I just read Garth’s... “rebuttal” to the Jeremy Roenick and Mike Keenan interview from last night on NBC Sports Network.
I agree with the part Garth said about blaming Miller. Plus, as I listened, I don’t think I heard them blame Miller. The main focus was that things need to change in Buffalo. They aren’t on the same page, just like Roenick pointed out. I don’t think the goaltender needs to get traded. I can’t blame him quite yet. I agree with Patrick Kane as well, with his comments defending Miller.
Garth, you’re 100% right when you say; “The notion that this mess is all Miller’s fault is laughable.”
As I’ve said in past blogs, goalies are only as good as the team in front of them. Last nights debacle against Detroit, I can blame Miller for 1, maybe 2 goals. Again, Detroit was getting goals that were gift wrapped. Unbelievable scoring opportunities. Also, Buffalo couldn’t manage to score either.
So, how is this all Miller’s fault? Even if he only lets in 1 goal a night, soft or not, if the team in front of him can’t score, it’s a moot point.
I’m all for a new GM and a new coach.
“The season’s not done yet for the Buffalo Sabres, but it’s wearing thin. Something has to be done now.”
“I think it’s time that they need a change, because the team, it’s not, it’s not responding to him (Ruff) anymore.”
There’s your problem.
Take a look at Ruff’s excuse for last nights game,
“I’ve seen a lot worse games.”
I mean, I’ve seen bad hockey games. Hell, I went to Amerks games when they were affiliated with the Florida Panthers (those were BAD). But, saying you’ve seen a lot worse? How worse does it have to get before you light a fire under the rear ends of your players?
I don’t think that saying you’ve seen “a lot worse games” is going to do anything.
Roenick is right. This team is no longer responding to Lindy Ruff. It’s similar to when Terry Francona left the Red Sox, alluding to the fact that he no longer could influence his players.
“Firing Ruff now does not change the team’s course this season.”
Well Garth, then the team’s path is straight down towards dead last. Maybe they can draft Nail Yakupov, the #1 prospect entering this year’s draft...
Look at the team’s options right now.
1. Make some trades. That doesn’t really do too much. You may bring in 2-3 new guys, but you still have the old 17 guys who weren’t playing well to begin with. That doesn’t guarantee different results.
2. New GM- Ok, I like this, strike that, love it. I’ve wanted Darcy gone since 2007. But again, that doesn’t mean that any trades are going to happen, or that a new GM is going to do anything different to impact right now.
3. New coach. Instant result. New coach, means new playing style. That also means that he can find new ways to motivate his players, and get them playing in a manner that can get them back into contention.
4. Do nothing. They’re doing that now, how’s it working?
A new coach is the only thing that can hopefully get things moving in a new direction now. A new GM is the next step along the way. Things happen instantaneously and the Buffalo fans aren’t waiting anymore wondering when this team is going to wake up, and maybe win when they’re supposed to (see the first 2 weeks of January, counting New Year’s Eve, 14 points possible, 6 points gained, and these were all winnable games.) Or worse, the Buffalo fan’s may be starting to wait and hope for next season...
I think firing Ruff will change this team’s direction immediately. New coach, new ideas, new style of play. Plus, new ways to motivate. Ruff’s style may not be working anymore. Again, it’s possible he’s just lost his voice in the locker room. Whatever he’s doing, it’s not helping Buffalo improve. They are slowly getting worse.
I’m not big on predictions, but I suspect by the end of the day on January 25, something will happen. That’s the day after the Sabres last game before the All-Star break. This gives a new coach a week to come in, get Buffalo playing differently, and hopefully come out the break with passion and fire.
Buffalo is currently 7 points out of 8th place, with 37 games to go. There is time to fix this, but it has to be now.