa and 7-of-10 against Calgary), we’ve had more zone time playing with the puck.”

From where I sit, it seems like Mittelstadt gets slightly better every game. He agrees, “Yes, for sure, I think defensively I feel more confident and I feel like I can play against all the good lines now and just overall I think I feel more confident, so sometimes it does get frustrating because for me, I’ve never really had to worry about offense. I mean it’s one thing I can do, I’ve always been able to play with the puck, so I’ve still got confidence with the puck, I still think I can make plays.

"I’m not too worried about that and once you have a big night or a couple of big games, you get going, so it’s a long season, there’s a lot of games left.”

Mittelstadt is only 19-years-old, so I wondered if not scoring is getting to him. He said, “I don’t know if I’d use the word pressure, I’ve always been really hard on myself, I expect a lot out of myself, but at the same time I think it’s good at drawing the line where it doesn’t help me to keep dragging on myself, so I think it’s nice to get away from the rink and have roommates that help you get away from the game.

“It gets frustrating, but for me I love to play with the puck and make plays and it usually comes for me, so it’s been tough, but we’ll get going here.”

After the game Mittelstadt was all smiles. He knows a game like Saturday can get a point producer going. Jack Eichel slumped for four games and since then, he has 12 points in seven games. Now Mittelstadt isn't Eichel, but he's hoping the offense will now start flowing.

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