BUFFALO – A month ago, recalling defenseman Mattias Samuelsson and giving one of their top prospects a taste of the NHL wasn’t an option for the Sabres.
They were in the midst of their marathon 18-game winless skid, and the defense corps, like every aspect of the team, was struggling. They couldn’t expose a rookie to that environment.
But the defense has been thriving under interim coach Don Granato and interim assistant Dan Girardi, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Barely a year after Henri Jokiharju established himself as one of the Sabres’ top defensemen, he started struggling so badly he was demoted to the taxi squad.
Jokiharju, 21, sat out 10 games earlier this season. At times, he looked nothing like the steady defender from 2019-20.
But Jokiharju has settled down under interim Sabres coach Don Granato, showcasing more confidence beside Rasmus Dahlin, his partner over the last eight games.
Jokiharju ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In the last week, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin has finally settled down and started showcasing a sturdier game under interim coach Don Granato.
Dahlin, whose ghastly minus-34 rating ranks last in the NHL, hasn’t suddenly recaptured his old form. Still, he has looked much more comfortable playing for Granato than he did under Ralph Krueger, who was fired March 17.
Simply playing a calmer, more composed style – Dahlin, 20, has ... Read the full article
Interim Buffalo Sabres coach Don Granato and assistant Matt Ellis have entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol and will be unavailable for tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team announced late this afternoon. General manager Kevyn Adams will coach the team.
Granato and Ellis are self-isolating, according to the team. Adams said they’re asymptomatic. Entering COVID-19 protocol doesn’t mean the person has tested positive.
The coaches, of course, were in close contact with the players, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Dan Girardi retired less than two years ago, so the ex-NHL defenseman was a contemporary to many of the Sabres.
If they knew Girardi as a player – despite going undrafted, he enjoyed a stellar 13-year career – they can likely relate to him as an assistant coach.
When the hapless Sabres fired coach Ralph Krueger on Wednesday, they also let go assistant coach Steve Smith. General manager Kevyn Adams wanted a fresh ... Read the full article
In explaining why he fired Ralph Krueger, Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams appealed to his players’ pride.
Adams wanted to keep Krueger, a coach he said his players believed in and “really, really love.” The rookie GM stood by him for weeks, allowing the Sabres to implode and their losing streak to balloon to 12 games.
But Wednesday morning, hours after the Sabres’ 3-2 road loss to the New Jersey Devils, Adams knew ... Read the full article
For the time being, Don Granato, a 53-year-old hockey lifer who has spent the last 27 years coaching or scouting in pro, college and junior, is leading the hapless Buffalo Sabres.
The Sabres on Wednesday named Granato their interim coach after firing Ralph Krueger in the midst of a 12-game losing streak.
Granato, who joined Krueger’s staff as an assistant last season, will be behind the bench tonight against the Boston Bruins at KeyBank ... Read the full article
The Buffalo Sabres fired coach Ralph Krueger this morning in the midst of a stunning stretch in which the hapless team has lost 12 consecutive games and 16 of 18 since its COVID-19 pause ended.
Don Granato, an assistant under Krueger, will serve as the Sabres’ interim coach, general manager Kevyn Adams said. The Sabres also fired Steve Smith, Krueger’s top assistant.
Matt Ellis, the Sabres’ director of player development, and Dan ... Read the full article
The Buffalo Sabres have hired former NHL defenseman Dan Girardi, who played 927 games, for a player development role, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Girardi, 36, grew up in Welland, Ontario, with Matt Ellis, the Sabres’ new director of player development. The two are close friends.
Despite going undrafted, Girardi, who began his career in the ECHL, played 13 seasons in the NHL. He spent 11 years with the New York Rangers before playing ... Read the full article