Housley: 'I'm really happy for our fans'

The Sabres head coach joined Howard and Jeremy as his team looks for 10 straight wins on Tuesday night

Howard & Jeremy | Weekdays 6a-10a
November 27, 2018 - 1:53 pm

Photo: Kevin Hoffman - USA TODAY Sports

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It has been quite the run for the Buffalo Sabres over the past few weeks.

Since November 8, the Sabres have won nine straight games to improve their record to 16-6-2, and currently sit tied for second place in the Eastern Conference standings at 34 points, just one point back of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

On Tuesday night at KeyBank Center, the Sabres will look to tie a franchise record for the most consecutive wins as they host former Sabres winger Evander Kane and the San Jose Sharks.

Sabres head coach Phil Housley has been very pleased with his team's efforts over the course of the winning streak. He took some time to join Howard Simon and Jeremy White on Tuesday for his regular visit on WGR.

Here is some of what he had to say:

 

Housley on the team's play during the tough stretch of their nine-game winning streak:

"We went through that stretch playing a lot of good hockey teams in six games in nine night. I credit the guys to find the energy, especially on those back-to-backs going to Winnipeg and a shortened schedule going to Minnesota, and especially Montreal and Detroit. I thought Detroit played a terrific hockey game, and we were able to scrape out two points, so I really credit our guys for that."

"It just shows that these guys have stayed the course. We bend a little bit, but we don't break. We stay with it, and it's excellent focus and concentration on our players' part."

 

Housley on Tage Thompson's play:

"You go back to training camp - he earned a spot on our team, and I think people forget that. He probably didn't have the start he wanted. I think he took a step back, and I think it's not a bad thing to take a step back. Get a different perspective, watch a game, watch guys in your position, and then he's got an opportunity. These guys are young players and we're going to have to be patient, but he made the most of his opportunity when he got back in the lineup."

"The basic foundation for him is just using his instincts and using his skill, and that relayed into a goal. Obviously you get some confidence, and now we can see the type of player Tage is, the player he was in training camp. I give him credit - sometimes it can be tough and frustrating when you're not in the flow of a game or getting the minutes because of penalties or we're on a power play, but he's been really good right now and we have to keep him going."

"His development is right where it needs to be. The one thing I do see with him is it's all about his puck battles. He's winning a lot more puck battles, he's stronger on his stick and he's been able to come up with those pucks. That's a great sign."

 

Housley on Kyle Okposo's impact on this roster:

"He's a power forward. He's a big, heavy guy that gets down in the corners and gets guys on his backs, and does a terrific job of stripping pucks from behind. That third period [in Detroit], he was a dog on a bone. A lot of our guys would just not let the other team off the hook. If there was a puck to be had or a race to win, I thought our guys did a terrific job. When we didn't have it, we were getting on top of people and making it difficult on them. Kyle is being one of our leaders, leads by example in that way, and it's been infectious around our team. He's done a terrific job of bouncing back - [last year] was a tough year for him, but he's definitely been one of our leaders to come forward and set that example."

 

Housley on the fans and the support of this team:

"I'm really happy for our fans. Last year was a tough year, especially at home. The guys have really made it a point to have good starts and try to get the fans into it, whether it's establishing our forecheck or just trying to hound pucks. It's been great for the players. The players really feed off our fans. They've done a terrific job and they continue to support us, which is great for us.

 

You can listen to the entire interview below:

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