Sabres Coach Ted Nolan has been frustrated by the slow start of his young team and let the world know it. Yet, so many fans are hoping the team finishes last so that either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel can be drafted in 2015. So how can Nolan’s team finish last and yet he still keep his job? It’s a no-win situation for Nolan and he knows it.

Ted Nolan is at his best when he has an underdog team. He proved it in Juniors, he proved it coaching the Sabres in the 1990’s and he recently did it again with the Latvian Olympic team.

Nolan gets his squads to over-perform by outworking the opposition plain and simple. The Sabres had difficulty doing that under Nolan for half a season last year and so far in the first four games of the 2014-2015 season. If Ted Nolan has the worst team in hockey once again and they get there by not showing up then Nolan has a problem.

If Ted Nolan gets this team to win as much as it loses then there will be no reward in June of either a McDavid or Eiche and some fans will feel a golden opportunity has been wasted. However, it would be tough to let Nolan go if shows once again that he can win hockey games regardless of the talent he has been given.

The Sabres did manage to barely squeak out a win against Carolina. The team played well for two periods as they had done against Columbus and Chicago, but they were again outplayed in the third. The shoot-out victory should give some confidence, but you know Nolan is not satisfied with the overall effort. Even with his own system and coaching staff now in place Nolan is struggling to get this group to buy into his style of play.

To steal a line from “White Men Can’t Jump”, ” Sometimes when you win you really lose and sometimes when you lose you really win”. Ted Nolan will have to figure out which one of those scenarios works out best for his future in Buffalo.

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