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Granato looking at positives from schedule

By Jeremy WhiteHoward And Jeremy ShowHoward Simon,


Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) - After a successful road trip for the Buffalo Sabres, where they took seven out of eight points, the team will get one more game in on Wednesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes before a 10-day break for the NHL All-Star Game.

If the Sabres win their game on Wednesday, they will officially be in a playoff spot. The team currently sits one point back of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who hold the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.

During his weekly appearance on the “Howard and Jeremy Show” on WGR, Sabres head coach Don Granato realizes his team will not be in a playoff spot until the 82nd game of the season is played. While he wants the players and the team to stay in the moment, Granato is happy to see fans beginning to scoreboard watch for the playoffs.

As the Sabres progressed on their recent road trip, the young talent has been flourishing. This includes rookie defenseman Owen Power, who scored his first, second and third goals of the season in consecutive games.

Granato wants to make sure his group doesn’t have too many older players, but the right older players.

“I’ve said from Day 1, I’m interested in winning mostly to win more” said Granato with Howard Simon and Jeremy White on WGR. “To win more down the future is the goal.”

With the Sabres now ending their grueling stretch of 13 games in 21 days, Granato has been impressed with the level of play from his team, as they finished up the stretch going 5-0-1 in their last six games.

Now that the Sabres will be heading into the All-Star break, Granato looks at the schedule and tries to evaluate it in a positive way.

“You try to make everything good,” Granato said. “13 games in 20 days, OK, how can we make this good? It's going to help us in area A, B, C, D, and you get excited about it.”

The Sabres have dealt with some injuries down the stretch with Dylan Cozens missing a game against the Minnesota Wild, and Mattias Samuelsson missing the last two games of the road trip. Center Tage Thompson was held out of practice on Monday, but Granato wants to take a cautious approach based on the schedule.

“I expect him on the ice [Tuesday] and that's the hope, but we’ll see how comfortable I am with that based on how he presents this morning.” Granato said of Thompson.

Hear more of Granato’s appearance during the “Howard and Jeremy Show” available in the player below:
Photo credit Losi and Gangi
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