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Nolan sees growth in competitiveness and trust

by Amy Moritz

From the time he was hired, Ted Nolan has talked about the importance of the process, trust and hard work.

Those intangibles haven't moved the needle much in terms of wins, but it has made a difference in key areas, including shots on goal and scoring changes.

The Sabres put up a season-high 41 shots in last night's 2-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators. Constructing a turnaround was going to be slow and have some baby steps, but Nolan is pleased with the direction and the building process.

"Before you can compete you have to trust. You have to be reliable and you have to be accountable," Nolan said. "Right now and in the last couple games, I really felt the guys are competing hard and they’re trusting one another. They’re feeling good about themselves. … Overall the trust is coming and the compete level is coming and everything is going in the right direction."

The team went through a moderate workout early Friday afternoon preparing to host the Calgary Flames at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Missing from practice were forwards Cody Hodgson and John Scott. Hodgson was still out with a lower body injury missing last night's game and Nolan said his injury was day to day. Scott missed practice, getting the day off to be with his wife who had a baby.

Nolan said Alexander Sulzer is close to returning. He's missed three games with an upper body injury and likely will miss one more.

Listen to Nolan talk about generating offense and building team trust from post-practice press conference:

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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 |