The past two weeks have been feast or famine for the Buffalo Sabres. At one point this month they were in clear control of the division, now they barely hold the top spot and a continued losing streak could put them somewhere around eigtht or out of the top seeds completely.
It is not too early for the Sabres to be watching themselves in the standings, they can’t afford to get too far behind, a grueling second half of the season is going to be a major test for them, they need all the point they can now. With games in hand against Boston, and even with Ottawa, they could ill afford the opportunity to steal those four points and further cement their ability to lead the pack. Instead a lack luster effort has them looking at an embarassing three game skid which has seen them outscored 13-6. For a team that started the season leading the lead in team goals against, that is a miserable stretch of games.
Last week it appeared that they might be able to handle a constant stretch of three games in four nights, easily beating Edmonton, Calgary, and Philadelphia, before dropping contests to Florida, Boston, and Ottawa.
The Sabres are now 0-3 without Miller in net, with Lalime being 0-2 and Enroth being 0-1. Not that the team in front of them gave either backup a chance in hell, but the goaltending is still going to be an issue going forward.
“I don’t think we even need to focus on goaltending,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said.
Bullshit Lindy, this just continues to prove that you cannot manage your goaltenders. The Sabres need to seriously take a long and hard look at who might be available via trade to help out in the blue paint, because the backups in the system right now are not going to give this team a chance to go far this season. While Miller’s Olympic calber play had him sitting atop of the NHL in goals against, save percentage, and number of wins, if the guys it front of them cannot pull the weight they should, he is going to end up with average numbers once again.
Call it whatever type of curse you want, but Hasek fell to the same problem, as did any other great goaltender is Sabres history – a position that they have always been pretty decent at.
The biggest issue other than a lack of quality back up goaltenders – is the lack of offensive scoring. The leading scorer for the Sabres so far is, with no surprise Thomas Vanek, with a whopping 7 – and four of those have been powerplay goals. If the Sabres underachieving on 5 on 5 is dragging them rapidly down the standings.
The offense is not the only ones at fault for a lack of scoring. Paetsch, Lydman, Sekera, Butler, Tallinder, Rivet, that might seem like just an imprompt role call of Sabres blueliners, its actually the guys without a goal.
Steve Montador (1) and Tyler Myers (3) are the only Sabres who have put the puck in the net this year.
Now I know, you can go back to the posts that I have been writing and try to sling that bandwagon tab on me, because I wrote high on the team when they were winning, but I allowed the same thing to happen to me as they allowed happen to them – they thought winning was going to come naturally and easily.
Sorry guys, last year was no lockout year, and you have no new system to surprise the league with, its the same old song and Sabredance yet again.
They get another crack at three in four nights this week, again going Wednesday, Friday, Saturday. Lets hope we have something more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend than not having to watch Dick Jauron on the sidelines.
Tags: Boston Bruins Buffalo Sabres Calgary Flames Dick Jauron Edmonton Oilers Florida Panthers Lindy Ruff Losing Streak NHL Olympics Ottawa Senators Patrick Lalime Philadelphia Flyers Ryan Miller Standings Stanley Cup Playoffs