The Sabres are in a terrible crisis.
I admire the optimism of anyone that is still holding out hope that this team will get healthy and turn things around, but it’s optimism misdirected. This year’s Sabres team stinks.
The “team reports” will inform you of the “last 10 games” record, but honestly, and unfortunately, the real statline for the Sabres should be “games since Lucic ran Miller.” If the Sabres miss the playoffs – heck, even if they rally and make the playoffs – this season will be defined by that moment.
Since that game, the Sabres have 18 losses, and 8 wins. I am not counting overtime points, or “loser points.” I am talking simply here – wins and losses, for what is simply a losing team. Here is what 8-18 looks visually:
Beyond that, the Sabres are soft to the core. They don’t hit, they get pushed around, and they hang their heads and repeat the same loser cliches after every loss.
It’s no wonder the FNC is so quiet these days. Who wants to cheer for that kind of fluff? The Sabres might remark on it, they might even ask for cheers, but Buffalonians don’t cheer on command.
Of course, it wasn’t Lucic that made the Sabres soft – they already were. The hit on Miller only galvanized that fact, and made it the #1 key to victory for opposing team strategies. Outhit the Sabres, and you win the game. Or, push the Sabres around and try to get them to hit back, and then take ’em out. That one sure worked on Christian Ehrhoff, didn’t it?
The players are out of ideas. They’ve got no cliches left to give, as Drew Stafford recently noted. I’d look up a link for that, but I think I’ll pass. You know, not put in a full effort. Make this post fit the team.
Then, there’s the new “Win 2 Games in a Row” strategy. Sexy.
The Sabres have a chance to gain some serious ground on the Leafs, with a back to back on the schedule. Still, even if they win those two contests, fans will be deadened by the fact that another loss is around the corner. That’s just the way it goes for this team. The thought that suddenly the Sabres will emerge as a healthy club with the confidence to out-win the teams in front of them is plausible, but not probable. (It especially doesn’t help when the team loses to the teams behind them. See: Carolina.)
So far, Vanek and Pominville’s best seasons have been unable to save this team. Miller, Stafford, Roy, and many more have been disappointing at best. Lindy Ruff, considered a hockey genius by many, doesn’t have the answer. Despite their collective best “efforts,” no one at ice-level has been able to provide an answer, a cure, or a way to win hockey games.
It’s up to Darcy Regier now. He’s the only one with the power to shake things up and get this team winning again.
GM’s will hold onto their trade bait until the trade deadline to maximize their returns, but if this season is to be saved, something has to go down now. It’s a new “clarion call” in Buffalo these days:
Let’s get it trending.
UPDATE (12:50 am):
6pm: even on slow-traffic Sunday, during the NFL playoffs, this keeps trending more and more in the B-lo. The fans are speaking. And they are not happy.
We may not have the Sabres on Time Warner, but this season, we have them on the Twitter.
And for that, we are thankful. Last night, while the Sabres were playing a winning hockey game against the Edmonton Oilers, folks with Time Warner were blacked out. If that wasn’t bad enough, the only other legal means of obtaining a feed of the game – WGR 550 AM radio – fizzled out before the 3rd period. A transmitter problem meant that the radio would not come back to life until, curiously, about a minute or so after the final whistle.
Conspiracy? Whatever. Technology proved itself to be one step ahead of the broadcast giants, as fans streamed to the internet to watch the game, for free, on illegal(?) feeds. Conspiracy, piracy – it was quite an entertaining night.
Speaking of piracy, Jhonas Enroth’s Twitter account was hijacked after the game by his (purported) lady friend. If you are one of those fans who are on top of the world this morning because you got Enroth to retweet you by telling him that you “asked for an Enroth jersey for Xmas and SO didn’t get one and I’ll cry if I don’t get at least a RT,” well then welcome back to earth. The hands working his Twitter account were not his own, and the long run of RT’s has been deleted from his account.
Sabres fans, welcome to life without TV. If you missed the Enroth Twittergate, here’s one of the false tweets which I managed to screen-grab. It was the first, and the best.
buffalosabresnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/JEgfTurtles-300x41.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 540px) 100vw, 540px" />Get it? No?
