Sabres' Housley won't tolerate players not going to the net

October 13, 2017
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El Segundo, CA (WGR 550) - When it comes to scoring goals, the Sabres have one problem. They have some forwards who aren’t willing to pay the price to get in front of the opposing goalie. They work on it a lot in practice including today, but every game the opposing goalie gets a clear view of most shots. Housley got a little angry when I asked him if he has guys that don’t have it in their nature to stand in front of the net, “I don’t care if it’s in your nature, if you want to score goals and get points, you’ve got to get there and when it’s your job to get there, you’re the low forward it’s required, you have to get there whether it’s getting a fly-by in front of the goalie’s eyes or mainly just planting yourself there.”

Standing in front of the net requires you take a beating to screen the goaltender.  Housley said, “That’s one way to look at it, I think another way to look at it is if you want to score and get points, you’ve got to get in front of the goalie, you’ve got to get dirty, you’ve got to get to the hard area.”

Zemgus Girgensons is one player that is more than willing to take that punishment. He said, “It’s definitely not the most fun place to be, but that’s where you get the opportunities, that’s where you’re going to get dirty goals and we need a better job of guys doing that.”

“It’s definitely a tough job to be there, but it’s something everybody needs to pay a price for and be there.”

I feel you either have the mentality to do it or you don’t. Girgensons doesn’t agree with that, “It’s just a mentality. I think anyone can do it, there’s nothing to it, you just get in front of the net and just pay the price.”

Girgensons played in San Jose with Jack Eichel and Jason Pominville. The winger had chemistry with Eichel last season. In their first game together the three combined for two goals and six points. Girgensons said, “Jack is just unbelievable, he can create plays and Pommer is a good finisher.”

Thursday was Girgensons first ever game with Pominville. He said, “He’s a great player, he’s easy to understand, he’s a hard working player, so a lot of times I know where he’s going and I feel like we’re clicking pretty well.”

Pominville said he felt an immediate chemistry, “It was my first time playing with him, we had one practice together, so he brings a lot of good things to the table. He gets in there, he’s feisty, he’s competitive and it was nice to play with him.”

Girgensons seems to make a good impression on any coach he plays with because of how hard he goes. Housley is no different, “I have no problem with what Zemgus brings every day. His work ethic is really remarkable and we’re trying to get Jack and him some chemistry and I thought they had a really good game.”

Kyle Okposo was given a rest day after being sick.

 

Friday’s Lines:

Kane  O’Reilly  Moulson

Girgensons  Eichel  Pominville

Reinhart  Larsson  Griffith

Pouliot  Josefson  Nolan

 

Scandella  Ristolainen

Gorges  McCabe

Beaulieu  Tennyson (Antipin)