A Weird Start To The Sabres Season1
Well the Buffalo Sabres are nineteen games into the season and I don’t think anyone could have predicted the way things have shaken out thus far. (And if you say you predicted exactly this, let me know who your Super Bowl favorite is, because you’ve got some mad prognostication skills. Or skillz, if you prefer, yo.)
Nineteen games in and we have no idea what this team is. Fans of Stephen King may be aware of a saying that things have “gone 19“; it means things have gotten really inexplicably weird.
It may well be weird, but things rarely go according to plan for a sports team. We expected Ryan Miller to be the man with Johnas Enroth filling in admirably at times – instead Enroth has to be THE man again. So far he’s shown that he CAN be the man and the Sabres have two very good goalies. Where does that leave Miller when he returns? A 50/50 split? Do the more level-headed among us start to seriously ponder a trade of Miller and going with Enroth? Our all-star and Vezina-winning goalie doesn’t inspire confidence the way Enroth has been. It’s 19, man.
Christian Ehrhoff was supposed to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. And you may not get that saying because sliced bread doesn’t sound exciting, but have you had to put up with cutting your own bread for any length of time? HAVE YOU? It’s not fun. But all seriousness aside, Ehrhoff is a minus 4 and while he’s taken 41 shots, only has 1 goal (that’s a 2.4% shooting percentage).
Marc-Andre Gragnani (I like to pronounce his last name “Grag-nanny” because it’s fun) has been a disappointment as well. Weber lit a fire in the D for a bit but quickly got hurt. Myers has been craptastic, then benched, then superman for a game; will he continue the superman style of play or revert back? And just when you think Boyes and Leino can do nothing, their line seems the most dominant for us in a game (despite, y’know, not actually scoring).
This team is all over the map. But you know what? I love it.
We couldn’t predict this, but would we really want to? That’s part of the excitement of sports. It’s why we watch, why we oooooh and ahhh, why we cheer, why we bet on the games. Er, well, if we’re somewhere LEGAL to do so of course.
The Sabres are 3rd in the Eastern Conference and while not perfect by any stretch have different players stepping up every night. To me, it’s an amazing ride.
To be honest, I don’t want the team to win the President’s Trophy. We’ve all seen how the team that wins that does – more often than not they get ousted quickly by a “worse” team that had to work harder to get into the playoffs. I want the Sabres to do well enough to get a decent seed (say 3rd or 4th) but go into the playoffs hot.
This Sabres team is already starting to gel. It’s not how we thought it would shake out, but it’s coming together. It’s weird, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.
next post: The 1-3-1 Neutral Zone Trap Explained