Adrift

So I’ve been watching this Buffalo Sabres team for a while now, and I don’t think they are very good.

The team has been bad for some time now, but I’m starting to come around to the idea that they will stay bad. The national television announcers—holy crap, you guys, that game was on national TV—discussed the loss as a failure to gain ground on anyone in the standings. I’m finding it tougher and tougher to frame these games in that manner. The Sabres are playing teams only slightly better than them in the standings and having a very hard time competing. Maybe they belong where they are.

It’s also getting very hard to get upset with this team. They just aren’t any good. They got their head coach fired and have only gotten more disorganized without him. It probably doesn’t help that it’s Ruff’s staff still running things with Ron Rolston in his place, but still.

Last night, for example, Nathan Gerbe and Tyler Ennis each got boarded and this team’s best response is having Mike Weber get his face punched in by the boardee. If only the Sabres’ resident cheap shot artist wasn’t suspended for that very act, then the Flyers would have really gotten their just rewards. Maybe a trip to a local Legoland can help him get his head clear.

It was also great to see Steve Ott do Tyler Myers’ patented Gentle Glide of Justice away from any involvement in an altercation. The least he could do is check to see if Ennis was still fogging up his visor. This team was mighty tough on paper during the summer. It’s held up like toilet paper stored in a damp freezer.

Out of all this nonsense, the one thing I’ve learned is that Rob Ray is an eternal optimist. The Sabres choked all over themselves against New Jersey in the last 10 minutes of the third period on Thursday. They wasted two great chances to score in overtime and couldn’t score in the shootout. After all that, Ray calls it a good game for the Sabres and lauds their ability to build a two-goal lead in the second period. Quoth the wise sage:

… But a nice job by the Sabres here tonight on the road. Coming in here not… two quick ones… they got themselves up by two and Jersey was able to battle back and unfortunately Jhonas Enroth hurting himself allowing that tying goal to get this Jersey team back into overtime and give them a chance to win this game.

I swear, that’s what he said. It’s nice to be optimistic, but right now I can’t even form a sentence fragment of good news with this team. Rob Ray may be what the Good Job, Good Effort kid grows up to be, but it ain’t me. There’s just too much awful to get excited about around these parts.

2 Comments

  1. Mike

    How important are intangibles? This team should be more successful than it is based on talent and production. Why do they suck as a team?
    Frankly, I’m sick of wasting my time thinking about it because it’s pointless. We’ll never know why they suck. They just do. But I’m not willing to say that they will suck for the foreseeable future, because staying sucky is something the Sabres have also sucked at generally. Which then leads you into the eternal refrain of the Buffalo sports fan “Maybe this time will be different.”
    The reason for my optimism (if you can call it that). I look at Montreal last year and where they are this year. The word “fiasco” was tossed about widely. Their young star defensemen was criticized for underperforming. You had the Cammelleri trade and the fallout. And then the interim coach was run out of town because he couldn’t speak Quebecois French. And we all laughed at how crazy and provincial the once mighty Canadiens had become and how they were taking themselves out of the mainstream hockey world. Who would want to go to Montreal and coach with that pressure?
    My point is that the Canadiens team looks a lot like how it did last year, when they drafted third. If anything, they’ve lost significant players from the starting roster last year. But they are playing much better. Sure they fired their coach. They fired their GM. They hired retreads nobody really had much faith in. And they’re First in the East.
    I think the reason we as fans are so disgusted with this season is that deep down, as fans, we believe that the Sabres have it in them, even though they’ve shown us time and again they don’t. What can work to turn the team around?

  2. The actions of Sabres opponents against two of the leagues smallest players shows that if you’re below 6 ft. and you wear Blue and Gold on your uniform its open season on ending a players careeer. It seems there is a double standard and I am sick and tried of it !!!