Sabres at Leafs Preview: The Ron Rolston Era Begins

The Buffalo Sabres will be heading into tonight's game against Toronto with a new head coach for the first time in over 15 years. And he says the team is "taking shortcuts" and "resting on shifts" in his opening press conference.

Yesterday, the biggest news in a decade outside of ownership change hit the Buffalo Sabres - longtime head coach Lindy Ruff had been fired. Replacing him is the coach for the Sabres AHL affiliate Rochester Americans - Ron Rolston. The Sabres new head coach has seen success working with younger players in Rochester, the US Development Program, and college, but has never coached a team as old or experienced as most NHL teams are.

Game #18

Buffalo Sabres (6-10-1) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (10-7-0)

Puck Drop - 7:00pm - Air Canada Centre - Toronto, ON
TV - MSG, SNET | Radio - WGR 550-AM
Leafs Blog - Pension Plan Puppets (Please play nice if you're going to visit.)


Ron Rolston was present for the Sabres morning practice, but did not do any line work with the team so we're not exactly sure what tonight's lines will look like. Rolston did say in his post-practice press conference that Jordan Leopold is out with an upper body injury, and that rookie Mikhail Grigorenko will once again be a healthy scratch. Kevin Porter will also be joining the team in place of Cody McCormick, who cleared waivers today at noon.

Rolston also dropped this bomb during his presser - while watching tape of the Sabres, he saw "a lot of short cuts, a lot of resting in shifts". That sounds about right, but he essentially just called the team out for being lazy. It will be interesting to see how the Sabres respond to that statement tonight, and how the more reserved Rolston operates behind the bench.

Projected Buffalo Lines

Vanek - Hodgson - Pominville
Foligno - Ennis - Stafford
Ott - Hecht - Gerbe
Scott - Porter - Kaleta

Ehrhoff - Sulzer
Regehr - Myers
Weber - Brennan

Goal: Ryan Miller

Scratches/Injuries: Leopold, Grigorenko, Sekera, Leino

Projected Toronto Lines

James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel
Leo Komarov
- Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin
Clarke MacArthur
- Nazem Kadri - Colton Orr
Frazer McLaren
- Jay McClement - Mike Brown

Dion Phaneuf - Korbinian Holzer
John-Michael Liles
- Mike Kostka
Cody Franson
- Mark Fraser

Goal: Ben Scrivens

Rolston Interview From