What were the biggest reasons the Sabres didn’t make the playoffs the last two seasons?
1. Improper use of goaltending resources, lack of a good backup.
2. Lack of offense.
3. Long stretches of winless hockey.
The Sabres look to fall victim to all three of those again tonight as Alex the Great skates into HSBC Arena. The Caps are flying high on a six game winning streak, the Sabres are mired in an offensive quagmire that hit rock bottom against the New Jersey Devils Monday night.
The good news for Sabres fans going into tonights game is a challenge has been issued. They have been called out by the coaching staff for their lack of effort – and the team usually responds to that. It sounds very prima donna for this team, a luxury they can ill afford.
The Sabres will likely face Jose Theodore in net, and will probably be backed up themselves by Ryan Miller. So much for that conditioning stint in Portland for Patrick Lalime. He is probably just as rusty now having sat after being clobbered in Portland for two losses. It comes down to the same point we have made as fans the past two years, do you continue to start Miller in the hopes that he can save the team and bring in two points, or do you count your losses against a difficult foe and throw Lalime to the wolves.
I wasn’t planning a parade for them at the beginning of the season, but was expected greater things – but when old habits start to emerge, it is difficult to stay positive.
Nathan Gerbe has been called into action to assist in the line-up with the absence of Grier – still visiting his ailing mother. Gerbe’s two way game in Portland has him scoring 20 points, but only 5 goals, and Ruff is hoping the point of being a goal scorer will keep you in the NHL helps spark a flatlined offense.
I had a late night last night in catching up on some homework, and I do not think that tonights game will be worth missing anymore sleep over. I think this game is going to be decided in the first period of play. I could be sleeping by 8 PM tonight.
It’s not that I do not have faith in the Sabres, its how do you defend against the top team in the league that has so many weapons – they proved over the last few games that they don’t need Ovechkin to be a mighty power. If you figure out how to defend against him, where does that leave your plan for the rest of their roster, Semin, Laich, Fleischmann, Green, Backstrom. The Capitals are definitely built for another long run into the playoffs.
The only thing negative I have to say about the Caps right now is about their slogan – Red is Caps Hockey. What the hell is that? If your going to make a play on your red jerseys, shouldn’t it be more like Caps hockey is red hot?
Don’t forget to join me on thenhl.com forum – and vote for Sabrenoise in the blog-off. Were in first place right now with 22 votes, so keep them coming! If your going to stop in and vote for us, don’t forget to shop around the other team areas and vote for other fansided blogs that might need your help as well.
And don’t forget tomorrow night’s episode of Rink Side Rants where me and Steve get things going again after a two week hiatus. We will be off again for two weeks for the holiday breaks of Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.
This weeks show will cover Alex Ovechkin, Johnny Tavares, Gary Bettman and Expansion, and we will reveal Steve’s new nickname. Join us Thursday at 9pm. If you want to add your two cents in don’t forget to check out the show page and get the call in number, or email your question or comment to us as [email protected].
Topics: Alex Ovechkin, Blogoff, Buffalo Sabres, Fansided, Gary Bettman, Green, Nathan Gerbe, New Jersey Devils, NHL, Playoffs, Rink Side Rants, Ryan Miller, Sabrenoise, Semin, Stanley Cup, Thenhlarena, Washington Capitals