May 7, 2013, 3:12 PM EST
Shortly after dropping his interim tag and officially being named Buffalo Sabres head coach, Ron Rolston discussed what the future had in store.
The postseason, specifically.
“You’re looking at a team next year that’s a playoff-caliber team,” Rolston told the Buffalo News. “At the end of the day we want to be a playoff team that can make long runs and do what we want to do here [win a Stanley Cup].”
The Sabres have missed the last two playoffs and haven’t won a postseason round since 2007.
So the new coach has his work cut out for him.
That said, there were signs his coaching style worked with most of the current group. Buffalo rebounded from a 6-10-1 start under Lindy Ruff to go 15-11-5 under Rolston, including an 8-4-0 mark in April.
Young players seemed to thrive under Rolston as well.
Tyler Ennis finished the year with 31 points in 47 games — a 54-point pace over a full campaign — while Cody Hodgson finished with 15G-19A, nearly matching his career high in points (41 in 2011-12) despite playing in roughly half the amount of games.
Rolston acknowledged that, despite his optimistic outlook, there are still areas needing major improvement.
Buffalo finished 26th on the penalty kill last season and 29th on the power play. In today’s presser, he said he’s going to take his time in figuring out which direction the Sabres want to go with coaches for special teams.
One name worth keeping an eye on?
Rolston’s brother, Brian, who recently announced his retirement after 17 seasons in the NHL.
“I don’t know if [Brian's] ready to move into that phase of things yet from player to coach, but he has certainly through this process provided a lot of great, great feedback in terms of players, coaches, systems,” Ron Rolston explained.
“He had the ability to play for some of the best coaches in this game whether it was Pat Burns or Jacques Lemaire, he played for some great coaches, so he was able to provide both a player’s perspective and what those great coaches, you know what made them great.
“Moving forward, he’s somebody that I’ll always have as a sounding board to communicate with.”
Nov 22, 2014, 11:32 AM EST
Tough loss for Vancouver.
Nov 22, 2014, 11:07 AM EST
His goal got the biggest reaction in Columbus on Friday.
Nov 22, 2014, 10:20 AM EST
He’s been hot in the AHL lately.
Nov 22, 2014, 9:45 AM EST
(Waits for “everything” jokes.)
Nov 22, 2014, 1:45 AM EST
Nov 22, 2014, 12:40 AM EST
Booed off the ice at the end of this game.
Nov 21, 2014, 11:52 PM EST
It was nice.
Nov 21, 2014, 11:29 PM EST
Going from bad to worse for Edmonton.
Nov 21, 2014, 10:51 PM EST
Lucic didn’t drop his gloves. Prout did. History between these two.
Nov 21, 2014, 10:17 PM EST
There’s a history between these two.
Nov 21, 2014, 10:02 PM EST
Columbus was leading 2-0 at the time.
Nov 21, 2014, 9:40 PM EST
Ranks seventh in the NHL in ice time.
Nov 21, 2014, 8:49 PM EST
Possible headbutt in this fight?
Nov 21, 2014, 8:11 PM EST
They’ve won big and they’ve lost big.
Nov 21, 2014, 7:14 PM EST
A San Jose draft pick from 2008.
Nov 21, 2014, 6:37 PM EST
Avs call up a trio of players from the AHL.
Nov 21, 2014, 5:31 PM EST
“I really feel bad for him. It appears his parents mismanaged his money.”
Nov 21, 2014, 4:40 PM EST
Pursuant to the “Bona Fide Long-Term Injury Exception” section of the CBA.
Nov 21, 2014, 4:21 PM EST
That’s a guy shoveling snow off his roof in Buffalo.
Nov 21, 2014, 3:43 PM EST
D-man for d-man.
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