The Buffalo Sabres are not good at home. The latest example of this is the game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. In perhaps the worst six minutes the team has played in years, Ryan Miller was pulled, every position player had found a way to fail at their job, and the Flyers had scored enough goals to win the game. It was some bad hockey going down y ‘all.
The focus after the game quickly shifted to Miller and his performance, along with the reaction to his exit from the game, which was enthusiastic.
Athletes being informed by their home crowds that they are performing below expectations is nothing new to sports or this city, so I read little into those events. Miller was testy after the game after a rough game? Did the sun come up? Whatever. Activating his ‘dick’ protocol its how Miller gets from A to B, with B often being a win. And being a dick to the press doesn’t reflect on his interactions with his coach, teammates, or fans in other settings. He lost, and didn’t like it, and acted as such. He isn’t being paid to be Adlai Stevenson.
The biggest concern going should be on why this talented team constantly looks out of sorts in their own building, and that falls squarely on the shoulders of the head coach. Lindy Ruff is in charge of getting them ready to play, and they are not when at home more often than not. Remember kids, this is how last year started too – losing homestands and falling behind in the points race. They need to win at the First Niagara Center and seemingly cannot.
Stop looking at the goalies, of which both are good, and start looking behind the bench. This is not to say that the coach is a joke, or that he should be axed. Far from it.
It is just his problem.