I’ve felt for awhile that there’s something missing this season. Normally, our home feels very tense come game day. I’m ready for the games, edge of my seat, and pumped up when the game starts. Once the game starts, generally there’s a lot of cheering for when Buffalo scores, and a lot of profanity for the rest of the game.
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As I watch the Sabres games this year, I’m currently sprawled in my lounge chair, beverage at my side. I’m watching the game, but even though Buffalo looked decent (that’s all I’ll concede) for part of the game, I can’t find myself getting overly hopefully for this team.
So what’s wrong?
There’s a few things that pop into my mind when I think about this team right now. First, is how the team plays. Aside from Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller, there’s nothing that’s very exciting at point in time. When’s the last time we saw a good odd man rush? For the Sabres, not against them. When’s the last time we saw the power play look strong, and generate great opportunities? When have we seen Buffalo actually bury their chances? Where’s the big hit on their opponents? About the only thing that one is almost able to get excited about is when someone for Buffalo drops their gloves to wail on an opponent.
The other issue is that how many times has Buffalo played lackluster hockey? Also, how often have Sabres fans watched this team have a lead and then blow it? Pulling off of this, when have the Sabres generated some good solid efforts on back to back nights? This isn’t just 1 season I’m talking about, this has been going on for awhile.
I hear people just itching and clawing to find something to cling to with the Sabres right now. Today while I listened to WGR, they were focused on that if Buffalo could beat the Ottawa Senators tonight, they would have won 3 out of 4 games. Let’s look at the 2 games they did manage to win.
First, Buffalo gets lucky against the Canadiens last Thursday night. Vanek ties it with seconds left in a giant mess in front of the Canadiens net. Buffalo manages to get a win in the shootout, and pull one out of you know where. Then, the Sabres beat the Islanders. Wait, let me rephrase- Ryan Miller beat the Islanders with 41 saves while his team generated only 15 shots.
Buffalo’s wins are missing one thing- Domination. They aren’t controlling hockey games, they’re playing a passive lazy game. Plus, when Buffalo loses, if it wasn’t for the play of Vanek and Miller, the scores would be a lot worse than what they have been. There’s times when Buffalo doesn’t even look like they belong on the same sheet of ice as their opponents.
I also watch these players for Buffalo. They don’t seem to be very excited about what’s going on. Even when they score a goal, there’s no enthusiasm, there’s no excitement. It almost seems as though they don’t believe in themselves.
There was a time when fans believed that the Sabres were capable of anything. They could be down 3 in the 3rd period, and the fans still believed, and had that enthusiasm. Now, the only thing the fans seem to believe is that each night will more than not end in disaster. The belief is gone, and the faith is starting to wane.
Not only does this team lack excitement, there are not a lot of bright spots on this team at the moment. Even teams that are struggling can find things to be excited about for the future. What’s really big in Buffalo right now with the Sabres? Vanek and Miller continue to bail this team out, that’s it.
Personally, I’ve been more excited at Amerks games this year than I have watching the Sabres. Plus, the Amerks actually look like a decent team, and play hard on a regular basis.
This goes beyond Buffalo playing sloppy, lackluster hockey that’s boring. Teams that play boring hockey at least can find ways to win.
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