Housley: We have to ‘take advantage of our practices’

November 22, 2017
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There hasn’t been too much excitement on the ice at KeyBank Center this season, much to the dismay of passionate hockey fans.

The Buffalo Sabres are in the midst of a six-game losing streak. Their last win came on November 7 against the Washington Capitals. Through 21 games, Buffalo is 5–12–4 on the season and remains in last-place in the Eastern Conference.

Coming off of a 3–2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night, the Sabres will look to rebound on Wednesday when they host the Minnesota Wild. It has not been an easy season for the Wild however, as they have lost two games in a row and are last-place in the Central Division.

Head coach Phil Housley reminded us that injuries have been consistently hurting the team for a majority of the season.

“The number one thing is we gotta try to stay healthy,” Housley said with Howard Simon and Jeremy White Wednesday morning on WGR. “Obviously we haven’t had our top-six guys in the lineup, and with guys playing a little bit higher and getting opportunities, it’s taken its toll on our team. We really haven’t had our true lineup for an extended period of time.”

Housley has been through losing more often as a player rather than a coach, having contributed to the success of the Nashville Predators over the past few years as an assistant coach.

It’s very clear that Sabres fans have not been pleased with the level of performance on the ice this season, and Housley is well aware of this frustration.

“I know fans sometimes get frustrated," Housley said. “We all get frustrated because we’re in the business of winning, but that hasn’t been the case.

“We’ve got to develop the kind of culture where guys are pushing themselves and pushing each other to get better, and we’ve made steps in that area. This is a good group of players. It’s a very tight team and we’re just going to have to work through it together, and this will make us mentally stronger down the line.”

If the Sabres are hoping to turn their season around, they will need to find a solution as soon as possible. Housley says that the team can do great things if they play consistent hockey.

“Overall, I think the consistency has to get better,” Housley said. “We have to play as best as we can at a high level. Right now we can only try to get better each and every day, and hopefully we’ll have a win tonight.”

You can listen to Housley’s entire interview with Howard and Jeremy here: