Ted Nolan’s first game behind the Buffalo bench in 16 years promises to be intriguing, though not just for his coaching debut.
The new head coach has rattled the Sabres, so to speak, with a number of lineup adjustments heading into Friday night’s affair with the Leafs. Let’s take a look:
— John Scott will draw in for the first time since his seven-game suspension for hitting Boston’s Loui Eriksson in the head. This also marks the first time Scott will face the Leafs since the infamous Phil Kessel attack/line brawl during the preseason.
— Scratches will be Mikhail Grigorenko, Johan Larsson, Nikita Zadorov and Mike Weber (link). Grigorenko might be the lone surprise here, as he played in each of the last two games under Ron Rolston and scored his first two goals of the year in last Friday’s loss to Anaheim.
— Ville Leino and Zemgus Girgensons will both play center. “We want to put these guys where they feel comfortable so there’s no excuses,” Nolan explained. In keeping with the comfort-level thing, Marcus Foligno will return to wing.
— Ryan Miller was the first goalie off during the morning skate, suggesting he’ll get the start.
All in all, it sounds like Nolan wants to stamp his authority on the team right from the get-go, though even he admitted it might be tough figuring out who goes where.
Ted Nolan said he hasn’t learned everyone’s name yet, might say tonight, “Hey, you, you’re up.”
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) November 15, 2013