Sabres Victimized

Ryan Miller stayed behind.

After getting crushed in the open ice by Milan Lucic, and unable to return for the 3rd period, Miller stayed behind in the visiting locker room to tell reporters just how angry he was about getting smacked. From the Buffalo News:

“I just stuck around because I wanted to say what a piece of [expletive] I think Lucic is. Fifty pounds on me, and he runs me like that? It’s unbelievable. Everyone in this city see him as a big, tough, solid player. I respected him for how hard he plays. That was gutless. Gutless. Piece of [expletive].”

Why should Miller have to hang around the locker room while nursing an upper body injury, in order to send a message like that? Because his gutless team couldn’t do it for him on the ice. After the big bad Bruins issued the challenge by feeding Miller into the ice, the Sabres slumped over, skated around, and took it like true victims.

Captain Jason Pominville, on the ice when Miller was hit,  failed to pounce on anyone after the play. Coach Lindy Ruff stood behind the bench, looking somewhat ruffled, but didn’t throw any sticks on the ice or even throw an f-bomb (if my lip reading was correct he only asked for a 5 minute penalty instead of a 2 minute minor).

Tim Thomas, tending goal at the other end, had nothing to worry about. The tone was set, and everyone knew a response wasn’t coming. The Sabres skated around limp and distracted, feeding their abusers with chance after chance to make it all worse.

6-2 at the final buzzer.

I imagine the Blue and Gold just wanted to get off the ice, to escape the horror, maybe just get to their room, light some candles, and cry along with a Tori Amos cd.


bullying1 Sabres Victimized

We’ve been calling for Mike Weber and his toughness to be inserted into this soft, offensive-minded defense all season long. But what change can one player really bring to this team? Can Mike Weber affect the attitude on the ice more than Robyn Regehr? Let’s not forget about Patrick Kaleta, Cody McCormick, Paul Gaustad, and Nathan Gerbe – to name a few – there’s plenty of bodies out there that should be very willing and able to fight back.

Instead, we had Ryan Miller, waiting injured in the locker room to bark at reporters. That’s it. That’s what we have, a lot of bark and no bite. I would have gladly taken a 6-2 loss if the Sabres responded by running Thomas or starting a brawl or three.

But that wasn’t going to happen. The Sabres had teeth to fight back. And that is nothing new. Again, from the Buffalo News:

“You know, we wouldn’t accept anything like that,” Lucic said. “We would have [taken] care of business. But we’re a different team than they are.”

The Sabres are in a good spot right now in the regular season standings. They’ll make it to the playoffs. But when push comes to shove, as it does in those hard fought playoff games, what kind of response will the Sabres have? History and reputation tells us that they’ll back down and drop out.

If I am Terry Pegula I am working right now and hiring as many sports psychiatrists as possible. The Sabres were victimized last night, sure. But it wasn’t Lucic. They did nothing about it. They victimized themselves.

And that is a troubling thought.

Go Sabres.

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Posted in: Sabres

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