It is going on 5 hours after the Sabres lost to the Islanders and I am asking myself the question: Where is the desperation and desire from this team? Perhaps they hurt more than helped themselves by winning so many games early in the season. Did this allow them to coast into the playoffs? This team seems to need a fire to be lit under them to get motivated. It has been shown in the games they have fallen behind by 1-2 goals and come back to win. They need their backs to the wall to start to fight and claw in games. I hate to place this at the feet of Lindy Ruff but he has to have his team ready for a sixty minute game. This team needs to see the big picture and realize winning takes desire and passion and it hasn't been in their game for a full sixty minutes in quite some time.
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It is also the equivalent of preseason for 2-3 Sabres. Max, Connolly and to a lesser extent Kotalik are playing themselves back into shape and trying to regain the timing they had prior to their injuries. The playoffs aren't the most appropriate time and place to be doing this. Daniel Briere is not playing like a leading scorer, Thomas Vanek has to produce goals and not just chances. This team has scored six goals in the playoffs and four of them have been by defenseman. I hope this group starts to feel the pressure. It seems that is the only mechanism that they use to gain the desperation and desire needed to win. That is not the characteristic of a championship team.
This team better realize that they may never have a team as well stacked as the one they are playing on now. If they want a Stanley Cup ring, they better realize who they are and what they need to do to accomplish the goal they have had since they lost to Carolina last Spring. There are no excuses now. No injuries to use as crutches. They will only have their character and desire to blame if they fall short this year.
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