Botterill: 'We're disappointed we're not in the playoff run right now'

The Sabres general manager joined Schopp and the Bulldog before Buffalo's game against Toronto on Wednesday

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March 20, 2019 - 6:56 pm

Photo: Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres)


With just 10 games left in the 2018-19 season, the Buffalo Sabres organization is seeing the season end in disappointment after seeing the team rail off a 10-game winning streak and sit atop the NHL's standings early in the season. With the team struggling since then and unable to win back-to-back games since December, Buffalo will miss the postseason for the eighth straight season. Despite that, some of the youth in the organization, like winger Alex Nylander, is showing promise and giving fans something to watch for in the final stretch games.

Sabres general manager Jason Botterill joined Schopp and the Bulldog on Wednesday to talk about the season, some of the team's younger players, head coach Phil Housley and more.

Here is some of what Botterill had to say: 


Botterill on the disappointing end to the season: 

"Just like our players and our coaching staff, we're disappointed we're not in the playoff run right now. But, it's a situation where, whether it's a Rasmus Dahlin, whether it's Sam Reinhart having a career year or it's Jack Eichel continuing to take on a leadership role as our captain, we're excited about the development of our young players. 

"Now it's focusing in on these last 10 games to continue their development, day in, day out, and making the validation on what we have to do to have a successful summer and put ourselves in position next year." 


Botterill on if there are other players that the Sabres will call up: 

"You're limited from the National Hockey League-standpoint, because you're allowed four recalls. So, instead of bringing up the entire team, let's be honest. One of our lines has been very successful down there. [Victor] Olofsson, [Rasmus] Asplund, [Danny] O'Regan, they all deserve an opportunity to come up and get games. Some of our young defensemen like Will Borgen, he's played very physical, you'd like to get him a couple of games. Same thing with Lawrence Pilut, try and give him an opportunity again." 

"You'd like to bring them all up, unfortunately with the rules, you can't make it from that standpoint. But it's something we'll continue to evaluate to try and find room and spots for the guys." 


Botterill on the play of Alex Nylander so far in Buffalo: 

"We felt he played well in Rochester leading up to the call up. First couple of games, he was fairly hesitant on the ice. This past weekend he really took a step forward being more assertive out there, being around the puck. He got the two assists in the game on Sunday against St. Louis, but I also thought he created some good chances in Carolina there too." 


Botterill on the lineup decisions of head coach Phil Housley: 

"I'm in discussion with Phil, and Phil is in discussion with his coaching staff, and there is always communication about what the lineup is going to be. The coach will, obviously, make the final decision but there's always communication on that." 

"I can't say how it is in every team and we're always in discussion on the injury front. Because that's the thing that's always come in, where are players, how are they doing from a health standpoint, when we do bring up players from Rochester - how they've been playing in Rochester, what roles they've been playing in Rochester. We always have the dialogue between management and coaches from what do we see from above to what they see below." 


You can listen to the entire interview below: 

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