“I don’t think we play very smart” – Sabres looking in mirror to find solution to winless streak

Buffalo Sabres

Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby (87) skates past the net after scoring on Buffalo Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Pittsburgh. The Penguins won 5-2. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Sabres’ winless streak extended to 15 games last night, the longest in franchise history and also the longest in the NHL in the shootout era since 2005 and 06. They’ve already changed coaches so what’s left to do? Players say the problem and fixing the problem starts with them.

“I don’t think we play very smart,” defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen said. “We make really stupid mistakes that leads to way too many odd man rushes every game and a team like Pittsburgh, they have skill up front, and they had way too many odd man rushes and yeah I think that we should keep it very simple.”

Some of the same problems that plagued them before the coaching change came back to haunt them. Turnovers led to at least two of Pittsburgh’s goals, and while they were able to score, they couldn’t keep up offensively with the Penguins.

“Right now we’re making it too easy,” forward Curtis Lazar said. “I feel like we’re too soft in the D-zone. We’re throwing pucks away. If you don’t have anything just hold on to it. Wait for support to come around and until we do that it’s going to continue to get frustrating, but it’s on us. It’s on us to right the ship here.”

While some have criticized the team’s efforts in the past, forward Victor Olofsson mentioned that the team may be trying too hard to get out of this slump, which at times leads to more mistakes.

“We’re working hard. We want it too much,” Olofsson said. “Sometimes we dive into a play where we shouldn’t, etc. but obviously it’s tough. We’re doing everything we can, we’ve just got to keep working.”

The Sabres have another chance to end that winless streak Thursday night when they play the Penguins at 7 p.m.

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