The Buffalo Sabres have suffered a drastic slide since finishing their ten-game winning streak in late November. Since November 27th, when they were sitting at 17-6-2, the team has gone just 11-18-5 and dropped out of the playoff race in the Atlantic Division. While they still have an outside shot at a wild card spot if they turn things around, they aren’t ready to make drastic changes, at least not behind the bench. Today while speaking with reporters including John Vogl of The Athletic, GM Jason Botterill expressed his confidence in the work that head coach Phil Housley has done so far and indicated that his job is safe.
Housley, who took over as the team’s head coach before the 2017-18 season after finding immense success as an assistant in Nashville, now has a 53-69-19 record through 141 games behind the Buffalo bench. While there has obviously been great high points—like that ten-game winning streak—there just hasn’t been enough success of late to satiate fans of the team.
The Sabres have taken strides in their rebuild this year and will continue to develop from within, but even with a vote of confidence the coaching seat will remain warm. If they do miss the playoffs this season it will be eighth consecutive year with no postseason action, despite having one of the league’s highest paid players in Jack Eichel. Luckily, the team has three first-round picks in this year’s draft and another franchise player in the making with young Rasmus Dahlin. There should be brighter times on the horizon, and for now Housley will be the one to lead them there.