The firing squad is coming fast and furious now as Buffalo wasted no time in giving their head coach, Phil Housley his walking papers. After a solid start to the campaign, the former all-star blueliner was unable to move the needle with a young and talented squad. There was not a worse team in the league after the All-Star break as the Sabres lost 14 of their last 15 contests.
Phil Housley went 58-84-22 during two seasons in Buffalo.— John Vogl (@BuffaloVogl) April 7, 2019
Sabres were outscored 546-419.
They allowed 3.33 goals per game, ranking 30th.
Aside from raw numbers, an inability to create winning lineups and fix mistakes that repeated throughout season doomed him. Failed to inspire.
Sabres' fans hoped that 2018-19 was the year they finally took a step forward. Their captain, Jack Eichel was entering his fourth campaign, and the team was welcoming highly touted youngsters, Rasmus Dahlin and Casey Mittelstadt. Yet, despite Eichel posting his first 80-point season, and Dahlin recording the second-most points by a U18 defender ALL-TIME, it was not enough to significantly improve their place in the standings. Additionally, a consistent complaint from media and fans alike was Housley's inability to structure the system to thrive with the talent they possessed.
There are several coaching options for GM Jason Botterill to consider this offseason. The organization decided to go the somewhat green route with Housley two seasons ago. Perhaps that sends them down a path to find an experienced commander like Alain Vigneault, Todd McLennan or Joel Quenneville.
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