The Buffalo Sabers’ sacking of Buffalo Krueger on Wednesday left Taylor Hall sad and guilty.
Hall, a forward who signed a one-year $ 8 million deal with Buffalo on October 11, 2020 , mainly due to his close relationship with Krueger, has scored 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) in 28 games this season. The Sabers were 0-10-2 in Krueger’s last 12 games and are 6-18-4, most recently in the NHL. « It’s been a tough day, » said Hall before the Sabers, who played the Boston Bruins on Thursday hosted (7:00 p.m. ET; ESPN, SNE, SNO, SNP, TBAS, MSG-B, NESN, NHL.TV). « We didn’t do a job. I didn’t do a job for him and unfortunately he’s out of the building now. We couldn’t win any games for him through no fault of our own and now we are. » here. It must have been a tough day. «
Krueger and assistant Steve Smith have been sacked. Don Granato, former assistant at Krueger, takes over the position of coach. Development coaches Dan Girardi and Matt Ellis join Granato’s employees as assistants on the bench.
» Everyone has a lot of respect for Ralph, « said Saber’s right wing Kyle Okposo. » I think you [the media] have respect for Ralph. We do that in space. It’s just a tough day. It’s a tough day for everyone, but it’s our job to go out and compete and go out and play and we are going to do that for our organization, for the city of Buffalo. We trust Don to lead us there tonight, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. «
Okposo said he could sense a move was coming due to the recent Sabers game, but wasn’t sure if it would be a trade or a change of coach.
» Obvious it became a disastrous event with the media, « said Okposo. » There is a lot of noise outside the room, but inside the room we were quieter. But at the end of the day you could tell that something was brewing. You could kind of see something coming. «
Hall said it’s up to the players to look in the mirror now and see that their game has forced General Manager Kevyn Adams to make a change of coach during the season. </ "We all have to do better, I think that's the greatest thing no matter who trains us," Hall said. "Became a coach that I think everyone in the room would agree we really liked just let go and no longer have a job because we played like that.
So we have to find a way to get together and win some hockey games. It is as simple as it is. A little reset, I think, might turn things around. Obviously, there are likely to be some adjustments being made to our game that Donny would like to instill in and it is our job as gamers to do so as best we can. «
Hall and Okposo each said he was looking forward to playing under Granato, who was assistant to Krueger since the beginning of last season.
Hall, who worked with Granato on powerplay, said the new one Sabers coach has an offensive mind and forward-looking style and is detail-oriented without overloading the players with information.
« We have to do a job for him, » said Hall. « We couldn’t do a job for our last coach . We have to find a way to bring our game together during this time. «
Granato only had the opportunity to meet with the players two hours before his first game as a coach, as they had a day off on Wednesday and the Ice skates were canceled on Thursday due to NHL COVID-19 protocols.
« I think they are ready for the next step, » Granato said of the Sabers. « They share responsibility for where they are. You have heard from some people who have said that. It’s a good thing for all of us. «
Granato said the key for him is knowing that the players want to be motivated and improve.
» As a coach, it’s nice to push your boys « said Granato. » I even call it a push capacity. How much can you actually push a guy? How much can he take or how much does he really want to solve problems or become a player or score a goal? With certain guys you can push really, really hard and other guys you can’t. In this situation, these guys have the collective feeling that they want to be pushed, they want to keep pushing. I’m not trying to imply that this push comes from me, this push comes from everyone, from your linemates, your teammates, us as a whole. That is something that we have to use, certainly from a coaching side. «
Granato also said he doesn’t think about getting hired as Sabers coach anytime after this season because it’s his job to help the team improve.
» The coaching world « Our job, it’s almost like your reputation is on this scoreboard every night, » said Granato. « You can’t think too far. I love the challenge of coming here and making improvements and putting things in a more comfortable, confident position. I am busy with it. If I do that and it’s satisfactory for the team, the organization and I’m here, great. But my goal is today. «
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