Skip to content

Sabres coach Nolan sees growth despite mounting losses

Dec 14, 2013, 10:36 AM EDT

Buffalo Sabres head coach Ted Nolan, left, takes his place behind the bench before an NHL hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Buffalo, N.Y., Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert) AP

Firing bench boss Ron Rolston didn’t pay immediate dividends for the Buffalo Sabres. After all, the team is just 3-8-1 under Ted Nolan.

That’s not surprising. Buffalo was never expected to be anywhere near good this season, so it would have been truly remarkable had Nolan found a way to nearly instantly turn Buffalo into a contender.

So the Sabres remain a project, but at least Nolan is seeing signs that they are making progress.

“Before you can compete you have to trust. You have to be reliable and you have to be accountable,” Nolan told the Buffalo News. “Right now and in the last couple games, I really felt the guys are competing hard and they’re trusting one another. They’re feeling good about themselves. … Overall the trust is coming and the compete level is coming and everything is going in the right direction.”

He’s not alone in that belief. Although Buffalo suffered a 2-1 loss on Thursday to Ottawa, Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller felt it “was one of our better efforts.”

The Sabres already 19 points out of a playoff spot, so even with more than half the season left, the practical question is if they can give their fanbase reasons to be hopeful for the 2014-15 campaign.

Latest Posts
  1. Wild focus on handling Avs’ speed

    Apr 20, 2014, 1:15 AM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Colorado Avalanche - Game Two Getty Images

    “You can’t defend on your heels,” Ryan Suter said.

  2. MacKinnon, Avs shine against Wild, take 2-0 series lead

    Apr 20, 2014, 12:35 AM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Colorado Avalanche - Game Two Getty Images

    Colorado overcomes some strange officiating late in Game 2.

  3. Video: Roenick says MacKinnon is more dominant at 18 than Crosby was

    Apr 19, 2014, 11:56 PM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Colorado Avalanche - Game Two Getty Images

    Colorado’s rookie sensation is inspiring some bold words.

  4. Red-hot Avs chase Bryzgalov in second period

    Apr 19, 2014, 11:19 PM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Colorado Avalanche - Game One Getty Images

    Colorado might want to keep Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon together.

  5. Blue Jackets’ Tyutin appears to suffer injury

    Apr 19, 2014, 10:33 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    The defenseman last played in the first period.

  6. Video: Nathan MacKinnon’s first career playoff goal is gorgeous

    Apr 19, 2014, 10:18 PM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Colorado Avalanche - Game Two Getty Images

    He’s clearly not wilting in the postseason spotlight.

  7. Hitchcock’s Backes update: He’s not great

    Apr 19, 2014, 7:22 PM EDT

    St Louis Blues v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    The Blues coach mostly pleads the fifth.

  8. Seabrook: ‘I was just trying to make a play on Backes’

    Apr 19, 2014, 6:52 PM EDT

    Brent Seabrook Getty Images

    His play may wind up costing him a suspension.

  9. WATCH LIVE: Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins (Game 2)

    Apr 19, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT

    Evgeni Malkin, Derek MacKenzie AP

    Pittsburgh carries a 1-0 series lead into Saturday.

  10. Video: Bryan Bickell goes knee-on-knee with Vladimir Sobotka

    Apr 19, 2014, 6:11 PM EDT

    Chicago Blackhawks v St. Louis Blues - Game Two Getty Images

    His penalty got things going in the wrong direction for Chicago.

  11. Video: Blues’ Shattenkirk beats the buzzer in first period

    Apr 19, 2014, 5:08 PM EDT

    Kevin Shattenkirk AP

    His goal is the difference in the game through two.

  12. Roy: Duchene will likely miss entire first round

    Apr 19, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT

    Matt Duchene Getty Images

    He’s been out since March 29 with a knee injury.

Featured video

Detroit must exploit Boston's young D
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. T. Oshie (4366)
  2. M. Duchene (3711)
  3. E. Malkin (3389)
  4. B. Bishop (2976)
  5. D. Backes (2586)
  1. H. Zetterberg (2556)
  2. O. Palat (2550)
  3. R. Getzlaf (2412)
  4. S. Mason (2373)
  5. V. Tarasenko (2357)