Roy and the Sabres gave the home fans a real and rare treat with their drubbing of the Pens. There is no doubt that this Gretzky-esque backhander by Roy will make an appearance on that “2011-12 Sabres Season in Review” DVD that no one is going to buy.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Everyone falls down! Blindsided by the Roydazzler.
Posted by Scott Michalak on February 17, 2012 at 11:02 am
There’s no reason to argue over just how bad this game was.
Or just how terrible this season has been. It’s over. Time to talk trade deadline and the draft. But before we do, here’s an image from last night’s game. I think it sums up the entire season pretty well.
The Sabres turned in yet another coach-killing performance last night. What a sucky present for Ruff, who turns 52 today. What are the odds Lindy gets the axe on his birthday? That would be an even suckier present.
If you’ve followed me on the Twitter today, you’ve noted my frustration has given way to childish mockery (it’s either laugh or cry at this point):
Enjoy your fancy locker room while you still can, Sabres. Next year a lot of you will be in the crappy visitor’s room. And NO MORE COOKIES.
Don’t you just want to sneak into the Sabres’ locker room during intermission, stomp your foot on the logo, and walk out in a huff?
After the 7-2 absolute drubbing at the hands of the hated Flyers, we now know there is no hope for this team, this year. Well, of course many of us knew before this, but some of us held out the slightest glimmer of hope. I did.
We were teased last year with the 16-4-4 run to end the season and make the playoffs… only to be crushed at the hands of those very same hated Flyers. Now we know that the run to the playoffs was more flukey than being eliminated in the 1st round and the record the Sabres currently hold (24-27-6).
The combination of the bad record despite the high expectations, the mediocre play on the ice, the Lucic Incident and issues of softness, and the TV problems with Time Warner make this season a difficult pill to swallow for Sabres fans.
Cleanup was indeed needed after the Sabres D soiled themselves in the 2nd period against the Flyers.
Lindy Ruff’s birthday is today but the celebration of his day has to be marred by where this franchise is at. This was supposed to be a mecca of hockey. A return to greatness. No, not even a return to greatness, but something better than we’d had in the past. Pegula labeled it “Hockey Heaven” – claimed a Stanley Cup was in our future. We got the Amerks back in the fold, got coaches entrenched that could coach Lindy’s “System”, the whole deal.
Pegula, Ted Black and the rest of the Sabres brass has consistently said we need to stay the course, to do nothing drastic.
At this point, even they have to see that something needs to be done. Questions come up about the coaching, about the general manager and about the heart of some of the players.
I don’t know what the answer is, but I don’t think we can just stay pat with the cards we’re holding. Perhaps it’s as simple as a trade or two now and build towards next year. Maybe it’s as drastic as firing Lindy Ruff.
After all, the team seems to embody his “nothing is wrong, we’ll get through this” mentality. Yes, it’s good for a coach to keep an even keel, but sometimes you need to light a fire under the guys.
Maybe Lindy does that, I don’t know as I’m not close enough to the team. All I know is that I see some guys on the ice who aren’t giving their all. I know that Lindy has had years of chances with different versions of this team and he hasn’t won a championship. There’s two sides to that coin: a) He’s done well over the years and gotten us deep in the playoffs b) It’s him holding us back from doing better than we could.
THE ANSWER! Ok, not gonna happen, but it's fun to think about. More likely he'll go NASHville. These captions are horrible, but they're free, so quit yer whining.
In the end, I will have faith that “Pegula knows best”, that Ted Black and the rest of the staff are smart hockey guys and will get this thing figured out. But now we have to turn our attention to trades and a better draft pick and I don’t like that.
1Posted by Scott Michalak on February 16, 2012 at 8:57 am
I hope we’re still Pals, Mike and Lindy.
Yesterday’s post called out the play of Mike Weber this season, and called out the handling of Weber by coach Ruff. In short, Weber emerged as a rugged leader on defense last season, and this season, well, has been a disaster for him. How Lindy has handled his ice time, in my theory, played a big role in his regression.
Today, sports hypothesis becomes fact!
From NHL.com’s preview of tonite’s Sabres/Flyers matchup:
Sabres: Less, apparently, is more for defenseman Mike Weber.
In a 13-game span from Dec. 28 to Jan. 21, Weber played at least 20 minutes 11 times, and had 1 goal and a minus-8 rating. In eight games since then, however, he’s averaged about 16:30 per game, and has 2 assists and a plus-2 rating.
More importantly, the Sabres went 2-9-2 in those 13 games with Weber playing extended minutes, and 5-2-1 since he had his ice time cut back.
“That’s been the biggest, to get back to playing the minutes he seems suited to, that he’s not trying to do too much, that when he gets out there he’s fresh,” coach Lindy Ruff told the Tonawanda News. “His game is a lot of times energy. It’s playing hard in a short period of time, and I think when we’ve overplayed him he’s just tried too much. He’s over-handled some situations. He tried to make plays into areas he doesn’t need to make plays. I think that part of his game has really cleaned up.”
Figure it out, Lindy!
Anyway, there you have it – my hard-hitting Sabres analysis, backed up a day late by real news sources. Beer: earned.
Tonight Lindy, Weber, and the rest of the beleaguered Sabres take on the Flyers in Philly. It’s the return of Leino to Philadelphia, in a game that means virtually nothing for either team. Should be fun. Oh, and there’s these people, too: