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New look, new energy at practice

by Amy Moritz

They took to the ice wearing different color practice jerseys, a departure from the previous coaching regime which placed all forwards in white and all defensemen in blue.

But it wasn't just the line-based jersey colors which were different. The hour-long practice for the Buffalo Sabres under Ted Nolan was high-tempo, fast-paced and demanding.

"There’s a ton of energy. It was hard work today," Cody Hodgson said. "There was a lot of stuff that was new to us but we battled hard. It definitely was a good day."

"Obviously Coach Nolan, he demands a high work ethic," Matt Moulson said. "Everyone’s accountable for that, no matter how young you are or what position you play. He demands hard work. ... I thought it was a great practice. It was pretty hard when we were moving out there. It was a good tempo and we'll try to bring that to the game."

The adage "practice like you play" came to mind while watching the Sabres run through intervals at intensity while working on creating offense.

The message was, "shoot the puck. Drive the net. Play a little gritty. That’s the kind of stuff," Hodgson said. "Goals aren’t easy to come by in this league so when we get our chances, make sure we bear down. What happens in practice will happen in a game. If we can all bear down, make plays it will happen in games."

The few lineup notes that came out of Nolan's post-practice press conference: 

  • Zemgus Girgensons will move to center, a position he has not played for the Sabres this season. During practice, he worked on a line with Tyler Ennis and Steve Ott.
  • Nolan would talk with president of hockey operations Pat LaFontaine about the status of Patrick Kaleta. Kaleta has been with the Rochester Americans after clearing waivers. The demontion came after Kaleta came off a 10-game suspension. In four games with the Amerks, Kaleta has a goal and an assist with no penalty minutes.


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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |