I just don’t get this. Words can’t explain what Buffalo has just done the past 2 games. Yes, I understand 3 points out of 4 the past 2 games. But blowing the game, in 3 seconds or less, in back to back games...
It’s great that Foligno is playing well. I’m glad for the kid. Stafford has also picked up his game lately. As for Hodgson, one of the potential Calder Trophy nominees, finally got on the scoresheet tonight. Oh wait, that was for a penalty. He really has been a dud up to this point with Buffalo. However, that leads me to my next point.
It doesn’t matter if certain players start playing well, and which players aren’t playing well. So Stafford and Foligno are playing pretty well, Hodgson isn’t. This isn’t about individual efforts. Hockey is a team sport, you win as a team, you fail as a team. Buffalo is failing as a team. Buffalo had 2 points tonight, locked down. In 11 seconds, Landeskog, a real Calder trophy favorite, skates all the way down the ice, untouched mind you, and is able to get a decent shot away. Then, the Sabres leave McGinn alone in front of the Buffalo goal, and he’s able to get a few shots at hitting the puck before he ties the game with 2 seconds left.
Oh wait, this is the 2nd time Buffalo has done that, this week. For those of you not paying attention, Buffalo has played, 2 games this week.
Let’s put this game in perspective, Buffalo got a point tonight.
Meanwhile, In Winnipeg, The Jets are beating the living daylights out of the Stars. So now they are 1 point behind the Sabres and Buffalo is still at least 2 games out of 8th place.
I’m coming back to the fact that this is a team effort. Buffalo’s effort tonight, lets be honest, wasn’t the greatest in the world. Colorado outplayed them in every sense of the word. So Foligno got 2 goals, Stafford picked up a goal and 2 assists. Ennis had a big night on Monday against Montreal, that’s all moot. It’s the same thing for every team. Sydney Crosby could score 5 goals tomorrow, but if the rest of the team doesn’t show up, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how good specific lines are playing, or specific players. The Sabres as a unit (and that’s what they are) are not playing well. The only consistent star for the Sabres has been Ryan Miller. He’s the reason why Buffalo is even mentioned in the playoff race.
That’s not even the worst part of this. I keep thinking about what happens if Buffalo makes the playoffs. Yes, it’s a brand new season pretty much as soon as the playoffs start. No one knows what will happen. Anyone can win. But I just don’t see Buffalo doing it. And I, like every other Sabres fan at the moment, am fed up watching the Sabres make the playoffs and be eliminated immediately. If Buffalo plays the way they did tonight and on Monday night against the Habs, against the Rangers in the playoffs, it’s laughable. They’ll be destroyed.
What bugs me the most, is that when Buffalo seems to get within really good striking distance of 8th place, they fail to win. Buffalo has had numerous opportunities to get into the 8th place spot, and then control their fate. It almost seems to me like they don’t want to be in charge. The worst part of this, is that even if Buffalo wins, they have to rely on what other teams are doing. That’s the worst part of it in my eyes. Remember how relaxing it was down the stretch in 2007? We all knew that Buffalo was going to make the playoffs, it was just a question of where in the standings they were going to be. Same thing in 2009-2010 when Buffalo won the division. There wasn’t a question of whether Buffalo made the playoffs. They didn’t need help to be in the playoffs, they were in control. This team, is not even close to being in control. I hate sitting here thinking that even if Buffalo wins, we as fans have to scoreboard watch.
How can we honestly expect this team to compete? The saving grace about these past two games? Buffalo is about on an even level with Colorado and a little ahead of the Habs and were able to get 3 of 4 points. Had Buffalo played the Rangers, or the Canucks tonight, they would have been killed.
I want to be able to see Buffalo make the playoffs, but I don’t want to see them get annihilated in the first round. If Buffalo keeps blowing leads with 3 seconds or less left in the game, we aren’t going to have to worry about Buffalo making the playoffs. Buffalo just keeps getting close, and then shoots themselves in the foot.