When does a rivalry just become sad?
Whether you feel the Sabres will make the playoffs or not, tonight’s game against Ottawa means much more than two points. It is safe to call Ottawa the biggest rival Buffalo has had in the post-lockout NHL, but a 19-6-4 record against isn’t much of a rivalry. That’s a team unable to overcome… something, even when the opponent clearly is inferior.
The stakes are starting to get pretty high, and the chance to make the playoffs is getting thinner by the day. Right now there’s a 43.5% chance of making the postseason, and another loss will make that number fall even more.
I still don’t understand why the Sabres can’t beat bad hockey teams, but the natives are getting restless. It’s no longer just a stupid blogger wondering why Lindy Ruff isn’t getting it done anymore, and it’s very rare to see widespread criticism of the Sabres head coach. Even Harrington and Sully have been asking questions.
You can say this for any game from this point forward: tonight is the breaking point. The Sabres need to win games, and the teams around them aren’t giving Buffalo any help. Put it this way: the Sabres can finish with 92 points and will still have a less than 50% chance of making the playoffs.
At this point, demons can’t matter. Wins do.