After I wrote my blog this morning, I realized that I had just scrapped the surface as to what is bugging Buffalo fans. So, let’s talk about this realistically.
I think everyone knows that Buffalo can make the playoffs. However, will this team go anywhere? Sure, Buffalo has beaten the Bruins and Penguins pretty badly recently. But in a best of 7 series? I don’t think so. However, let’s just talk about a little stat that hasn’t really been paid attention to...
Last night, was the first time that Buffalo has won back to back games, in regulation, since October. They have won back to back games in overtime, but in regulation, not since October. That is a problem if you ask me.
Now, you can talk about how the team wins in OT, or at least gets to an OT loss. Buffalo could get to OT and lose every game of the season, and still have 82 points. Not to mention the fact that even when Buffalo wins in OT, their opponent still gets 1 point. Buffalo needs to be able to win in regulation. Plus, in a the playoffs, no shootout, it’s until someone scores. With this current team in Buffalo, how many people actually think that this team can win in the playoffs? It’s pretty clear (with the Gaustad news coming out today) that Buffalo will probably try to stick with their “core” players. Is resigning Gaustad the best thing to do right now?
The majority of the players in Buffalo have come up through the farm team and made their way to Buffalo. People form a bond to these players. Of course, it hurts when one leaves, but that’s the way sports are and not just for hockey, for any sport. Would it be sad if Gaustad got traded? Yes. He’s been in Buffalo for his career. But that’s how it is in sports.
Regier and other’s say that they believe this core can win. What proof is there for this? Does anyone see any proof? This core was together last year when Buffalo got eliminated, in the first round of the playoffs to the Flyers. This core was together the year before when Buffalo got eliminated in the first round to the Bruins. Yes, I know Buffalo won the division that year. That’s not a Stanley Cup. The fans want a Stanley Cup...
And the current “core” cannot deliver it.
I’m a fan of the Buffalo Sabres. Sure, there are specific players that I like. Yes, its always disappointing when they get traded, or sign elsewhere. However, that is part of the game. Root for the Sabres... Players come and go.
Since it’s apparently “Pegula Day”, let’s talk about what Pegula said last year, when he bought the team. He said that the goal was to win a Cup. He then said, that they are going to win that Cup for the fans. FOR THE FANS. How is what is going on in Buffalo right now winning a Cup for the fans? One has to wonder how serious Pegula is when Buffalo is in a pretty poor spot right now. There are a lot of pieces missing on this team.
For anything to happen, Darcy Regier, and others for that matter, need to come down off their pedestal and admit that they took a gamble, and it didn’t pan out. Again, it happens. Teams take gambles and they don’t work out. One has to accept it and move forward. That doesn’t mean, that the mistake is irreversible.
Yes, Buffalo has a shot to make the playoffs. However, Buffalo fans are tired of watching their team make the playoffs, and get bounced immediately. They want to see this team make some serious moves forward. How about whether Buffalo can advance in the playoffs? Yes, teams who get low seeds can make a playoff run, but have not won the Cup. Odds are against Buffalo making it very far in the playoffs even if they defy the odds and make it in.
The other problem with Buffalo making the playoffs, they are relying on other teams to fail. It’s not like they are controlling their fate. They need help (a lot of it).
Buffalo needs to sell, sell, sell!!! Buffalo should definitely try to offload some of the core, protect other players, and build a newly structured team. Vanek stays. So does Pominville, Miller, Stafford, Ennis, Regher, Ehrhoff, Gerbe, Leino, and McNabb. Keep them in place, and build around them. Now, I say some of these players should be kept based on the premise that some of these guys may do better with new surroundings. When they don’t do better, say good bye.
I love the Sabres, and every year they miss the playoffs, it’s painful. I hate saying this Buffalo fans, but Buffalo needs to start rebuilding now. This “experiment” with the core, has failed, and will not bring a Cup to the fans of Buffalo. I don’t like chalking this season up in the “lost cause” category. But it is. Buffalo can rebuild quickly, and be right back in the hunt next year.