In other non-broadcast related happenings, Mark Spector (Senior Columnist for Sportsnet.ca) was on hand to observe the game and players, and apparently the fans. For anyone who attends games at the FN’
Center Library, what he eventually tweeted was of no surprise:
It’s about time somebody called us out on this. We fans have been pretty quiet lately, hypnotized as such by brain-numbing hockey, but eventually that arena beer has gotta kick in and we need to make some kind of stir. Still, someone called us out, and that surely violates some kind of unwritten rule. So, in defense of our fair Queen City, and in hopes to get a cheap laugh, I quickly tweeted.
There were no takers. At least, that’s what I was told. How would I know? I don’t have the money to drive all the way to Clarence to watch the game with the CEO of MSG at Tully’s.
I’ll close out this surreal game nite recap with the inspired sign work by “@akepps.”
Credit where credit is due: Roydazzler was a +3 and got an assist.
And I just typed “Roydazzler.”
This season cannot get any stranger – but hey, the Sabres won. However we fans were able to catch bits and pieces of the game, we were lucky at least to get in the win column early in 2012.
Hockey gods help us.
It’s that time of year, again. When we all make New Years resolutions that have the shelf life of a dairy product. Going to the gym, eating more vegetables, spending more time with the in laws. We all make them, and we’re all lying to ourselves between now and somewhere around Valentines Day.
buffalosabresnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/kids_toddler_baby_new_years_resolution_tshirt-p235952302045068158zvfaz_400-150x150.jpg 150w, buffalosabresnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/kids_toddler_baby_new_years_resolution_tshirt-p235952302045068158zvfaz_400.jpg 400w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />
Don’t lie, yes you are.
Buffalo Sabres Nation has gotten a sneak preview into the Sabres 2012 New Years Resolutions, and are sharing them exclusively with our readers. Please keep in mind, these are hand written by the players themselves, and should not be taken seriously in any way, shape, or form.
Start letting others do more on this team. I’m just one guy, it isn’t all about me
Smile more, there’s so much in life that one can make goofy faces at
Stay on the team until I’m 21, don’t get arrested in the time following birthday
Marc- Andre Gragnani
Keep Mikey off the healthy scratch list. Buddy deserves to play, even if I must sacrifice myself
Learn Russian while injured
Resolve the MSG and Time Warner Cable dispute. That will keep me on the team!
Adopt all of Sarah McLachlan’s kitties and puppies. Maybe a few children, too
Challenge Tyler Myers to more arm wrestles using his bad arm. That will keep me on the team!
Do more for this team, I am simply not doing enough
Stay reading to see what the other boys are planning for a happier and brighter 2012.
Happy New Year!
Lockouts. Blackouts. Blockouts.
Be it football or hockey, Buffalo fans have been given a harsh lesson in the big money reality of pro sports. No matter who is in control of the money, be it the NHL, NHLPA, NFL, NFLPA, MSG, or Time Warner Cable, the fans are the last on the list of “Potential Risk Factors” when it comes to axing a season or a broadcast.
Heck, I’d be surprised if fans are even on such a list.
For those fans fortunate enough to have the money to attend games at the FN’ Center (and by fortunate, I mean monetary fortune), live action pro-sports are alive and well at their feet downtown. The Bills, of course, are done early this year. Meanwhile, subscribers to Time Warner Cable are out of luck. Due to a squabble between MSG and Time Warner, those who pay the big cable bills at the end of the month are now without Sabres coverage.
2012: the year Sabres fans learned how to illegally stream games on the internet. And how to work hand crank radios.
Nice shoes, kid.
The Sabres, well, they’ve got a long list of problems of their own. Despite their fantastic new locker room and medical facilities, they’ve gone from a very promising start to an outright sputter and stall. Malingering in eleventh place with an injury list that is as long as any that even Lindy Ruff can remember in his long tenure, there are not many ways to envision them crawling back up into the top 8 in the East any time soon.
Check out Brittany’s man games lost chart over at “Sabres in 7.” She’s doing her best to update it, as the injuries rush in faster than emails rush to fill up Time Warner’s customer complaint inbox.
As ridiculous as Time Warner and MSG’s treatment of their customer base is, I find it only fair to launch the equally ridiculous satirical Twitter accounts. If we’re going to suffer, we’re going to suffer by the dull edge of my bludgeoning wit, dangit!
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For your statistical displeasure, here’s a shot of our sorry excuse for a team as of this sorry excuse for a post:
38 points in 38 games. YIKES.
Mr. Pegula, thank you for the cup holders in 2011. Here’s to hoping you find a way to get us some Cup holders in 2012.