A refreshing breeze of abject failure after a hope inducing spurt of production from your local hockey team. Such is the breaks. Does a two game skid on the road spell doom for our heroes? Not necessarily. There is plenty of time left in the season should the team decide to completely change the content of their character. I, however, will not be holding my breath.
Look, I ain’t looking to bring no party pooper skills to the ball, ya’ll (as the kids say.) This is a situation where I attempt to gauge the likely success of a team based on their previous and current performance. It’s not unheard of. We do this all the time. We deploy our trustworthy tools of common sense, inference, observation, and deduction to predict future events. In this circumstance we are using these tools to figure out what is going on with the Buffalo Sabres.
Yeah, yeah, I know. “Not much! HEYO! Wakka Wakka! Tip your waitress!” No, really, what is their deal?
Currently they statistically suck. 11th place in the Eastern conference, eight points back of 8th place with the team holding that spot (the Bruins) having two games in hand on the Sabres. Potentially twelve points back, then. Meanwhile the Islanders are in dead last with 18 points, but they have three games in hand on the Sabres. Should the Islanders win those games, the Sabres would be closer to the basement than to the eight spot. I’m trying to use numbers to justify their badness. I don’t think I have to. I watch them, they are bad. The mythical “eyeball” test in use.
33 games in you think we would have a pretty good understanding of the shape of the team. I think we do. They are bad. This is open to change, naturally. Eight different players could hit hot streaks all at the same time. They could trade for someone, or make roster moves to attempt to fix what ails them. With each passing game the options begin to slide from their grip. Opportunities are lost. Disappointment sets in. We start talking about next year.
I’m growing tired of the wait and see crowd, the folks who make the case for the trickiest of shots and take affront to any attempt to point out it’s improbability. I’m a big fan of reason. “They can do this! If they win 66 percent of their games here on out, they’ll be fine. They have good players!” This is it folks. These are the teams they needed to beat to make up ground, Florida and Tampa Bay. Instead they get their asses handed to them. It is time for me to believe what I see, what I have observed, and what I can deduce from previous experience. It is not a time for me to believe what I want and hope to be true. A little more science, a little less alchemy. Hope is perfectly fine in sports. It is an emotional affair after all. There does come a point where you have to shut down the part of your brain that allows us to walk upright to keep believing in failure. This has been pointed out before.
The Sabres will have a chance to make the playoffs until they are mathematically eliminated. They can still totally make the playoffs. I still don’t think they will be any good should they make it. How odd is it that they made the playoffs as a division winner and got trounced last year, and could make the playoffs in inverse circumstances with probably the same fate awaiting them. Awesome. Who knows, maybe they make the playoffs and your goalie gets hot and you win every game 1-0. Maybe. Maybe I can turn this lump of lead into gold if I get it hot enough.
And we wonder why the building isn’t loud.