Kukla's Korner

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Not The Best Year For Phil Housley

from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,

Hey, it's a little late for desperation, fellas. The first season after the exiles of Tim Murray and Dan Bylsma has been an abject disaster. Despite Tuesday's heroics, they're still on pace for the worst home record in franchise history – yes, worse than the early days or even those giddy tank seasons.

You can put a lot of this on a misguided owner, Terry Pegula, a fan boy who couldn't decide whether his general manager or coach was more responsible for last year's regression, so got rid of them both – investing undeserved power in a bunch of entitled players who had never won a damn thing.

But let's not forget the red-haired elephant in the room. Phil Housley has gotten off pretty easy in his first go as an NHL head coach, but his rookie season has been a miserable failure. A Sabres team that was expected to challenge for a playoff spot is at the bottom of the Eastern Conference instead....

I understand the notion that you can't keep firing coaches and GMs, that players have to be held accountable. But hockey is an effort sport, and if their effort is lacking on too many nights, especially at home, you have to wonder about the guy who's supposed to be motivating them....

Housley has been a colossal letdown, one that could have been averted. Pegula could have hired Botterill first and let him make the call on Bylsma, whom he knew from Pittsburgh. Instead, ownership swallowed the idea that Bylsma wasn't friendly enough with his players. Tim Murray said Bylsma needed to drink coffee with them more often. Then he got fired. So whose advice was the owner really taking?

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+housley

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com