By John Vogl
Training camp is moving fast in Sabreland. The team wrapped up its third day of scrimmages this afternoon, and the coaching staff is already moving on to the initial cuts and the first exhibition game Sunday in Montreal.
“We’re already in game time tomorrow,” coach Ron Rolston said in First Niagara Center. “It’ll be good to get to that point. Now you can play some games and kind of start trimming things down. You’ve got obviously game situations, game video for teaching, and you’ve got a smaller group so practices are better at that point. As you trim down, competition is better, practices are better.”
The Sabres will make their first cuts Sunday, mostly young players who will return to their junior teams. Buffalo will have a morning skate at home then fly to Montreal.
Rolston would not disclose his lineup but said goaltenders will split games at the start before easing into full contests. The coach also will keep an eye on the top prospects vying for a starting role in Buffalo.
“You’ll probably see a lot of different combinations throughout the course of exhibition,” he said. “We’re trying to find the right pieces. We had a little bit at the end of last season where I had some experience with guys, but we’re still trying to find those combinations. That along with giving some of these younger guys some real good looks, giving them good opportunities to play with good players and see where they’re at, if they’re going to step up and take those opportunities or not.”
Rolston said he’ll control the forward line changes during games. Teppo Numminen will handle defenders and power play. Joe Sacco will conduct the penalty kill and talk on the headset with fellow assistant Jerry Forton, who will be up in the press box.
The Sabres totaled three goals in the final scrimmage. Steve Ott scored twice, with assists going to Ville Leino, while Shawn Szydlowski also found the net.
The full audio of Rolston’s news conference is below.
taggedRon Rolston | Training camp