Tag Archives: Ron Rolston

Sabres – Penguins Review

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Saturday night was more of the same from the Buffalo Sabres. They were terrible in their own zone, they couldn’t get any consistent pressure on Fleury, and again they get the same result: a loss.

Sidney Crosby got the scoring started 3:39 into the first period when he chopped at his own rebound. Crosby was being challenged by Jamie McBain in the corner, but easily pried the puck free and sent it to Dupuis in the slot. Dupuis sent the puck in front of the net where Crosby would eventually wind up. Crosby whacked and chopped at the puck while McBain and Tyler Myers watched. Continue reading Sabres – Penguins Review

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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 – Rangers Recap

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Two very unexpected heroes took center stage on Tuesday night in Buffalo’s 3-1 win over the New York Rangers. Marcus Foligno scored twice ending a 20 game scoring drought, while Jhonas Enroth made 32 saves giving him his first win since November 26th, 2011.

In the opening ten minutes, the Rangers looked like they were en rout to take care of business. Unfortunately for New York, Jhonas Enroth decided to drink water instead of coffee before the game. Enroth came up big stoping all 10 NYR shots. The Sabres made some noise here and there in the opening period, but Buffalo’s best chance came at 12:01 when Thomas Vanek had two chances at an open net.

Henrik Lundqvist, Thomas VanekJason Pominville had the puck at the side of the net, and chipped it in front for Vanek. Vanek took his shot as soon as possible, but Lundqvist came across and absolutely robbed Vanek blind. Vanek’s shot created a rebound, but he wasn’t able to get his second chance shot through.

The first period would end in a 0-0 tie. Buffalo’s record when heading into the first intermission was 6-6-3, and for New York, 4-5-1. Another bizarre stat, Buffalo has ended a period tied 15 times this season, ten of those 15 have come in the first period. Continue reading Sabres – Rangers Recap

Sabres – Leafs Recap

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Ron Rolston loses his first game thanks to JVR’s two goal performance, as the Maple Leafs beat the Sabres 3-1.

The past 48 hours leading up to this game, the Sabres were the most talked about team in the league after Lindy Ruff was relieved of his coaching duties. Ruff coached the Sabres for 15 seasons. His replacement, Ron Rolston, was the coach of the Rochester Americans this season before he was called on to be the Sabres new head coach. James Van Riemsdyk (JVR) used to play under Rolston for Team USA when he was a junior, and told the media that if it weren’t for Rolston, he wouldn’t be the hockey player he is today. For those of you who don’t know, JVR is a very talented forward and is having a very productive season thus far.

Sabres Defenseman TJ Brennan, who spent a great deal of time in Rochester with Rolston, said that the difference between Ruff and Rolston is that Rolston is more in your face and energetic. Whereas Lindy was more independent.

162307159_stdIn the first period, Buffalo looked like a rejuvenated squad on the ice. The controlled the puck in Toronto’s zone, kept skating, won the physical battles along the boards, and most importantly — weren’t chasing the puck around in their own zone.

Both teams would get their fair share of chances throughout the opening twenty minutes, but Buffalo would capitalize on one of their opportunities 13:20 into the opening period.’

Buffalo lost the draw in their own zone (how many times have we said that this season?) but recovered it after a shot by Bozak never made it’s way to the net. Ennis scooped up the loose puck along the half wall, gently bounced it off the boards for Stafford in the neutral zone, and headed up ice setting up a give-and-go. Stafford saw Ennis all the way, and gave him a nice lead pass into Toronto’s zone. Ennis flew past Gunnarsson, skated to the middle of the left face-off circle, and sniped a beauty to the top left corner to give Buffalo the lead.

The Stafford-Ennis-Foligno line is finally starting to feel it offensively. This is all thank to Stafford. Earlier in the year, Foligno and Ennis were doing their jobs (not to the fullest), but Stafford was nowhere to be found. Ennis does his part getting free and creating rushes, Foligno does his part when it comes to physical play especially around the boards, but Stafford was non existant earlier in the season. His job is to lead that line on the ice, shoot, pass, hit, etc. Now that Stafford is finally getting in a groove and skating much better, this line might go back to it’s old ways from last year. When I say old ways, I mean unstoppable.  Continue reading Sabres – Leafs Recap