After losing their 12th consecutive game on Tuesday, the Buffalo Sabres decided it was time for a change. Head coach Ralph Krueger was fired on Wednesday morning, the team announced. Replacing him on an interim basis will be Don Granato, according to Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, and developmental coaches Matt Ellis and Dan Girardi will serve as assistant coaches.
Along with Krueger, assistant coach Steve Smith was also fired.
Krueger was in his second season with the Sabres. He was originally hired in May 2019 to replace Phil Housley and accumulated a 36-49-12 record during his two seasons behind the bench.
The Sabres own a 6-18-4 record, which is the worst mark in the NHL. The latest blemish came in a 3-2 loss on Tuesday to a New Jersey Devils team that is also not very good and had lost 14 of its last 16 games.
The loss pushed Buffalo's current losing streak to a whopping 12 games. That's good for the third-longest losing streak in franchise history and is the longest since the Sabres lost 14 consecutive games during the 2014-15 season.
If the Sabres miss the playoffs again this season -- which is highly likely -- it would mark the 10th consecutive campaign in which the team failed to taste the postseason.
The Sabres have been playing without their star forward Jack Eichel, who has missed time due to injury this season. Krueger's firing marks the fourth different head coach that Eichel has had since entering the league in 2015.