Sabres' Housley took the team through a not-so-fun video session

Buffalo faces Calgary on Wednesday night

Paul Hamilton
January 15, 2019 - 6:40 pm

Photo: Matt Kartozian - USA TODAY Sports


Calgary, AB (WGR 550) - On Tuesday, Phil Housley had a long, intense video session following their worst loss of the season in Edmonton. The session was followed by a 35-minute on-ice practice. Housley said, “I think it’s more just being honest with each other. Obviously we didn’t like the way we played and to move forward, sometimes you have to take a step back and look at what’s going on and a lot of it is the odd man rushes and the puck management and just having a greater respect when we don’t have the puck that something bad could happen and we didn’t have enough respect yesterday and it cost us.”

The Sabres' defensive game has been slipping for the better part of a month now. Jason Pominville said you could see Monday in Edmonton coming, “I feel like it’s been a trend lately where we’ve been giving up too many odd man rushes, too many prime scoring opportunities and the chances that we gave up were just way too good, we’re putting our goalies in a tough spot, we’re not respecting the game defensively and it’s cost us.”

Pominville said the video session was uncomfortable, but had to happen, “Video like that is never fun, but I think it’s good to go through that and it helps us move forward and really see the stuff that we haven’t been doing well lately.”

One disturbing trend the Sabres have had for more than a few years is giving up a goal right after scoring one. So far this season, the Sabres have been scored on 17 times within two minutes after scoring. Housley said, “It’s really just realizing the situation. I go back to the game against Tampa, we get an all important goal to take a lead and that next shift is so important and this time of the year, the detail part of our game has to get better realizing the scoreboard, knowing the situation when you step out on the ice, these things are important.

“Sometimes we take it for granted, maybe its mismanagement, maybe it’s just making the smart play or it might be just swallowing your pride and keeping the puck moving forward. It’s just not forcing things that aren't there so we can stay with our momentum.”

Pominville has played over 1,000 games in the National Hockey League, so he’s seen it all. He said, “I think it comes down to attention to detail. You just scored a goal, you get momentum, you get life and the next shift is get it deep, try to work it down low, try to keep that momentum going on our side and if you look back and find out that we are not responding in the right way, it’s probably because our attention to details aren’t where it needs to be."

Zach Bogosian knows how bad things were in Edmonton, and he said they will rebound on Wednesday, “It’s pretty easy, that was just a terrible game by us. That’s not the game we want to play, that’s not how we want to be as a group and as far as I’m concerned, it’s a pretty easy bounce back game for us tomorrow night."

In their last two games, Cater Hutton is 0-2-0 with a 6.53 goals-against and .786 save percentage. Linus Ullmark is 0-1-0 with a 4.46 goals-against and .837 save percentage.

In those two games, four of the goals scored against Hutton went in off his own defensemen. Phil Housley said, “I give Carter a lot of credit for battling through these situations. Right now, the puck’s not on his side. Things aren’t going his way so we took a look at that and we’ll make a decision tomorrow.

“I know there are a lot of people down on him, but you think of the games that he’s given us, he’s going through a tough stretch and a lot of it isn’t just him, it’s the people around him.”

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