Sabres interim coach Don Granato, assistant Matt Ellis enter COVID-19 protocol

Sports

Buffalo Sabres interim head coach Don Granato (left) and assistant coach Matt Ellis behind the bench during the game against the Boston Bruins at KeyBank Center on March 18, 2021 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)

Sabres GM Kevyn Adams will coach the team Thursday night in Pittsburgh after interim head coach Don Granato and assistant Matt Ellis were forced to self-isolate due to COVID-19 protocol.

The game has not been canceled; puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. Rochester Americans coach Seth Appert is on the way to join the team in Pittsburgh.

“Nothing changes in terms of expectations,” Adams said. “I’m going to give them everything I’ve got tonight. I’m going to be hard on them and I’m going to be hard on everything that we can to go and try to win a hockey game.”

Neither Granato nor Ellis are experiencing COVID symptoms, Adams said in a press conference. Even though he’s never been a head coach in the NHL, Adams is confident in himself as he gets ready to coach tonight.

“Obviously I’ve been watching every game and with the team all season I know our team extremely well I know the personnel I know the tendencies obviously I’ve been behind the bench before I think the players also in these situations know this is an opportunity for them to take on adversity in their own way and be better for it so that was part of the message we’re all in this together let’s do the best we can expectations don’t change some to go to work,” Adams said.

He didn’t speak much on the players and their reaction, but said good things about their ability to handle the situation.

“I think the players also know in these situations this is an opportunity for them to take on adversity in their own way and be better for it,” Adams said.

The Sabres lost to Pittsburgh last night, 5-2, stretching their winless run to a franchise-record 15 consecutive games.

This is a breaking story; check back for more info.

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