What would have happened if Captain Kirk shouted down the intercom to Mr. Scott to provide more power, and all Scotty did was calmly explain to the good Captain that you go into battle with the ship you have, and there was no point in changing any settings now that the battle was underway? What if Scotty had said that after the battle he and the rest of the engineering department would make a thorough review of how the ship handled and would make adjustments if necessary?
I’m not sure what Kirk would have done (besides hot space makeouts!) but I know I would have found another show to crush on in my impressionable youth. Thundercats? Zoobilee Zoo? Someone entertain me! I know what you’re saying. What the hell does this have to do with anything? Bear with me.
It gets to a point where there is only so much someone can do to solve a problem, especially if the solution lies elsewhere. The issues plaguing the Buffalo Sabres are actually easy to figure. First, you need to identify what you believe the problem is.
It seems that fans of the team can be broken down into several groups:
1) This team has on-ice talent issues.
If you fall into this group, you have seen all that needs to be seen from Drew Stafford, Tim Connolly, Patrick Lalime, and any other player you want to toss in. You find the team boring, uninspiring, and generally difficult to like. You watch because you like hockey, although the team is slowly killing that for you too.
2) The team has coaching issues.
At one point, Drew Stafford, Tim Connolly, Jason Pominville and the likes had the ability to score, but then they play for Lindy Ruff and all of a sudden their talent magically evaporates. Defense may win championships, but it also kills the ratings. The Sabres need a coach who can get the most from his players rather than work within a system – especially a system that sucks.
3) The team has management issues.
Darcy Regier might be dead. He hasn’t really done anything once the season has started. Should we file a missing persons report? Both Regier and Larry Quinn have a track record of screwing up (Raffi Torres, Dominic Moore, Chris Drury, Daniel Briere…) so both of them gotz to go.
The core issues with the Sabres could be any one of and maybe all of those issues. The core issue for fans is that, most likely, none of those issues will be addressed this year. No one will fire Darcy Regier, so management isn’t changing. Regier isn’t going to fire Ruff, so coaching isn’t changing. Regier seems unlikely to move personnel. So for our three possible problems with the team, none of them will be addressed. Somehow, this team has managed to give exactly no one hope of anything changing. We can all disagree on the problems, but we can all find solace in the fact that we are all due for disappointment.
I, for one, happen to think that management is the issue. There is only so much Lindy Ruff can do with the talent on the team, and at some point it behooves the general manager to make additional adjustments. Ruff has basically sat out Patrick Lalime and Craig Rivet. Why are they still on the team? Even if they were waived it would clear space for someone else to play. They do exactly nothing for the team right now. Ruff desperately needs Regier to do something here. Kirk is screaming for more power, but Scotty wants no part of this. There is a disconnect between these two.
Regier tells us that in-season moves are difficult in a salary cap league. I say its time someone called him on it.
In the next few days I’m going to try to hash out exactly how we got to where we are. It won’t do any good, because I have no confidence in any change barring a change of ownership. Even with that, where there has been some news, the Sabres try to kill our buzz. The Sabres have launched an all-out offensive on fun.
What we need to examine:
- What happened to Craig Rivet? Why is he still here?
- Why is Patrick Lalime still here if Ruff will not play him? More importantly, why was he re-signed?
- What do these two personnel decisions say about the relationship between Ruff and Regier.
We’ll see what we can do about these things here at the Roost. Enjoy the game tonight. Or don’t.