Phil Housley’s job is safe. General manager Jason Botterill backed his coach today, saying that despite their recent struggles, the reeling Buffalo Sabres have grown this season.
“We’ve made progress as an organization compared to last year,” Botterill told reporters in Tampa Bay, where the Sabres play the Lightning on Thursday. “We’ve been in a position where we’ve been in games. I’ve see the results on the ice, I see the communication we’re going through here. There’s not going to be a coaching change.”
The Sabres’ once-promising season has completely fallen apart. When they played Nov. 29 in Tampa Bay, they roared into town riding a 10-game winning streak and ranked first overall.
Today, the Lightning have a 33-point lead on the 10th-place Sabres, who, incredibly, have won just 11 games since Tampa Bay ended their run.
The Sabres, who are six points out of the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot, have earned the third-fewest points (27) in the NHL since then.
“The coaching staff has done a very good job,” Botterill said. “They’ve communicated with our players. They’ve continued to work at trying to find different methods of getting their message across to them.”