“As a coach, you hope it turns for them. You know it’s going to turn. You hope it turns sooner than later and tonight was a good one.”
Here are other observations from the game Wednesday:
1. Reinhart may stick at centre longer than expected. Granato’s decision to use Reinhart at centre was made partly out of necessity. Entering the game, Eichel and Cozens remained out with upper-body injuries, and using Reinhart at centre gave the Sabres better options in the top six.
Reinhart, though, may remain at centre beyond Wednesday. Curtis Lazar did not return to the game after suffering an undisclosed injury in the second period.
“It was fun, I enjoyed it,” said Reinhart. “It was good to come underneath the puck a little bit more and get a couple different looks. I thought the defensive part was went well. It’s an easy system to read off of, so I enjoyed it.”
2. The system change has worked wonders for Kyle Okposo. The 32-year-old was a valuable defensive forward in Year One under former coach Krueger, providing a consistent effort on the forecheck and forming a shutdown line with Zemgus Girgensons and Johan Larsson.
Okposo, though, struggled to gain traction this season, partly because of injury. He’s performing well under Granato, as illustrated again Wednesday when his effort on the forecheck and smart pass led to Reinhart’s opening goal. It extended Okposo’s point streak to five games and he has seven points in his last nine games.