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Canandaigua, NY • United States • 29 Years Old • Male
I’m still sticking to the fact that Buffalo didn’t really want to make it this year. Look at the effort tonight, didn’t really strike you as a team that was playing desperate hockey, did it?

I waited to write this until the end of the Capitals game. It’s done, it’s over. The playoff race goes to Florida and Washington. Buffalo can’t catch either team now. The game against Boston on Saturday officially means nothing to Buffalo, and is a chance to try and end the season with a win, and maybe try to find something positive to carry over to next season.

After tonight, there’s not much positive to be taken from this year.

There have been a lot of excuses named this year as to why Buffalo didn’t deliver to their full potential. A lot of people (myself included) had Buffalo pegged as a playoff team, even a serious threat for the Cup. Now, they aren’t even making it and are coming up short.

So what happened?!?!?!

It wasn’t injuries ladies and gentlemen, that’s just an excuse for fans with blinders on, failing to see reality. Injuries have impacted every team this year, and, it happens every year. You can guarantee that other teams didn’t use it as an excuse for losing. Plus, a lot of the so called “stars” didn’t miss a ton of games, players like Roy (3 games), Stafford (3), Pominville (0), Vanek(4), and Leino (11) are just a few. So why are we using this as an excuse? Here are of the guys who are supposed to light the lamp, playing in the majority of the games.

First, there’s a lack of leadership on this team. There’s been numerous opportunities for players to step up, be the “go-to guy” and make a big play. No one really was leading this team to really get them ready to go in clutch moments, like tonight. It’s hard to rally, when there’s no one to rally around.

Second, the team honestly didn’t seem to want this. Even if you want to use the injury excuse (and that’s what it is), look at the last 2 months that Buffalo has played. They have played pretty good hockey. However, the instant that they got close to making it into 8th place, or even once they got into 8th place, they’d screw it up. They’d have a big game, and they’d fall flat on their faces. The last 4 games for Buffalo are a perfect example. They had numerous opportunities to take control. You have to seize the opportunities that are given to you at this point in the year. Buffalo held them for a minute, said “That’s nice”, and handed them right back.

Finally, coaching and management hasn’t utilized this team to it’s strengths all season long. The game plans, are abysmal (most recent example, see tonights game against Philly). Buffalo hasn’t played to their strengths all season long. No odd man rushes, yet they give up a ton. Lines aren’t evenly balanced (Stafford, Foligno, and Ennis the exception), and they don’t use the tools that they have. I don’t even see a lot of speed on this team anymore (again, that line the exception) and drive this year. And, I know that speed and determination is there. Plus, Buffalo makes so many passes in their own end, I’m not shocked that they have so many turnovers. This happens every single game; this is coached. This unit that Buffalo has on the ice could be great, however they need to play to their strengths instead of what the coach and management think they should do. There is inept leadership on the ice, and behind the bench. Plus, the coaches are the ones who are supposed to motivate their team. Yes, players can do it too, but it starts with behind the bench. Buffalo should have been fired up for this game, and raring to go.

Fix this? Get that big change that I was talking about behind the bench. I do hate seeing Ruff go, Darcy deserves to be run out of town by an angry mob, with pitchforks. They’ve been here for a long time, and there’s no reason to believe that they will bring a Stanley Cup to Buffalo.

It’s depressing watching Buffalo not make it in the playoffs, and having not won a playoff series for 5 years. Hopefully by the start of next week, Buffalo will be searching for a new GM and a new coach. Making the playoffs won’t be good enough next year, they have to make the playoffs and get out of the first round.

Terry Pegula said that money wouldn’t be a problem anymore for Buffalo. They did worse this year than last year. Need I say more?
Filed Under:   Sabres   Vanek   Leino   Roy   Florida   Capitals   Flyers  
April 5, 2012 10:53 PM ET | Delete
April 5, 2012 10:55 PM ET | Delete
And honestly besides leino Darcy did not bad this year erhoff regher goose for a first and picking up Hodgson mabe not a blockbuster but going on just this season I like what he did and I was in favor to get rid of him
April 5, 2012 11:00 PM ET | Delete
Message Posted
April 6, 2012 12:09 AM ET | Delete
I've really enjoyed reading Garth's sugarcoated excuses for the sabres' lackluster efforts all season, then reading your's and reading the truth. Great writing man, and hopefully your posts will have a better tempo next season.
April 6, 2012 12:27 AM ET | Delete
Give it rest Andy with your negative blogs, i hope you didn't hurt yourself jumping on and off that bandwagon
April 6, 2012 12:38 AM ET | Delete
He isn't a bandwagoner. None of us are. We're simply upset that our PROFESSIONAL hockey team, who represents our city, plays like amateurs when they've shown that they're not.
April 6, 2012 3:17 AM ET | Delete
If you actually look at it the team is 28-11-3 when all three (Myers, Ehrhoff and Miller) are healthy and not suspended. That puts us on pace for 115 points over 82 games, which would win the President's trophy. But you're right those injuries have nothing to do with it.
April 6, 2012 3:20 AM ET | Delete
Why don't you look at how Detroit did without Datsyuk or Chicago without Toews. The reason they are still so high in the standings is those players didn't miss nearly as many games.
April 6, 2012 3:22 AM ET | Delete
By the end of Saturday we will have played 40 games without at least one of our three key cornerstones (Myers, Ehrhoff and Miller). If you don't think those three should be cornerstones that's fine, but the team did pretty well when they were healthy so that's not the wisest argument to make.
April 6, 2012 3:23 AM ET | Delete
The reason they played that way against Philly is because they wanted to make sure that the Flyers got as few chances as possible. It was a good gameplan and it was executed relatively well. When we are missing our best two d-men we can't afford to trade chances with a great offensive team.
April 6, 2012 3:25 AM ET | Delete
And while you've continuously said that Ruff is teaching them not to take chances and his system doesn't promote scoring, you've failed to explain why the team has been in the top half of the league every year since the lockout before this year. They were playing the same system that entire time.
April 6, 2012 3:26 AM ET | Delete
Your lack of knowledge about the game and blatant disregard for facts gives all Buffalo sports fans a bad name. Please do everyone a favor and learn what you're talking about before ever writing another blog. Your blogs after every Sabres lost are just pathetic.
April 6, 2012 8:11 AM ET | Delete
Towes and datsyuk also play forward, easier to replace forwards then dmen if Roy and pommer are out insted of Myers and erhoff way different story.
April 6, 2012 8:29 AM ET | Delete
Injury can never be used as an excuse. Hockey is a game full of injuries. Look at Pitt.. lost Crosby for nearly the entire year as well as Letang for an extended period. Players stepped up to fill their role. Yes Malkin went on a tear but other players had to step up as well. As for Ruff, its time for a change. The team has seem to quit on him and we need a shake up
April 6, 2012 9:48 AM ET | Delete
I've been really happy with the moves that Darcy made this year. Leino has been a bust so far, but he started to turn it around at the end of the year, which means there's still hope for him. All his other moves have been significantly beneficial to the short and long term good of the team. However, Darcy said himself that Ruff and Regier are a tandem and that neither one are really the other's boss, which leads me to believe that Ruff will not be fired unless Darcy is ousted as well.
April 6, 2012 12:57 PM ET | Delete
Sleepneat - you're a clown. Get bent.
April 6, 2012 3:54 PM ET | Delete
April 8, 2012 8:54 AM ET | Delete
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