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United States, NY • United States • 29 Years Old • Male
Long time reader, first time blogger.
To me, the Buffalo Sabres 2007-08 season can best be described by one word: streaky. There was a 10-game winning streak contrasted by a 10-game losing streak, moments of offensive brilliance and dominance overshadowed by ineptitude in the offensive zone and on the PP. Many nights, our top defensive pairing proved to be more liable than reliable. Goaltending has been the bright spot this year. Only San Joses Evgeni Nabokov has started or played in more games than Miller. He does have off-nights, along with the occasional "soft" goal, but overall I am extremely impressed with how Miller has handled the increased workload. I think he has what it takes to be a 70-75 game-a-year goalie. Along with Miller, I think that Pominville and Roy have been our best, most reliable players. Overall, however, this team seems to be a shadow of the team that surprised a lot of people two years ago by cruising to the ECF. The 07-08 Buffalo Sabres are fragile, mentally and physically.
Given all of this, I told myself last week that I had to temper my expectations for the Sabres post-season. I figured they would A) not make the playoffs, or B) exit in the first round. So I made it my goal to just enjoy the last few weeks of the regular season and stop stressing about the playoffs. Then came the Carolina game, and the Toronto game. Is this just another illusion? Or can the Sabres get hot now, when it counts the most?
The most aggravating part of this whole thing is that when the Sabres come ready to play, they have the talent to win. But too often they look like they dont really want to win, or dont believe that they can. Is it a matter of veteran leadership? Team chemistry? Lack of grit and toughness? I say all of the above. I dont consider myself a pessimist by any means, but Im sticking to what I told myself before. IF the Sabres make the playoffs, it will be an exercise in futility, nothing more than some extra revenue for the team. I could never be happier to be proven wrong about something, and I will continue to watch and root and cheer. I just cant trick myself into thinking that the Sabres will make anything resembling the playoff runs of the past two years, let alone bring home a Stanley Cup.
What do you think?
March 18, 2008 3:35 PM ET | Delete
I think everything you say makes sense from an objective point of view. However, being a Buffalo fan myself, I think they have the coaching (and I'm not even a huge Ruff fan), and the talent to surprise a lot of people if they make the playoffs. If they can get 2 regulation wins against the Bruins and a good chunk of the other 14 points in these last 9 games, you're looking at a hot team that will likely have found the right lineup and has good chemistry headed into the post season. As well as quite likely a hot goalie, which I think is the biggest factor in playoff success. So, here's hoping they can keep "playing the system" and show up everynight hungry, desperate, and ready to play. I've said it all year: when this team shows up to play, they have the talent to skate with anyone. That includes Montreal, Detroit, etc. Please stop frustrating us loyal fans with this inconsistent play! We know you're good enough.
March 18, 2008 3:36 PM ET | Delete
I also like the lineup as it stands now. I like Connoly, but the cons outweigh the pros. Give me Kaleta, Sekara, and Weber for the rest of the year/playoffs. Unless things start coming undone, it's time to pick your starting lineup and run with it.
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