The Buffalo Sabres have decided to fire head coach Ralph Krueger Wednesday. Assistant coach Don Granato will preside as interim head coach.
The Sabres’ Ongoing Problems this Season
The Sabres are 6-18-4 this season thanks to a 12-game losing streak that the team has been slumped into. In addition, the Sabres only have a .286 winning percentage.
With the recent struggles the team has been sufferring, the Sabres have decided that Krueger needed to go.
Krueger has been the Sabres’ head coach for only two years, recording a 36-49-12 record in 97 games. With Krueger as coach, the Sabres have a .433 win percentage that is the third-worst in the NHL right now.
Behind the Sabres include the Ottawa Senators (.433 win percentage) and the Detroit Red Wings (.302 win percentage).
Because of the Sabres’ performance this season, everything was being evaluated under General Manager Kevyn Adams.
This, of course, includes all players and coaching staff. In Adams’ perspective, the way things were going for the team were, “unacceptable.”
This is what any GM would say regarding an ugly performance of their team. It is evident that changes were going to be made, and soon.
The first change is Krueger being fired. However, there is no doubt that will be the only change Adams plans to make.
It is likely that a handful of players will be leaving the team soon.
Looking Ahead to the Future
There have been some changes amongst the Sabres’ roster that occurred last year.
Now, the Sabres will have to play against the Boston Bruins tonight at 6 p.m. It will be a tough matchup and with the recent coaching changes, things will certainly be difficult for the Sabres to adapt to.
It is clear that expectations will be very high in tonight’s matchup. Adams will expect nothing but the best from his team. The entire Sabres roster will need to put their best foot forward to prove to Adams that they deserve to stay on the team. Those who don’t live up to those expectations may end up a free agent soon.
On top of that, Don Granato will have high expectations as interim coach. He will have to do everything possible to get the Sabres on the winning side of things.
Of course, there’s no doubt that Adams is already working on searching for a permanent head coach to fill Krueger’s role. But until he finds the perfect replacement, Granato will have to give it his all, especially tonight against the Bruins.
The good news for Granato is that he has plenty of experience behind him as head coach on his resume. He has coached in the AHL for Worcester (2000-2005) and Chicago (2008-10). This helps.
Before that, he coached Green Bay and Wisconsin from 1993-97 in the United States Hockey League.
In addition, he won the ECHL’s Kelly Cup with Peoria in 2000 and was named AHL coach of the year in 2001.
This definitely helps Granato stand out. But he will still need to put in a lot of work as interim coach of the Sabres, no matter how temporary his job may be.
Right now, Granato will have to fix a team that has little to no playoff chances, unless they change. If the Sabres can win and rack up on plenty of points before next month, that would be great.