The Sabres got to know each other better in California

Brandon Montour will not be back at practice this week

Paul Hamilton
October 21, 2019 - 4:57 pm

Photo: Stan Szeto - USA TODAY Sports

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - The Sabres went 2-1 on their west coast road trip, but it was the first time this group got to go out and spend six days together.

Ralph Krueger is big on the bond that teams have and newcomer Marcus Johansson enjoyed the quality time with his teammates, “It’s a big part of it, spending time together and doing other stuff than hockey and going for dinners and all that, I think that helps a lot and it’s a big part of building.”

Krueger will always keep an eye on that stuff. He said, “Off-ice, you could feel a natural organic kind of movement of the group together, whether it was to the meals or through the traveling. There was nothing forced, and I think that’s what you want to feel on their first road trip and the answer was probably the San Jose game. How we gave up three leads in a really, really tough building, to get a win, and never gave up on the way we wanted to go through the 60 minutes.”

Johansson knew they played well to start in Anaheim and Los Angeles, and then finished up well in San Jose. The center said, “We had parts in every game that we played really well, and then we stopped playing our game and let the other teams back into it. It shows that when we do play our game, we have success."

Carter Hutton had two shutouts last week and he’s proud of how the team handled things, “We hit some adversity, but we stuck with it and gave ourselves a chance. Going out there is never an easy trip because it’s tough teams to play against.”

Hutton knows there are going to be times when they have to play through tough times. He said, “It was good to see that sometimes when it is rough, we found a way to win here and it’s never easy going to those rinks playing back-to-back.” Hutton added, “It’s not always going to be pretty, we play 82 games and sometimes from the outside it’s frustrating and they’re like, ‘Where was the team that played the night before’, but in this league there are other teams that are good too and we’re not fooling anybody anymore, it’s not like we’re rolling into town and teams don’t know what we bring to the table, so we’re going to face teams and their best game.”

Krueger said that Brandon Montour is progressing well, but is not expected to be back practicing this week yet.

The Sabres finish up their home-and-home series with the Sharks on Tuesday.

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