Tuesday night, playoff fever had hit Buffalo. Buffalo didn’t just beat the Capitals, they ran them over with a 5-1 win. Buffalo was in sole possession of 8th place, 2 points up on the Caps, with 5 games left for both teams. Buffalo was in control, and just had to keep playing solid hockey to get into the playoffs.
The Caps won on Thursday, making it clear that Buffalo needed to keep playing at their best and that they needed to beat the Penguins. However, they didn’t. So then Buffalo was tied with the Caps with points, and were sitting in 9th place, with 4 games to go. Still not bad yet, but Buffalo was no longer in control of their fate.
Then there’s last nights game against the Leafs. The Caps were playing the Habs. Forget watching the scoreboard. It was another must win. What happens? Buffalo loses, with a lackluster effort in another situation when Buffalo needs to step up. Of course, the Caps won too, and now have a a 2 point lead on Buffalo for 8th place, and the tiebreaker. 3 games left for both teams.
With these facts, I ask one simple question.
HOW BADLY DOES THIS TEAM WANT TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS?!?!?!?!?!?!
This is unbelievable. This is clutch time for Buffalo and they’re losing, to Toronto?? (sorry Leaf fans). This isn’t the time to be playing sloppy hockey, and putting forth lax efforts on the ice. I propose this, that this team doesn’t really want to make the playoffs. How do I say this? Simple, look at the last two games. It almost seems like Buffalo thought that their season was over after they beat the Capitals.
Also, don't keep harping on Leino too badly. I'm going to nail Roy to the cross at this point in time. How many open nets, or good scoring opportunities did he blow the past 2 games? I'm sorry, isn't he supposed to be a leader on this team? I think Roys performance the past 2 games has been pretty atrocious.
After that game against the Caps, is when Buffalo should have taken charge. Keep winning and getting points in order to keep the pressure on Washington. If you have to lose, lose in overtime and get the points. Buffalo hasn’t even been able to scrape together a point in the last 2 games. Instead, the Caps win 2 games, turn the pressure back on Buffalo, and Buffalo has tanked.
What now? Well, Buffalo needs to win out. Period. End of discussion. Win the last 3 games. Here’s the downside, the Caps need to lose at least 2 of their last 3. There’s no other way this happens. If Buffalo even loses 1 time, they are done. Game over. The mountain that they now have to climb should be compared to Mount Everest.
However, this all starts with Buffalo playing desperate hockey. I’m sick of watching this team get close to 8th place, or get into 8th place, and then bomb out of it. They need to show that they want it. That starts with beating the Leafs Tuesday.