First and foremost, happy holidays everyone! I hope everyone had a great holiday season, culminating tonight with the start of 2012. I took a brief hiatus from writing over the holiday season, but continued to follow the boys in blue and gold closely. So now, back to business.
In his last blog, Garth posted a video with the heading of “Jason Pominville is at a loss for words to describe the spate of bad luck that is living in the Buffalo room right now”.
I am going to say this loud a clear.
Bad luck has nothing to do with this
I really want to focus on the Sabres vs Capitals game on 12/26 for a minute. The Sabres rekindled my hope for this season with that game. It was, well AWESOME
. Buffalo moved the puck extremely well. They got 4 goals immediately out of the gate, and they didn’t back down either. It could have easily been 8-2 final score had Buffalo not rang 4 shots off the pipe. The Capitals had no room to move in the Buffalo zone. Buffalo made extremely quick and efficient breakout plays. Buffalo looked like a playoff caliber team that evening.
However, it only lasted for 1 night. The past 2 games, Buffalo has continued to play sluggish, sloppy hockey, and continued to lose. Buffalo is on the verge of continuing their downward spiral to last place in the East. And being only 7 points out of last place right now, don’t tell me that it’s not possible. It’s a very real concern for the Sabres Nation.
Buffalo is currently 4 wins, 7 losses, 2 overtime losses in December 2011. That’s a total of 10 points, out of a possible 26. Unacceptable.
Don’t tell me that this is injuries either. The only players really pulling their weight is Miller, Vanek, Adam and Pominville. Stafford, Roy, Gragnani, Sekera, Leopold, Ehrhoff, Leino, and others have pretty much been healthy all season long and have not delivered. Plus, when you look at how some of the call-ups have played, they’ve done well, and they played well in Rochester prior to getting a shot at the NHL. Maybe the style of play between the Amerks and Sabres is too different for the new players to adjust.
Plus, last I checked, Buffalo was tied with Minnesota for amount of different players to start a game this season. Minnesota is 4th in the Western Conference, 4 points out of being in a tie for first with the Blackhawks. Doesn’t seem to be an excuse for the Wild, so why is it for Buffalo?
Plus, look at how the Amerks are playing. The Amerks are continuing to look decent on a regular basis. For a better summary, check out WGR’s article here
I found that this morning doing some research.
It sums things up very well.
What’s the solution? There may not be one. However, with the new management in Buffalo, Terry Pegula may be starting to assess what needs to be done to get this team on the right track. My gut is still telling me that a coaching change needs to be made. Plus, I think Buffalo needs to start making some trades. NOW
. (I’ll write a trade blog in the upcoming days to expand on this).
As for a new coach, new ideas need to be put into place because the current system is not working. When Buffalo won on Monday night, they looked like a completely different team. They played as a unit, and showed the potential that they have. Then, they played the next two games, and looked like they had before Christmas. Bad. There is no consistency, and the team is not playing in a manner that will allow them to even get within eyesight of the Stanley Cup. I know it’s December, but that’s the main goal, right? Either Ruff needs to get his team playing like they did on 12/26 every night, or he may be looking for a new job.
As of right now, the Buffalo Sabres are not a playoff team, and would get eaten alive in the first round. Doesn’t matter who’d they play. Buffalo will hopefully look to fix this tonight against a struggling Ottawa team, as they attempt to right this sinking ship.
That being said, I’m departing in a few hours for the First Niagara Center for tonights game. I write on here of course, but first and foremost, I’m a diehard fan of the Buffalo Sabres!!! Please, feel free to come up and say “Hi” if you see me at the arena tonight. I’ll be getting there around 5:30, and sitting up in the 316 with my family. I’ll be in my Ryan Miller Black Ice Jersey and my black Sabres hat with a Rico #7 pin in it. Hope to see you there, and... Let’s Go Buffalo!!!