BUFFALO – The analytics explosion hitting the NHL hasn’t been felt around the Sabres. Their coach, Ted Nolan, is an old-school guy. He doesn’t need advance stats to evaluate a player.
“The information I use is with my eyes and my soul and my heart,” Nolan said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “If I see someone who’s competing and I know he’s competing, that’s good enough for me. I don’t need a machine telling me how hard he worked. I can see it myself.
“There’s some of that data you can use for how many calories they burn and so forth. But my No. 1 analytic is you score one more goal than the opposition you win.”
Nolan believes talent is still the true way of building a team.
“If you have a (Sidney) Crosby on your team, obviously you’re going to have a little bit more zone time,” he said. “If you have a (Anze) Kopitar on your team, you’re going to have a little bit more zone time. If you look at all the teams that make the playoffs, they make them for a reason, they’re better teams.
“What we want to do is become a better team, and doing that we get better players. It hasn’t changed since the 50s or 60s.”