Published by hockeybuzz.com, 10-30-2016
It wasn’t a thing of beauty, but it would have made former head coach Ted Nolan proud. Nolan, who twice had stints asd the Buffalo Sabres head coach was never aan X’s and O’s kinda guy, he just got his players to believe that if you worked hard and kept at it things would eventually go your way. Often times he was right, then again, he wasn’t right enough to remain coaching in an ever-evolving NHL. Yesterday was one of those games for the Sabres where it went right as they came away with a hard-earned, 3-0 shutout win against the Florida Panthers at KeyBank Center.
For the time being, possession is the trend d’jour in the NHL and the Panthers went heavily in that direction this off season. After making the playoffs for the first time in three years with a good, young mix of talented young players that look to be on the rise, management made the decision to upgrade the blueline with analytics darlings like former NY Ranger Keith Yandel and former Sabre, Mark Pysyk. In the process they traded away gritty, Nolanesque type d-men in Eric Gudbranson, who went to Vancouver and Dmitry Kulikov, who was part of the Pysyk trade.