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Guest4377
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Posted - 02/26/2014 :  22:01:01  Reply with Quote
I know it's only two games, but the Buffalo Sabres have won their first two games after the Olympic break.

For the last place Sabres, back to back wins are rare this season, especially games played 24 hours apart. Last night, they beat the Hurricanes, and tonight it was the Bruins.

Once again, it's only two games, but maybe Ted Nolan brought back his magic beans from the Olympics. Nolan, as most know, was the head coach of the Latvian team, who surprised hockey fans (and more than a few teams) at the Olympics. Separate and apart from their big game against Canada (2-1 loss), Latvia gave Sweden and the Czechs a good go (5-3 and 4-2 losses respectively), and upset the Swiss to make it to their quarterfinal match with Canada.

Nolan did a great job with the Latvian team, so maybe he can springboard this to success for the Sabres. Not expecting a huge turnaround this season, but maybe this bodes well for the Sabres (with Ted Nolan at the helm) next season.

Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5787 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2014 :  22:29:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Found it odd that even though he'd coached Latvia in the past and helped them qualify for Sochi, that he was able to coach them without being around them for the past number of months? Seems a little odd but he seems to have done a very good job?
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Guest4377
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Posted - 02/27/2014 :  00:10:10  Reply with Quote
Good points Alex, but maybe more odd was that Buffalo gave Ted Nolan the "time off" to coach the Latvian team. Sure, most NHL players and coaches had time off over the Olympic break (those who weren't participating in the Olympics), and one could argue that maybe Ted Nolan should have been devising coaching stategies for his own team (the Sabres who pay his salary) during the break.

But Ken Hitchcock and Dan Bylsma were in Sochi too, and their NHL teams were (apparently) fine with that. And same thing for the players who participated, including Zdeno Chara, who left his team early to be the flag-bearer for Slovakia. I suspect Chara got permission from the Bruins to miss two regular season games for the Bruins (one game which they lost), and it remains to be seen if this will cost the Bruins in the final regular season standings.

In my opinion, there are plusses and minusses with the Olympics (and with NHL players and coaches participating), but overall, I think the plusses outweigh the minusses.

In Ted Nolan's case, I think the Olympic experience fortified his coaching credentials. According to most recent reports, his interim coaching position with the Sabres may be parlayed into a more permanent position with the team. And maybe, just maybe, his success with the Latvian team at the Olympics is the reason why!

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Guest9839
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Posted - 02/28/2014 :  07:38:37  Reply with Quote
Not to mention the bond he made with one of Buffalo's young core players going forward - Girgensons. I bet Girgensons would got hard to the matresses for Nolan after that experience.
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Guest8670
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Posted - 02/28/2014 :  13:55:34  Reply with Quote
Meh, if you're a Sabres fan, get settled in for the long rebuild phase. They will have an absolutely awful team next year, and will have a top 5 pick for the next 3 years for sure. Whether Nolan is good or bad, it won't be enough to help this team during his time there.
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Guest4486
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Posted - 03/01/2014 :  04:30:10  Reply with Quote
One of the condiations Ted made when he took the job in Buffalo was that hewas able to coach in the olympics. He wasn't with the Latvian team for several months but theteam was no different than any other team at the olympics, they all came together as a team in Sochi.
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5787 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2014 :  20:21:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest4486

One of the condiations Ted made when he took the job in Buffalo was that hewas able to coach in the olympics. He wasn't with the Latvian team for several months but theteam was no different than any other team at the olympics, they all came together as a team in Sochi.



Great point, never really thought of is that way but it makes total sense.
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