Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian struggled last year. Quite frankly, that might be putting it lightly.
He doesn't shy away from admitting he had a rough season and has said several times that he needs to be better. Perhaps Phil Housley is just what the doctor ordered.
"He gets the game, he's played for a while and coached for a while and he's been around forever so I think he gets the new style of the game," Bogosian said on Saturday. "Sometimes when you've been around hockey that long I think sometimes some people forget that the game has changed so much be he seems to be part of that new group. With the skating, getting up in the play and that offensive side of things, so the guys are looking forward to playing that style."
In only two days of practice, Housley has made it very apparent that he wants to play the style Bogosian referred to. During drills he screamed for his defensemen to jump into the play, pushing the puck up the ice with speed. For Bogosian, it's a style of play that should help him turn into the player he was earlier in his career.
"Yeah, I was frustrated but that's in the rear-view now," Bogosian added. "I had a good summer training, I had a good summer with my family and had a great time in offseason and you know, I was looking forward to come to camp to prove the player that I can be. I'm feeling good right now."
Bogosian spent his summer in Minnesota skating with several of his Sabres teammates in DaBeauty League, a four-on-four summer league featuring NHL and NCAA players. When he wasn't playing for Team Walser, Bogosian was on the ice working with past teammates and friends.
"I skated more this summer than I have in my entire pro career in the offseason," Bogosian said. "I'm looking forward to using the tools that I worked on this summer and hopefully they fall into my game during the regular season."
Bogosian admits personal growth is surely important but team success trumps all.
"I think it's been frustrating the last few years here in Buffalo and we're getting sick of not making the playoffs. There's no way of getting around that, it sucks when you're watching other teams that you know you can probably compete with but you're not playing at that time of year."