Well now that I have successfully saved my computer from certain death (or the lovely Apple Genius’ did), I have rejoined the wonderful world of technology! In the 10 days I have been sans-computer a lot has happened in Sabre-land… Let’s recap and discuss.
The Sabres have lost 6 of their last 7 games, most to teams they should have easily beaten. There seems to be an extreme case of the lazybug travelling around the Sabres locker room as of late and no one seems to have a remedy for this pest. During many of those games, the team looked lost and put forth an effort that was an absolute embarrassment. The Sabres have looked disconnected for many weeks now and have given fans every reason under the sun to complain and criticize.
Many fans are now screaming for a coaching change or a major trade to shake things up, but many also are saying those thing will not fix the problem.
This is a topic of interest for many fans simply because what was considered the core of this team has been together for more than 7 years between the minors and the NHL. People have said certain players do not want to play here or play for Lindy anymore and if this is the case, that could be a huge factor as to why this team has so many problems. If there is a disconnect in the locker room, that always translates into poor play on the ice (see Philadelphia).
Since I have a personal hatred for Mr. Derek Roy, I figured he’s the best place to start. Roy has always been a selfish player, who refuses to play the “system” that Lindy has put into place. In my opinion, Roy has been nothing but a virus that has plagued this team for years. He is, supposedly, largely disliked by the team around him. While many fans just simply “adore” him, many more see him as a second or third line center at best, who does nothing to make the players around him any better (see job of NHL Center). Roy has been the main point of trade discussions, but don’t get too excited about this people… Darcy will try to overvalue him and no one will be willing to part with whatever his asking price is.
As for the rest of the players on the team, if you can get anything for them now, DO IT.
While everyone, including the players, will sit here and tell you injuries are not an excuse, guess what in this instance they might be just the smallest excuse they can use. The amount of man games lost this season are reaching a menacing total of 188. Between Tyler’s Ennis and Myers, Jochen Hecht, Christian Ehrhoff, Andrej Sekera, a strong of rookies and call-ups and now Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek, there has been zero consistency on this team. Can you really expect a team to have any semblance of success when there is a new player coming into or leaving the line-up every other game? No probably not…
However, now that more players are returning, this team could stand a fighting chance to secure a playoff spot, IF they get their acts together.
So what does all this mean in the long run? Now that we’re halfway through the season, a heck of a lot more than it did a month ago. Every point is so much more important now, every game means that much more and if the Buffalo Sabres can’t get it together ASAP, there is going to be a much bigger problem. With almost all the regulars back in the line-up or very close to being back in the line-up we might finally have some consistency. With that consistency will come scoring and more all around play. When that consistency factor is put into play the lines will more than likely be the same for a whole game and then a string of games. That alone will allow the team to develop some chemistry which will lead to scoring (from other places besides Pommer and Vanek).
They have their first chance to turn it around tomorrow night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team who just beat them pretty solidly last night. Will this be an instant turn around, probably not, but tomorrow night can at least be a starting point. Lets see how this goes ladies and gents!