When it rains, it pours. And in Buffalo, they are in the midst of a terrible storm.
Losing games is never easy. But for the Buffalo Sabres, losing night-in and night-out has become a regular occurrence. In the middle of a 12-game losing streak, the Buffalo Sabres have decided to part ways with head coach Ralph Krueger.
Currently, there is no mention of who will replace Krueger behind the Sabres’ bench on a full-time basis.
Krueger’s firing comes two weeks after general manager Kevyn Adams said the team would be evaluating the entire operation. Entering the Sabres’ next slate of games, Buffalo is on the verge of extending their playoff drought to 10-seasons, which would match an NHL record.
Buffalo’s current 12-game skid is the third-worst in team history. The team has 6 wins this year, which also ties the number of times they have been shutout this season.
Since the firing of Lindy Ruff in 2013, the Sabres have cycled through 5 different head coaches, including Krueger. Waiting for the newly appointed coach, the Sabres will have had 6 coaches since Ruff departed in 2013. Ruff was the Sabres’ longest-tenured coach, working with the team from 1997 to 2013.
Assistant coach Don Granato will take over the coaching duties on an interim basis, according to reports but there has been no indication of naming Granato as the full-time coach.
Krueger was in his second season with the Sabres after returning to the NHL following a six-year hiatus. He was fired by the Edmonton Oilers in 2013 and then left to become the director of Premier League club Southampton.
Even with a full-time coach, the Sabres’ Stanley Cup odds are grim. Buffalo will most likely miss the playoffs and their playoff odds reflect that. Buffalo is listed at +75000 to win the Stanley Cup this season, tied with the Detroit Red Wings for worst odds in the NHL.
Last night’s loss to the Devils was another major bump in the road for Buffalo. The Sabres are six-points behind New Jersey, who have two games in hand on the struggling Sabres.
The Sabres have not lived up to expectations, to say the least. The team signed Taylor Hall, who hasn’t lived up to the hype. Jeff Skinner has been a high-priced disappointment and Jack Eichel has missed significant time with injury.
Buffalo is now looking at the future. With the draft and free agency looming, huge pieces could be acquired by the Sabres – but they could also lose a number of players searching for greener pastures.
The Sabres’ coaching change should see Granato behind the bench for the remainder of the season. In the off-season, Buffalo can then focus on finding a coach that suits the team.
There are a number of notable coaches available to sign with the team, but the conditions don’t seem pleasing.
The Sabres now prepare for a two-game stint against the Boston Bruins, which starts Thursday evening.