Sabres use long break to go back to basics

With four days between games, the Sabres held a skating practice yesterday at the First Niagara Center.

The Buffalo Sabres are in the midst of their longest break of the season, and with four days in between games, they decided to use the opportunity to go back basics and spend a day working on skating.

The team brought in skating coach Dawn Braid for an extended workout on the ice of the First Niagara Center, and sandwiched two skating workouts in between a short practice.

When Ted Nolan was first hired, he was reportedly unhappy with the team's conditioning - unsurprising considering the style he like to play. Here's what the coach had to say about yesterday's workout:

"As I mentioned to the team today, we’re all creature of habit and we have to change a few things that we’ve been doing and just get used to doing it on a daily basis," Nolan said. "I think the game against Toronto, we played really well and when we went to New Jersey, we slipped off a little again. Just trying to get that consistent work ethic every day and the only way you can do it is consistently work."

The team kept it's lines much the same from the Devils game, but did have Tyler Ennis and Mikhail Grigorenko flip-flopping on the third line, and Brian Flynn swapping with Cody McCormick on the fourth. Were McCormick to play in Thursday's contest against the Rangers, a roster move would have to be made in order to activate him from injured reserve.

Mike Weber was practicing as the sixth defensemen, as Alex Sulzer was given a maintenance day.

By stressing skating and work ethic, and by keeping the lines the same, Nolan is practicing what he preaches regarding giving the Sabres some consistency. Chemistry is something that this team has been lacking for a while now, and hopefully letting guys play together for more than a game or two will start to build what little there might be.

The Sabres will have two more days to work out their many kinks before the Rangers come to town on Thursday.