Yes, we just lost 4-2 to Toronto, but I'm not speaking on emotion.
I'm speaking as someone who has watched this team closely all year long, their trials, triumphs, and tribulations.
This team is close of being a playoff team, but it's just not there at the moment. It's one or two players short.
Look at the Sabres' recent losses to Atlanta and the Rangers, who are themselves flirting with a playoff spot. Further back, we've had trouble with Tampa and Florida, who are near the basement. Not to mention our struggles against the Leafs, although that can almost be put aside; it's a rivalry, it's always a tight game.
That means we get to games against the top tier teams, like Carolina, like Ottawa, like New Jersey, and we say to ourselves - not one of these teams again (unfortunately, we'll be saying a lot of that next month). As a fan, we almost want to chalk up a loss right there and then, before the drop of the puck, or we find ourselves just hoping to sneak away with a point!
Not good enough.
We've had a lot of close games. We've had games we've outshot teams by 20 or more, and lost. Good teams don't lose close games. Good teams find ways to close those games out.
We did it last year. Look at a team like Ottawa who can do it this year. We're not anywhere near Ottawa this year, which is disheartening after the great games we saw between us the last two years.
But mark my words, this team is CLOSE. Yes, close is not good enough, but close means one or two moves away from becoming a legitimate playoff contender. Darcy Regier is a man who waits, and waits, and waits..until he finds the best deal he can. He doesn't panic. He waits til the last possible second before making a deal. And often times he'll make a good one. He's on the clock now.
In the next 3-4 weeks, he'll have to turn at least one major deal, or a few smaller ones, to get a fire lighted under this team.
They're good, they just need that extra push. A few right moves, and they're right back in contention.
If this team stays as is, they're going nowhere. It's sad, but true. You look at the teams ahead of us, particularly those in the Top 8, and you find yourself saying there's no way we can catch any of them. Not to mention Atlanta, the Rangers, and a surging Washington ahead of us now too.
It was close all year, but the separation of the contenders and pretenders is beginning, and we're falling further and further behind. The top 6 in the East are all but solidified, and I honestly don't see them changing much except their positions within that top 6. You have to ask yourself, who will make it out of Boston, the Islanders, Atlanta, the Rangers, Washington, Buffalo, Florida and Toronto? Well, for one, the odds aren't in the Sabres favor, since only two will make it of that bunch. But secondly, the Sabres just don't make the cut in that bunch as they are presently composed.
One or two moves away. Not time to give up on this organization just yet; it could happen.
Sure arent those Philadelphia Flyers!
no they arent! props to your organization for understanding the need for retooling and doing it in a way that fits the new nhl! a good philadelphia is good for the sport as a whole, too.
yeah cuz this blog was talking about the Flyers.... everywhere you look the flyers fans talk about themselves when they're not even the topic.
we need that one guy that can put the puck in the net consistently...hecht seems to be most consistent at it and that vanek no show is starting to make a ton of people mad. look what happens when he puts up some points during a game. spacek being out doesnt really help our PP either. i think once we are healthy we need to trade max...has anyone really noticed him missing? also losing peters in favor of kaleta would be a great move
ive thought the same about max lately. good insight, thanks.
Briere is the guy who made the Sabres a powerhouse offensive team. Sabres fans will never be able to accept the fact that we had an elite #1 center/borderline hall of famer and our management decided he wasn't worth the money. I personally hope this team finishes 12th and that half of you cancel your season tickets next season.
jaythemachine, i agree with your assessment of the briere situation (did you see the buffalo news? brutal stuff...it's like we can never move on from it). BUT...I dont agree with your last statement. If this team finishes that badly, a major overhaul will take place; that's not what this organization needs. Certainly a personnel shake-up of some sort is necessary, but the core is in place, and IMO in lindy
and darcy i trust.... they built this team, made it competitive and winning, they took us to the Cup in 99...and they have the best shot of getting us right back in contention. The basic pieces are there, we just need a few more; i don't know about you, but i dont want to rebuild from scratch again. This team just needs support at this point.
Larry Quinn is the devil. Maybe we could start collecting donations for a billboard sign near the HSBC that reads "Quit Larry Quit!" Under that it can say "Don't worry Larry, You'll still have the waterfront to screw up!"This team will continue to grab defeat from the jaws of victory as long as Larry is pulling the strings. Look back at a video of Darcy from the first week of July. "This team will not be as competitive..." and he was pissed. It let everyone know Larry treats Sabres players like contractors at the pathetic Buffalo Waterfront. Lowball, Lowball, Lowball. But where as there is only one waterfront for the contractors to work at, there are 29 other teams for lowballed Sabres to play for.