Not looking for an answer here. So don’t try to give me one (“Too late”, says my wife as I proof read it to her. She answered “no” for those of you who were curious.). I’ll admit that it’s very tempting to get caught up in the rush of the past 2 Sabres games. Winning in Montreal and then beating Toronto in what may have been the best game Buffalo’s played this season, yeah, it’s easy to get excited.
At this point in time, all one has to do is look at the NHL standings to find some level of optimism. And Buffalo fans love their optimism. The Sabres, in 11th place, are just 4 points out of the 8th place seed for the playoffs with 17 games left to play. By the way, the 10th, 9th, and 8th place teams all have a game in hand on Buffalo. But, after how this season started, it’s very easy to get optimistic about their chances to get into the playoffs.
I want to get excited, I do! However, in the back of my mind, I have the same nagging question you’ve all heard a thousand times before;
Can the Buffalo Sabres succeed in the playoffs?
I’d love to see the Sabres get into the playoffs. However, I don’t want to be let down by another first round failure again. Let’s be honest, that’s what Buffalo is probably looking at here should they make the playoffs. Say hypothetically Buffalo squeaks into that 8th or 7th place seed. You’re going to be looking at Pittsburgh, Montreal, or Boston in the first round. That’s the makings of an early departure. I’m sick to death, of watching this team make the playoffs, and then embarrass themselves as soon as they start.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, making the playoffs just isn’t good enough anymore. By succeed, I mean get out of the first round. Buffalo can’t do that.
Fans of Buffalo don’t want to just see a team limp into the playoffs and then get beaten. The last 2 times they made the playoffs, they didn’t even look like they belonged on the ice with their opponents.
My biggest concern, is that Darcy Regier is going to all of a sudden think that this team is a contender, and try to win now. Of course, in doing this, he’ll put this team further back, and into a deeper hole that they’ll need to dig themselves out of. Darcy has proven that he isn’t capable of making the move to improve this team, nor make them more of a contender come playoff time. Darcy has also proven that he is unable to accurately assess his hockey team, or assess the talent of other teams players.
The theme of this team right now needs to be sell sell sell!!! I keep hearing the Sabres “experts” talking about a late season push, and trying to get into the playoffs. I’d rather it not happen. I personally think the theme of “Not winnin’ for McKinnon” should be adopted. Buffalo is in a unique position, they have several good pieces that other teams would love to try to pick up, now. Several teams are in the hunt, and would love to get someone like Vanek or Pominville to take a run for the Cup. They will trade off their future, in order to win now. Buffalo should be taking full advantage of this, and start trying to build for the future.
Don’t be confused by a little winning streak by Buffalo. This team is not a Cup team, and in turn should focus on trying to build a Cup contender for the future.
2 back-to-back wins (despite being over Toronto and Montreal) are not reason to get excited. Remember, the season high win streak for the Sabres is 3 games. Plus, they only have 7 regulation wins for the whole season.
That sure doesn’t scream “Cup contender” to me.