Tag Archives: Rochester Americans

Should Rolston Stay?

Sabres Maple Leafs Hockey

With the season winding down, the Sabres will head into the offseason with a bevy of difficult decisions to make. One of the hardest decisions they’ll have to make will be who the head coach will be come next season.

The real question is, will Ron Rolston be brought back? If the Sabres really do decide to go into a major rebuild mode, Rolston would be the perfect fit seeing as how he’s known for being a great developmental coach.

It’s also a very strong possibility that Rolston is sent back down to Rochester to continue working with the young talent that could be the future core of the Buffalo Sabres.

With all of that being said, let’s break down some stats that can be a big determining factor in re-hiring Rolston.

Since taking over the Sabres bench, Rolston has posted a 10-8-5 record thus far. Rolston has earned 54% of the 46 possible points since he took over the Sabres bench. When Lindy Ruff was fired, he posted a 6-10-1 record, earning 38% of the possible 34 points.

If you were to project Rolston’s current record over this years 48 game season, the Sabres would have 52 points. It just so happens that 52 points is the projected cut line for 8th place.

The biggest problem Rolston faced when taking over as Buffalo’s head coach was the blue line, and he did make an improvement in that area. The Sabres give up 2.6 goals a game, whereas with Ruff, they were giving up 3.3 goals per game. That’s a huge difference.

However, on the offensive side, the Sabres posted 2.7 goals per game with Ruff through 17 games. Rolston’s offense is producing 2.3 goals per game through 23 games.

As far a special teams go, Rolston hasn’t really made any improvements in that department.

The power play, which has been atrocious, is at an 11% conversion rate with Rolston. With Ruff it was virtually the same at 12%. The penalty kill, however, was better under Ruff. The Sabres were killing off 80% of penalties under Ruff. Since Rolston took over, the Sabres dropped to a 75% penalty killing rate.

One of the biggest differences Ron Rolston made was winning close games. Since taking over, Rolston is 7-3-5 in one goal games. Thats 19 0ut of a possible 30 points, giving him 63% point rate. Ruff was 3-5-1 in one goal games, leaving him at 38%.

No one really knows what the Sabres will do in terms of a head coach. My theory is, if Buffalo does decide to deal away more players in the offseason and truly rebuild, Ron Rolston will be behind the bench next year.

Sabres Recall Adam Pardy

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Adam Pardy, who’s played in 183 NHL games, thought he would have a starting job with the defensive unit. With a plethora of defenseman within the organization, he was denied a spot.

Now with injuries to Andrej Sekera and Robyn Regehr, and the rest of the defense playing horribly, a spot has opened up. Pardy’s name has been called. He has one goal and three points in five games down in Rochester.

The 6 foot 4 226 pounder will play his first game as a Sabre tomorrow night in Ottawa. Ruff has yet to announce who will come out of the lineup.

Pardy will provide reinforcement for a blue line struggling without Robyn Regehr and Andrej Sekera. There’s a good chance that Christian Ehrhoff is hurt, which is the worst news Sabres fans can hear right now. Ehrhoff has been their best defenseman hands down through the first nine games. Lindy Ruff said two of the five players who skipped the optional skate today in Buffalo — Jason Pominville, Cody Hodgson, Steve Ott, Jochen Hecht and Ehrhoff — are doubtful for Tuesday.

Ehrhoff, however, played the entire game Sunday against Florida, including the last shift of the game.

Buffalo has given up 33 goals in their nine games…so they could use Pardy’s help.Pardy1

I’m excited to see what Pardy will bring to the table. I liked what I saw at the Blue/White scrimmage before the season started, and I believe Pardy will be a positive addition to the lineup.

You can’t coach size or NHL experience. If Pardy plays well enough, he’ll stay in the lineup. Let’s face it, nobody on that blue line has really played well enough to stay on the roster with the exception of Christian Ehrhoff.

WGR Sports Radio 550’s Matthew Coller, who cover’s the Amerk’s, made a comment about Pardy via Twitter. — You can follow Matt on Twitter @MatthewWGR

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