I recently read the article about the Sabres building the team they have to be competitive. The pieces are there, according the Darcy Regier. There is a comfort level of the roster. I don't deny that the team has talent. It's there. However, for the past two seasons, the team has missed the playoffs with these players. Could a piece be missing?
There is the ability to do serious damage on the Sabres roster. Vanek can always find the back of the net, and if he stays healthy, Buffalo has their first 50 goal scorer since Alexander Mogilny. Roy has been consistent in getting points each season. Connolly handles the puck well, and is able to score and set up his teammates as well. However, that depends on him staying healthy. Kaleta has the potential to go be a solid defensive forward who intimidates his opponents, and gets 10-15 goals per season. All while Ryan Miller continues to improve at goal, and show his dominance. I haven't even touched on the solid defense, and the rest of the offense, but the talent is there.
If this team is to get into the playoffs, a piece of the puzzle is still missing. The past two years, the team has just been on the cusp of sneaking into the playoffs. The prospects are very promising for the Sabres as well, but are they the answer? Will the play of Nathan Gerbe push Buffalo into the playoffs? Buffalo needs to evaluate what the team needs in order to stop sitting on the outside of the playoffs so that come April, the Sabres are in the playoffs.
Like every other Buffalo Sabres fan, I'm anxiously awaiting for the start of the season. Do i agree with what the management have done? No. Is the potential for this team to make the playoffs there? Yes, if they stay healthy. More importantly, is this a Stanley Cup team? right now, I'm just not seeing it. I can see it a few years down the road if the Sabres stay healthy and keep the young talent on the team. I love this team. I pray that they prove me wrong. However, as I watched the playoffs and the Cup Finals this past season, i thought it was a miracle that Buffalo had been able to compete with those teams. Buffalo did compete with them, including taking 3 of 4 from Pittsburgh this past season. I hope Buffalo is answering these questions, and are moving forward to make sure that come playoff time, Buffalo is lacing up their skates, instead of their golf shoes.