Buffalo Sabres place interim head coach Don Granato in COVID-19 protocol

PITTSBURGH — Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams is getting an up-close look at the mess he has on his hands.

Adams stepped in as head coach in Thursday night’s 4-0 loss to Pittsburgh after interim coach Don Granato and assistant Matt Ellis were placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol, the latest strange turn for the league’s worst team.

“For me, I’m comfortable,” Adams said before a loss that extended Buffalo’s losing streak to 16 games. “Obviously, I’ve been watching every game, and with the team all season. I know the team really well, the personnel — I know the tendencies.”

The 46-year-old Adams played 10 seasons for six teams in the NHL before retiring in 2008. He spent two years as an assistant coach with the Sabres from 2011 to 2013 and became general manager last summer.

“Obviously, been behind a bench before,” Adams said. “I think the players also know in these situations this is an opportunity for them to take on adversity in their own way and be better for it, right?”

The Sabres weren’t any better on Thursday after getting drubbed by the Penguins.

“It’s terrible to lose in any way,” Adams said after the game. “Ice level, press box level. Player, coach. … You want better. What I said to the guys after the game is we’re all in it. We’re in it together.”

Buffalo now has the longest skid in the NHL since Pittsburgh went through an 0-17-1 stretch from Jan. 13 to Feb. 22, 2004.

Adams’ appearance on the bench could be short-lived. The team summoned Seth Appert from it’s American Hockey League affiliate in Rochester, New York. Adams said there’s a chance Appert could arrive at some point during the game.

Adams did say that both Granato — who missed two months last fall while dealing with severe pneumonia and undisclosed complications — and Ellis are “doing great; they both feel good.”

Granato’s health issues are just a part of a weird ride that included head coach Ralph Krueger getting fired last week as the losses piled up and star Jack Eichel being limited to 21 games because of injuries.

“Look, you get up in the morning no matter what job you’re doing and you do your best, you face the day,” Adams said. “My philosophy is that you just take everything head on, you do your best, you be honest, you put your head down and do the work. Some days have been extremely challenging, some days have just been challenging.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Published: 2021-03-26 04:53:52

Tags: #Buffalo #Sabres #place #interim #coach #Don #Granato #COVID19 #protocol

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