Mr. Brightside

By Chris

The Sabres just dropped another game tonight, one they probably should have won. It’s amazing how fast this team has forgotten how to pull one out when it matters.

It’s a pretty depressing time right now for hockey fans. Believe me, it’s no fun being negative and I’m trying very hard not to be. I feel like the guy in that AT&T commercial who’s in Vegas for the first time. You don’t even need to click on that link. You know which one it is. It’s just been slammed down our throats all hockey seas–keep it positive. I actually like the Stu commercial (I can’t find a link, but you know that one, too).

But seriously, I really don’t want to be too upset by the hockey team. The last two seasons have tugged at so many emotions, especially during the playoff months. This past summer probably took three years off of my life with all of the drama and heartbreak. So, I try to keep telling myself that it’s just the regular season. You can’t live and die with each game. Unfortunately, we may not get to those playoff months if they keep playing the wa—just go to your happy place…Chubbs…Grandma, Grandma, Grandma…

So you may not be able to live and die with every game but you can analyze the team in stretches. Let’s just look at the month of November.

Buffalo opened in Boston and their rallying efforts were spoiled in a 4-3 overtime loss. Maybe Miller should have had that last shot but either way, the team walked away with just one point when they could have had two. Miller is usually pretty in touch with the team’s pulse so what were his feelings after the game?

An obviously frustrated Miller wasn’t around to talk to reporters after this one. He downright flubbed Phil Kessel’s second-period wrist shot that leaked between his pads and gave Boston a 2-0 lead. And he’ll probably spend a good deal of time reliving Sturm’s goofy game-winner.

Not exactly a good sign.

The next night the Sabres collapsed at home against the Panthers. Three second period goals sealed Buffalo’s fate as back up goalie Jocelyn Thibault was hung out to dry on just about every one. Listening to the postgame interviews, the team knew that their effort was unacceptable. So they’d come out flying for their next game, right?

You’d think so. But on Monday the Sabres were blanked 2-0 by the Canadiens in Montreal. Awesomeness all around.

Let’s listen to what Miller had to say about this one:

“We did a good job against a team that’s not going to give up much by not giving up much to them. Huet was very good. I thought we got inside a few times and he came up big. You can’t be too mad, usually, about those games but it just comes at a time when we’re looking for something to go right and hopefully the guys aren’t going to take this too hard.”

OK. So we move on. And the Sabres were able to get revenge against the Bruins with Clarke MacArthur’s overtime winner. It had the makings of a game that could turn the season around.

Quoth the goalie,

“It’s a good step forward.”

“To start out down again in your own building, you start to think, ‘Are we going to get a lead this year?’ ” goaltender Ryan Miller said. “It’s one of those things. It does weigh on you but we did a pretty good job of snapping out of it for the most part.”

So there are still questions about whether the team is doing things right, but it’s nice to be able to step off the ice with a win. The three game losing streak behind them, the team has Toronto in their building last night and, for the most part played a very good game. But the team collapsed in the third period and lost 3-0.

So, Mr. Miller, what did you think?

“How many posts did we hit? Just the way things are going. Eventually they’re going to go our way. Right now, it’s hard not to be [ticked] off. They’re divisional games and we’ve got to show up and have offense.”

“It just started things off on a bad direction for the third period. We had some breakdowns. I don’t even want to talk about the system right now. We played better but there’s moments where we just don’t want to do it.”

“We’ve got to find the medium where we’re better on offense and we’re responsible on defense. We’ll find the right mix eventually but it’s a tough time to be finding yourself when you got six more divisional games in a row.”

Can’t wait to hear his comments on the game that happened tonight, especially now that he’s playing well and the team isn’t producing. What exactly are we witnessing? It’s a team that is used to success that isn’t finding it. They’re searching for an identity and they haven’t found their go-to-guys yet. The injuries aren’t helping.

With players like Afinogenov, Vanek, Roy, and Pominville not playing to the levels they’re expected to be at, it makes it tougher for the entire team. Maybe a breakout game for one of those guys will set in motion a chain of events that allows them all to start playing well. All we can do as fans right now is sit back and wait. The team is in rough shape and we’re just going to have to watch them work it out. Because we know Darcy Regier isn’t going to make any significant trades. The biggest question is how long we’re going to have to wait.

This isn’t the first time we’ve played this video for you, and chances are, it sure as hell won’t be the last. So laugh a little. We all need it. Just keep on looking on the bright side of life.

Hey, at least the Bills play tomorrow. And the Dolphins are really, really, really bad. We’ll see…