I’ve been sitting here staring at a blank screen for the last 55 minutes or so. Nothing got done, but I just wanted to write this post like the Sabres played hockey tonight. I mean, they assumed it was going to work, so why shouldn’t I?
I try not to keep track of the worst games I’ve ever been to, but I know for a fact that this one will go down as one of the all time worst. You could see in the warmups that the team just didn’t have it. The drills were lackadaisical, Miller and Lalime looked uninterested, and just being out there seemed like… work. I sort of hoped things would ramp up once the puck dropped, but it was just a whole bunch of nothing all night.
After a while I couldn’t help but laugh about how pathetic the performance was by both teams. No one had any flow to their game, and even with all that disjointed hockey neither team put up a decent forecheck. No penalties, no excitement, nothing. It was two teams going through the motions on a sleepy Monday night, and it certainly wasn’t worth the price of admission.
The crowd was dead and for good reason. There really was nothing to cheer about or even get loud for, and even the big save Miller made happened when the game was long gone. I know a 1-0 score isn’t supposed to mean game over in the “New NHL” but this team was as good as dead when Arnott flipped that puck in.
Chris probably had the line of the night and he wasn’t even there. After the first goal he texted: “As soon as Razor said it was going to come down to who wants it more I knew we were going to lose.” It was too true to be funny, but worth mentioning nonetheless. Tonight was just sad, that’s all there is to say about it. In the bathroom after the game a drunk guy started rambling.
“I can’t even get mad about it,” he said. “What’s the point, you know?”
I was completely sober tonight, but I couldn’t have said it better myself. For some reason I can’t get mad about this team underachieving like always. I’ve resigned myself to mediocrity so quickly it’s almost scary. Roy and Pominville have regressed. Stafford and MacArthur are slipping. Only Vanek is truly playing well, and only the grinders like Goose, Mair, and maybe Mancari seem to give a crap.
The worst sign I’ve seen this year was that Goose and Mair were out looking for that first goal with three minutes left in the game. Is that really all we have? Tonight the Sabres made a rookie goaltender that sounds more like a pasta dish look fantastic. Against a mediocre team Buffalo looked even more pathetic, and there’s no way of getting around how depressing that is.
I have no answers for this team, and the more I see of them the more I start to wonder if anyone else has an answer for them, either. My friend Mike asked me if I thought coaching was the problem with this team. I said “I don’t know, maybe” and the woman in front of us looked at me like I just murdered an adorable puppy with my bare hands. I’m not saying it is coaching, and I’m not saying we should overreact and “shake things up.” I’m not suggesting anything, really. All I know is I’m tired of the words “frustrated” and “we need to be better.”
Walking out of the Arena tonight we were met with a stiff wind. With each gust brought a flurry of wintry mix stinging thousands of faces. Just the start of another Buffalo winter, but with that weather came a realization. Perhaps this team just doesn’t have it, and perhaps we’re getting too good at tolerating that fact. The term “tolerance” is derived from the amount of poison the human body can take before it dies.
Yeah, that sounds about right.