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Housley wants Sabres’ defense to attack like Predators did

2017 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Four

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 05: Phil Housley of the Nashville Predators reacts against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in Game Four of the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Bridgestone Arena on June 5, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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It sure sounds like Phil Housley wants the Buffalo Sabres’ defense to attack much like the Nashville Predators did during his stay as assistant head coach ... not to mention like he did as a Hall of Fame blueliner.

During his introductory press conference as the Sabres’ head coach, Housley did qualify things a bit by saying that he didn’t want to play with “reckless abandon,” yet it’s clear he’s leaning toward aggressive rather than passive approaches.

“I think the brand of hockey is playing with pace, playing fast, and that includes a five-man attack. Our defense is going to be very involved in the play,” Housley said. “We have to play good defense, obviously, but I think if we can get five guys up in the play - whether it’s on a breakout through the neutral zone or in the offensive zone - I think it gets the odds in your favor. It’s going to be fast.”

MORE: Sabres name Housley their new head coach.

Housley seems to realize the risk-reward factor that comes with playing an aggressive style, and he brushed off questions about whether the Sabres boast the sort of defensive personnel that could play a style that parallels what Nashville accomplished with its lofty top four.

(Housley points out that many of those players, particularly Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis, “were once young too.”)

As exciting as it must be for Sabres fans to hear Housley say that the team can be competitive out of the gate, the style of play should be especially promising. He even emphasized “high-tempo” practices, giving the impression that this young Buffalo team will have a “Go, go, go” mentality.

“We have to give these guys the responsibility to make plays,” Housley said.

Will he get that all to work? That remains to be seen, but either way, it sounds like it will be boring.