Buffalo Changes Head Coach With Firing of Ralph Krueger
After one and a half seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Ralph Krueger was released from his duties as head coach. This was a change that all of Buffalo was waiting for after a less than stellar start to the 2021 season. The Sabres are currently 6-18-4 and have lost their last 12 contests. Their most recent loss came on Tuesday, March 16 to the New Jersey Devils. On the morning of Wednesday, March 17, the team announced the firing of their head coach.
The Buffalo Sabres have not yet replaced Krueger with a full time coach. They have however brought in an interim coaching staff in hopes to isolate the organization’s flaws. Don Granato has been tasked with managing the Sabres bench. In addition to Granato, Matt Ellis and Dan Girardi have been named interim assistant coaches for the team.
The Sabres Temporary Coaching Staff
Although this was the change Buffalo was waiting for, a difficult road still lies ahead for the otherwise hopeless organization. As interim head coach, there is no saying how long Don Granato will be behind the bench of the Sabres. However, this is not his first kick at the can in the coaching world. Granato spent seven seasons on the St. Louis Blues coaching staff, and has since coached at the AHL level as well as for Team USA and the National Development Team.
One name that may sound familiar is that of Matt Ellis. Ellis spent time playing for the Buffalo Sabres and has since worked within player development. Dan Girardi, similarly to his counterpart, played in the National Hockey League for 13 years and was recently hired to be apart of the Sabres development team before receiving his new role.
Will The Changes Make A Difference?
There is no telling weather or not these changes will make a difference for the Buffalo Sabres. New faces always provide new hope, but the Sabres are not yet out of the dog house. The new coaching staff is inheriting a severely underperforming line up. Furthermore, the lineup is by no means healthy. The biggest factor there being the unknown injury status of team captain Jack Eichel.
On the bright side, it was evident that Krueger has lost the respect needed within a locker room to run this team properly. Therefore new faces may be the kickstart the team needed. In the past, the Sabres have experimented with unique coaches who employ new philosophies. This strategy has proven unsuccessful and left the organization at square one. It seems that the goal of this new staff is to weed out the unresolved problems within the lineup. Bringing in two former players like Ellis and Girardi may be exactly what the team needs. This is because former players understand the pulse of a locker room. They will see through the excuses and lingering drama and assess the exact situation the team is currently in. With less than half of the shortened season remaining, the new staff has been tasked with answering these questions.
The Sabres are scheduled to play their first game under their new coaching staff on Thursday, March 18. The game is expected to take place at home against the Boston Bruins at 7pm. However, be on the lookout for postponement due to potential Covid-19 protocol involving a staff member of the Buffalo Sabres.
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