Buffalo Sabres coach Phil Housley had some strong words following the Sabres 7-4 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.  Housley questioned his team's commitment to playing defense beginning in the offensive zone.  He said "there's a lot of cheat in our game" with too many players overly concerned with individual points than they are playing team defense and it's something they have to fix.

Housley didn't stop there.  He also called out his goaltenders.  Robin Lehner gave up two soft goals.  The first one came a short time after Jack Eichel had tied the game 1-1.  Then Lehner gave up another one to put Buffalo behind 3-1 and that was enough for Housley.  In his place came Chad Johnson and he wasn't much better.

It was refreshing to hear Housley's comments after the game because he knows what the fans are thinking.  "What really irritates me is that we have really good fans coming to the game.  If there's something to play for, let's play for them."

I've been saying it for years.  After a game like the one on Tuesday what do you say to the fans?  The fans who might only be able to afford to go to one game a year and that was the one.  Or what do you say to a young hockey fan going to his very first game and the Sabres get embarrassed in their own building?

At least Housley gets it.  I'm convinced there are players on this team only playing for a paycheck.  And those are the ones general manager Jason Botterill is going to have to get rid of.

Jack Eichel led the Sabres with a pair of goals and an assist.  Eichel leads the team with 17 goals.  Ryan O'Reilly had one of his better games with a goal and two assists.  Jason Pominville had Buffalo's other goal.

The Sabres have now begun 2018 with five straight losses.  They have one more home game on Thursday against Columbus before a mandatory 5-day break.



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