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Sabres owners 'frustrated with results,' GM says

Buffalo sixth in Atlantic Division, hasn't qualified for playoffs since 2011

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

The Buffalo Sabres owners are not happy with how the team has played this season, general manager Jason Botterill said.

"My conversations with (Sabres owners) Terry and Kim (Pegula), they're frustrated," Botterill told WGR 550 in Buffalo on Tuesday. "They're frustrated with the results. They want better results. Our dialogue, we're in constant dialogue, the dialogue goes to, 'What are the solutions? What are we doing to get better?'

The Sabres were defeated by the Colorado Avalanche 6-1 at KeyBank Center on Tuesday, their fourth loss in five games (1-4-0).

"I think it's all coming down to the players at this point," Sabres forward Sam Reinhart said. "I think that the systems and the game plans that are set out for us give us an opportunity to have success. I think it goes back to what I'm trying to preach here. Guys need to demand more out of themselves, and a lot of guys need to step the [heck] up." 

The Sabres (23-23-7) are sixth in the Atlantic Division, 11 points behind the third-place Florida Panthers, and 12 points back of the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Buffalo, which has not qualified for the playoffs since 2011, is 14-21-6 since starting the season 9-2-1.

Video: Burakovsky, Nichushkin lead Avalanche to 6-1 win

"Let's be totally honest. We had two games last week against Ottawa (5-2 loss) and Montreal (3-1 loss) that we had to win," Botterill said. "We should win. … I think you look at our home-ice record (15-9-3). We've done a fairly good job with that but in crucial situations, when you have an opportunity to have a team come in that's below you in the standings, you have to capitalize on that."

The Sabres, who host the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV) play five of their next six games at home.

"It's all of us -- coaches, players -- all of us together," Buffalo coach Ralph Krueger said. "This is on all of us. We need to pull together and react to this. We have a game here at home in two nights. We need to show a different side, for sure."

Asked what the Sabres might do before the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. ET on Feb. 24, Botterill said it depends on the next few weeks.

"We have [nine] games before the [deadline]," Botterill said. "We want to see what materializes in these 10 games. You're having conversations with teams on both sides to be prepared for both scenarios. … We have an opportunity for home games here to get some results and that's what we're going to be looking for."

Buffalo has allowed 3.13 goals per game (tied with the Los Angeles Kings for 21st in the NHL) and is 26th on the penalty kill (74.5 percent), tied with the Kings and Nashville Predators.

"There's always urgency to do something … I think you look at our team, you look at portions of our season, we've played very well," Botterill said. "But over the course of the bulk of it, the majority of the season, we haven't gotten the results we wanted. … The entire group… we haven't done it well enough.

"I can understand our fans' frustration. Our organization is frustrated."

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