While I was watching the Sabres game Saturday night, I was on Twitter live chatting like normal. As the team’s play, I guess the right terminology would be “improved” as the game reached its late stages, several reporters were mentioning the excuses that would be used for this game to justify the eventual loss.
I started having flashbacks at this point.
2 years ago, for the 2011-2012 season, everyone was more than content to blame injuries, and everything else for shoddy play in Buffalo. Last year, it was the fact that there was a new coach, and several changes were taking place. This year, the excuse is that the Sabres are rebuilding.
See a theme here?
These excuses go years back to losing Drury and Briere, the Hasek trade, and anything else you can think of. There is always a real fast answer to explain what’s happening. Here’s my favorite, every year at the trade deadline, we suffer some more listening to Darcy explaining how there wasn’t anything available, and how hard it is to make trades in the NHL.
Rationalizing is what I call it.
So what’s it going to be now?
Several individuals, (including WGR analysts and writers for the Buffalo News) stated that following the game on Saturday against Colorado, the excuse would be that the team got better as the game went on. The concept being, that Black, Pegula, and Regier will jump on this and run. That the team looked better, they just need more time. All of the other games, that have been 1-2 goal loses or less, it’s that the games are close. They find excuses, to justify losing games. Pegula did this last year when he alluded to Darcy Regier not having full control of the team in the past. I believe that he said that Regier was painting while someone else was holding his hand.
Guess what? That’s just another excuse. Darcy’s got full control now, what’s the next justification, that he’s legally blind?
Well, the scoreboard may say “it’s close”. Those of us who actually watch the games know better. I say this as fact right now; If it wasn’t for Ryan Miller and Jhnoas Enroth, the scoreboard would say 10-1 nightly. Guess what team would have 1?
What’s the excuse now? Ron Rolston has been in the headlights currently, and he’s only coached 41 games in Buffalo. I personally think that he is going to be a scapegoat in this situation. He made the best of a rotten situation last year, and now he is trying to do it again. Personally, I feel the product on the ice is worse now than last year. There’s only so much that Rolston can do. However, let’s go with the assumption that Rolston will be gone before Darcy is.
What happens when the next coach has no success with this team?
I can hear it already. It takes time to learn a new coaches system. They need time to adjust. It’s all part of the plan.
What’s my biggest worry about this? We keep finding excuses to justify failure in Buffalo. Fans do this though. I do this from time to time, albeit not often. What’s the difference? I’m not making decisions based on these excuses.
I’m interested in solutions to the problems in Buffalo. We all know, there are a lot of problems in Buffalo, and for once we aren’t talking about the Bills. Finding excuses, rationalizing what’s going on at First Niagara Center on a nightly basis, doesn’t solve anything. Sabres fans want solutions. They want to see improvement and change. It just doesn’t happen and there doesn’t seem to be any of this on the horizon for the Sabres.
Excuses solve absolutely nothing. Darcy Regier has been notorious for finding excuses for this team. However, the excuses aren’t for the team, they’re for him. A point that I’ll expand on in a future blog, is that any GM has to take risks. Some don’t work out, some do. However, when you have more failures than successes, it isn’t saying that you had a few bad breaks. It’s just the fact that you’re not a good GM, and that you don’t know what you’re doing. No one’s luck is that bad.
So what should Pegula and Black be doing right now for the Buffalo Sabres? Simple; finding solutions for the Buffalo Sabres’ future. What’s going to happen instead? Well, Black has already stated that Buffalo fans need to be “patient” and “stay the course”. Pegula is nowhere to be seen, but when he does surface, he’ll find a way to ignore the problems of his hockey team, give us some weak excuses, and pretend that it’s all ok.
Good teams, don’t find excuses or try to rationalize poor play. Good teams, see what happened, address it as fact, and then go about trying to make change. Do teams that make the playoffs find excuses as to why they got eliminated? No, they make adjustments to their team and are going at it again this year. Players don’t find excuses. How many times does a player miss a great scoring opportunity, and in their post game interview, they state “I need to bury those chances”. The good teams and good players don’t try to find excuses. They state that things need to be fixed, and then go about doing their best to fix it.
In the end, the excuses and rationalizing behavior will get the Buffalo Sabres nowhere. Actually, that’s not true. I need to take that back.
Finding excuses to rationalize poor play and decisions has gotten Buffalo somewhere; 2nd to last in the NHL.
That’s where excuses will get you. And that’s not where any NHL team wants to be.
Follow me on Twitter- @SabresBTB I live chat during the games (work pending) and I’m always up for discussing the state of the Sabres or NHL issues as a whole.
As always, thanks for reading!