Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) - After being only a few points out of a playoff spot just a week ago, the Buffalo Sabres have started to slide down the standings following a tough stretch of losses. The recent skid has put a bit of a dent in their postseason hopes.
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However, Buffalo was able to get a huge comeback win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night to help stop the bleeding a bit. With Alex Tuch back in the lineup, it looked as though he did not miss a step, scoring two goals in the third period to help the Sabres to victory lead.
Sabres head coach Don Granato feels it was very big to have Tuch back in the lineup on Monday night. Granato has liked the confidence Tuch has gained this season with a career-high in goals.
“Our goal with him was to help reach other levels beyond what he had in his career," said Granato during his Tuesday appearance on the "Jeremy White Show" on WGR. "I believe we’re seeing the confidence of that.”
The defense has shown its struggles over the past week, especially in Buffalo's 10-4 loss on Thursday night to the Dallas Stars on home ice. Granato looks at it as they have the youngest defensive corps in the NHL compared to other teams around the league. The Sabres head coach says the way they will get better is to not be conservative.
“Discretion is only going to come through making mistakes. You have to put your guys in position, and you cannot protect them their whole career,” Granato said with Jeremy White and Joe DiBiase.
During their recent stretch of losses, Granato has been using his team's games to find a way to make the group's game better.
“We’re using the result, positive or negative, to move this group forward, and I don’t think that stopped,” Granato said.
With the Sabres now in the middle of a tough stretch with a matchup with the Washington Capitals coming up Wednesday, Granato knows the physical and psychological fatigue on a young team can be stressful. However, he's has noticed players like Owen Power and Jack Quinn making strides, which has indicated they're understanding what they're doing wrong and how they need to improve their game.
Hear more from Granato’s appearance during the “Jeremy White Show” available in the player below: