From the Locker Room: Sabres-Stars

January 20, 2018
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The Buffalo Sabres were back home hosting the Dallas Stars in KeyBank Center on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Buffalo was looking to shake off a tough loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday before heading to Western Canada next week for three late-night road swings.

The contest was never close. Buffalo was already down 3-0 before the team ever responded, and once the Sabres got themselves on the scoreboard Dallas answered back with four unanswered goals en route to a 7-1 drubbing in Western New York.

Go inside the locker room to hear from Kyle Okposo, Jason Pominville, Josh Gorges, Sam Reinhart and Phil Housley following the loss.

 

Kyle Okposo:

Not enough effort tonight: "We just got outworked. They came out in the first period and just skated. They competed in the defensive and offensive zones, they tracked, and they worked."

One step forward, two steps back: "It's a broken record. It's frustrating. We have to find a way to work every night. It shouldn't be a hard thing to do; to come to work and work. That's it. That's what we needed to do and we didn't do that tonight."

AUDIO: http://www.wgr550.com/media/audio-channel/1-20-kyle-okposo-post-game

 

Jason Pominville:

On the lack of effort: "The way they [the Stars] compete, the way they battle, the way they execute, you can tell they play in arguably the toughest Division in the league. Every team, every point is important for them. They showed up and competed. Yeah, they made plays, but they defended hard and didn't give us much. It's unfortunate that our effort wasn't good enough to play with them tonight."

We should know by now: "I'm sure we'll come to work tomorrow and have one of those practices that are going to be about battle and compete. But yeah, we should know at this point. I mean, c'mon, guys have been around. It's the way it is. Every coach will take pride in telling us if we competed or if we didn't. Tonight, it's pretty easy to see that we didn't and they just outplayed us."

AUDIO: http://www.wgr550.com/media/audio-channel/1-20-jason-pominville-post-game

 

Josh Gorges:

On the drubbing: "That's a good hockey team with some high-end players. What did they do all night? They created turnovers, threw the puck behind us, and went to work. Heavy on the forecheck, heavy through the neutral zone, and heavy in their end. They just battle and compete. That's what it takes to win in this league. If you're not ready to have that all-out effort, you're not going to win many hockey games."

Self-change: "We can say it in a room. You can tell guys. At the end of the day, it's up to yourself. No one can make me do it; I have to do it myself. I can't make the next guy [change] and he can't make the next guy either. At some point we all have to look in a mirror. The ownness is only on ourselves. How many years have we been talking about this? Trying to turn the page and trying to find what it takes to win? No one's going to make us do it; we have to make that decision."

AUDIO: http://www.wgr550.com/media/audio-channel/1-20-josh-gorges-post-game

 

Sam Reinhart:

On the difference between Dallas, Buffalo: "I think they were heavier and stronger in the battles. From the start I think there was a little push [from us] at the start of the second period, but not near close enough to what we needed to compete with a team of that caliber."

Actively looking: "It seems like we're searching for [that consistent effort]. For whatever reason, it's not working. At the end of the day it's coming from no one other than the guys in the room, so there has to be something we find. If it was an easy answer, I'm sure everyone here would give it to you."

AUDIO: http://www.wgr550.com/media/audio-channel/1-20-sam-reinhart-post-game

 

Phil Housley:

A flurry of things went wrong tonight: "There's a lot of combinations of things that went on tonight. None of which, I'm very happy nor proud to talk about."

Dallas won every competitive battle: "Every competitive situation, they won. They had a big push and we didn't respond in the right way. That's why [the score] became 7-1. At that point, it's just missed coverages. Just a lack of attention to detail. We talked about that before in our gameplan. We needed battle so badly and we didn't rise up to the occasion."

AUDIO: http://www.wgr550.com/media/audio-channel/1-20-phil-housley-post-game