AMHERST, N.Y. - Ron Rolston's first game behind the Sabres bench played out pretty much like Lindy Ruff's last one did - sloppy play and turnovers equaled a loss in Toronto. Next up a home game against the New York Islanders Saturday night.
Two points away from last place in the Eastern Conference at this point, Rolston and the Sabres worked out in Amherst. One of the area's Rolston feels needs to be addressed is the pace in which the team is playing. Friday they worked on drills designed to push the pace to attack teams quicker.
"We have to play at a different pace right now and we don't put enough pressure on teams right now," Rolston said. "We are just playing a little bit too slow. If you lined all the players up on the goal line across the league, it would be a pretty close race from end to end. But a lot of teams play faster than other teams, just with puck movement and guys knowing what other guys are doing on the ice. We've got to make a concerted effort of doing that and just putting teams in pressure situations more than we do."
For what I've seen so far that's the biggest thing," captain Jason Pominville said. "I think sometimes we are taking our time a little bit too much and he's really put the emphasis on us going up the ice quick and not hanging onto it too long and creating speed in our game."
Thursday it was clear the Sabres had lapses in play that cost the team once again, something the new head coach sees as a key area of concern.
"There's times in the game where we execute for a long period of time," Rolston said. "In this league, if you have even a short span of a couple shifts where you don't execute, that can be the difference in the game. And a lot of times it's been the case here and it was last night for us."
News and notes from Friday's skate - Ryan Miller took the day off to rest. Jordan Leopold is still not practicing, while Andrej Sekera is a possibility to play on Saturday.