Krueger: 'We feel there's an upside to the group'

The Sabres head coach joined Howard and Jeremy following Buffalo's 4-1 loss to the Wild on Tuesday

Howard & Jeremy | Weekdays 6a-10a
November 20, 2019 - 11:03 am

Despite snapping a six-game losing streak this weekend against the Ottawa Senators, the Buffalo Sabres are still on a downward trend since the calendar turned to November.

After a 9-2-2 record to start the season in October, the Sabres have significantly cooled off with a 1-6-1 record in eight games in November. 

The most recent loss came at the hands of the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night at KeyBank Center, who entered the night as the NHL's worst team with 16 points in the standings. Buffalo never got anything going offensively until is was already too late in a 4-1 loss.

Up next for the Sabres, the schedule does not get any easier as the team will embark on a three-game road trip, starting on Thursday night against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Buffalo will then head to the Sunshine State over the weekend to take on the Florida Panthers late Sunday afternoon, and then have another meeting with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night.

If the Sabres want to avoid falling down the standings any more than they already have, they will need to get as many points as possible before returning home for a matchup with the Calgary Flames, followed by a home-and-home series with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger joined Howard and Jeremy on Wednesday morning for his weekly appearance on WGR. Krueger spoke of the team's recent struggles, as well as how the team is trying to get back on track, some injury updates, and much more.

Here is some of what he had to say:


Krueger on the team's recent struggles:

"There's always multiple things you can look at. When he had the winning streak going, there were things we were working on that we weren't happy with and we tried to change. Now, the things we're not happy with and we're working on and trying to change are magnified. It comes down to details. There's little moments in games where we're giving up what we were good at, slight changes on the way we're forechecking and defending, and especially in the offense we're frustrated right now on the power play, which has gone quite cold. We're just not creating the offense that we did. We knew it was a project. We know we had a lot of details to work on to make them into habits, but we're at a frustrating point right now, but no body has their heads down. The guys have their heads up, they're working hard, and we believe we'll find a way out of this."


Krueger on the message the Sabres' organization is trying to send:

"It's about developing the best possible version of the Sabres this season. We feel there's a lot of good things happening. We feel there's an upside to the group. We're going to get some bodies back here in the next few days. Some key injuries that are not an excuse, but it will be good to get them back and help solidify the game we need to play again. Right now, we're working on today with what needs to be improved to get better for Boston tomorrow and that's it."

"The only way you can make things better now is by taking care of things that are manageable and what's in your control... We need to turn this on our own. We need to work on. What I know what to do in this situation is to work hard and stay focused. The language from outside, any noise that's trying to distract us from this, we need to leave it outside, and inside the room we need to focus on the things that we can control and change. That's our next challenge, which is Boston.


Krueger on his conversations with general manager Jason Botterill about the team:

"We're speaking every single day since I've signed, which is an excellent process. Jason and I are strongly connected. In the end, it doesn't affect what I do when I go to the rink, and that's work with the players that are healthy, work with the players that are there, and work with the lineup we have and do the best with this group. The big picture is being run by Jason and his management team. I've got a coaching staff dealing on the day-to-day, but we are strongly connected. Through training camp all the way through the season, every day we're speaking about where this organization wants to go and how we can get there, and which players can do it for us. He's dealing with that, and I'm dealing with getting players ready every day."


Krueger on the injury statuses of Marcus Johansson and Johan Larsson:

"Johansson and Larsson are both day-to-day and are both possible for Boston. We're doing evaluation this morning, and we'll decide as the day progresses whether they join us in Boston or whether they enter in Florida. But we're expecting both of them back quite soon."


You can listen to his entire interview below:

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