Ted Nolan has brought a renewed work ethic to the Buffalo Sabres, but effort is proving not to be enough. All things being equal talent wins the day and the Sabres are very low on talent.

It’s also going to get worse before it gets better as the Sabres’ look to make some trades before the deadline. Buffalo could be without Ryan Miller, Steve Ott and Matt Moulson according to reports and any one of them will be missed let along all three.

Listen to Ted Nolan after the game to hear his frustration with the effort by some of his players against Pittsburgh. Nolan prides himself on getting players to give their all, but he’s plenty irritated about his young team not answering the bell against one of the league’s best teams.

The compressed schedule hasn’t helped the Sabres either. 17 games in 37 days means the team is playing almost every other night and giving 100% with such a short layoff between games is tough to do. If a team has talent they can coast on some nights and still win. Not the case with the Sabres.

The Olympic break will allow the players left behind some time to catch their breath and recharge their batteries. Not the case though for Ryan Miller, Ted Nolan and others.

Ryan Miller will be wearing the Red, White & Blue for team USA at the Olympics hoping to be named the squad’s starting net-minder. Ted Nolan and Zemgus Girgensons will be with the Latvia team in Sochi and Jhonas Enroth will be on team Sweden. Plenty for Sabres fans to root for back home.

When the season resumes for Buffalo on February 25th the team will have twenty-five games to finish out the season. The challenge for Nolan will be to get his team to respond with little to play for. It could mean the difference for some of the players as to whether they remain on the roster and for Nolan whether he stays in Buffalo.

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