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SABRES FOCUS ON IMPROVING POWER PLAY

Tuesday, 11.26.2013 / 2:09 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com / BEYOND THE BOARDS
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BEYOND THE BOARDS
SABRES FOCUS ON IMPROVING POWER PLAY

Buffalo Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan has been on the job for almost two weeks now and continues to work on getting players settled in on his systems and the types of things he expects from them.

In addition to even-strength play, the power play is an aspect of the game the team looks to continue to improve on. The Sabres are 3-for-15 with 25 shots on goal with the man-advantage in the five games since Nolan was put in charge.

The team spent time working on the power play Tuesday morning at First Niagara Center in preparation for their home game against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

The first unit featured Matt Moulson, Cody Hodgson and Tyler Ennis up front with Tyler Myers and Christian Ehrhoff at the points. Ville Leino, Steve Ott, Drew Stafford, Brayden McNabb and Mark Pysyk made up the second unit, with Luke Adam rotating in and out.

TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE FOR WEDNESDAY VS. MONTREAL

Nolan said that in order to be successful, the units need to keep making simple plays and generate more traffic in the areas around the crease.

“We’re not setting the League on fire so we have to make sure we simplify our game and that’s in all aspects of it, whether it’s 5-on-5 or power play,” he said. “We just have to make sure we do the simple things, get shots on net, create some rebounds. A majority of the goaltenders in this league will stop you even if you have a point-blank shot from the slot. We have to create some traffic in front of it.”

WATCH: LUKE ADAM INTERVIEW

The team spent time working on maintaining possession in the offensive third with the man advantage and reading the types of defensive coverage they’re facing.

“You just have to take what they give you. Every team is pretty much the same,” Leino said. “They pressure when they don’t have possession, they’re trying to block shots and so on.”


Nolan has talked about how the trust level on the ice may not be very high at the moment, but he said Tuesday that he’s seen progress in that regard the past few days.

“I see it growing, not on leaps and bounds, but I see it growing every day. The guys are getting a little bit more comfortable in what’s expected and using their ability, which they have, he said. “Ville Leino’s, I think, a really highly skilled player but he was playing a little bit differently than what his skill set is. So we’ve got to get him back to that. I think it all has to do with comfort zone.”

WATCH: TED NOLAN'S PRESS CONFERENCE

One of the first changes Nolan made to the lineup when he took over behind the bench on Nov. 13 was moving Leino back to center ice.

“It’s been pretty good. It’s a lot more work in the defensive zone so you don’t really get to rest at all but it’s been better,” Leino said. “I think last game for me was pretty good even though there was not a lot of goals or so, but it’s been better and I feel more comfortable.”

WATCH: VILLE LEINO INTERVIEW

In trying to foster an atmosphere in which players can thrive out of familiarity, the Sabres once again practiced with no changes to the line combinations or defensive pairings. Left wing Matt Moulson has skated almost exclusively with center Hodgson since the team acquired him from the New York Islanders on Oct. 27. Stafford has been their linemate as of late.

“The more you play with guys, the more you feel comfortable out there,” Moulson said. “I know it’s definitely the case with myself, I think. The more you get to know guys, their tendencies, it makes reading and reacting a lot easier out there.”


26 Matt Moulson – 19 Cody Hodgson – 21 Drew Stafford
63 Tyler Ennis – 23 Ville Leino – 9 Steve Ott
72 Luke Adam – 25 Mikhail Grigorenko – 28 Zemgus Girgensons
82 Marcus Foligno – 65 Brian Flynn – 78 Corey Tropp
32 John Scott

10 Christian Ehrhoff – 52 Alexander Sulzer
20 Henrik Tallinder – 57 Tyler Myers
44 Brayden McNabb – 3 Mark Pysyk
6 Mike Weber – 4 Jamie McBain

30 Ryan Miller
1 Jhonas Enroth

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82