Well… yes. I do agree with… just about everyone that the Sabres are NOT playing well at the moment. We’ve seen a lack of hustle, and in my opinion, a lack of strong leadership, mainly from one Lindy Ruff.
We’ve all heard the call for Lindy’s head before, and it goes unheard of by the guys upstairs, or better yet ignored and swept under the rug. But do we REALLY need a shake up at the coaching position? I question whether or not this will get the job done. While I agree that Lindy looks lackadaisical in his coaching role as of now, I think he needs to stay put, but make some changes to his strategy.
The shake up of the lines night in and night out is not helping whatsoever. From my years of playing club hockey, I learned a lot of things, and one of those is that playing with the same guys night after night, magic can happen. You know where they’ll be and when they’ll be there, and you can count on each other. In the current Sabres system, I worry that they’re not comfortable on the ice with each other. Not only are the lines different every night, but we do have newer faces that are going to take some time to get used to and a lot of younger guys stepping up. (See constant injuries)
However, I don’t think it’s simply a line issue. In December, the Sabres went 4-7-3 (one of those OT losses coming in the shootout).
Here’s the thing: Half of those games (7 of the 14) were one goal games, with 4 of them being losses. Had the puck bounced a different way, we’d see a Sabres team in December going 8-6 which while not great, at only banking 16 of 28 possible points, is much better than only 11 of 28 possible points. We’d see our Sabres one point behind Toronto in the division and only 2 points out of a playoff spot.
Yes, we’re playing incredibly injured, and yes, the team seems to lack motivation, but are the Sabres as a team so bad? We all make rash decisions when it comes to our favorite franchise losing games. It’s understandable, but I think we all (myself included) tend to believe the worst when we’re down and stop looking for the positives.
Wasn’t there a Toronto team a couple of years ago that was constantly rebuilding, always put down and told they won’t succeed? Well look where they are two years later. They went out and got some decent players (ie Kessel and Lupul) and let their young stars play. As much as I dislike giving credit to Toronto, they did it right. We never saw Burke panic, and things have so far gone well.
We need to learn to take the downs with the ups, and ride this one out.
We’ll be okay. Maybe not this year, but we’re going to see that Cup come through the streets of Buffalo. And not carried by Patty Kane.
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