Max Afinogenov had a goal, an assist, and was a +1. Clarke MaCarthur had an assist and was a plus one. Unfortunately for the Sabres, they both play for Atlanta now, and Ryan Miller had a most forgettable night.
The Sabres dropped their third in a row, and now only has one win in their last 11 road games. This current road trip is starting out 0-2. Of a possible 7 points in the last three games, the Sabres have one. (Yes, I know, there are two points per game, but Detroit’s game was a three point game.)
Lucky for them, they still hold the top spot in the Northeast because Ottawa is in a bit of a slump themselves.
I wonder what it felt like to be Ryan Miller just about a month ago. He was headed to the Olympics with a team of his fellow Americans, not picked to do well in the tournament, but the heart, determination, desperation, teamwork, and hardworked helped him come home with a Silver medal.
Here in Buffalo he has lazy passes, half-assed attempts and complacency. I was hoping this was just a slump, that they would fall out of it and return to their winning ways. But lets face it, this team has no heart, no desperation, no will to win. They are content – the trade deadline is over, a couple of niche role players were moved, we rented a guy who couldn’t score his way out of a wet paper bag right now so he fits in well. Hell, this team can’t even play for pride.
Thats all that Atlanta had last night as there pride. They are five points out the playoffs right now, and are mired in that 7-15 place playoff race in the Eastern Conference. They traded away the franchise player. More people think that OJ was innocent than attend Thrashers home games. That team only has pride left, and they showed it last night.
The Sabres better do something, and do something fast. Its not just one aspect of the game that needs help – its the whole package.
Ownership – Mr. Golisano, Mr. Quinn. Your businessmen. You like to make money. Ever hear the old saying you have to spend money to make money? Where are all are veteran free agents? Spacek – gone, Briere-gone (im leaving Drury out of this, he wanted to go to NY, and there was nothing we could do to keep him here), Campbell – gone, the list probably continues. Spend some money on a real player and you might see first place again.
Management – Hey Darcy, didn’t you get the memo we wanted to be competitive this year? We had first place in a lock about a month ago…what happened? Trades could have been had. With all the parity in the league, paying a little too much for a trade now, doesn’t mean your going to suck for 10 years. Not paying for good players means you suck as well, so six in one hand half a dozen in the other huh? You managing career has lasted longer than your playing career, and it shouldn’t have.
Coaching – the run was fun Lindy, and we wish you all the luck in your future endeavors, but we have to part ways. Oh, and by the way, its not you, its us. Feel free to comeback after you have won a Cup somewhere else and we might be able to give you another shot.
Goaltending – Lalime sucks and Miller is tired. Sounds like the story of the crease in Buffalo for several years now.
Defense. Spacek goes to Montreal and Montador comes in to save the day. Oh, hes had his bright spots, but he shows on more nights why he has been bounced from team to team to team to team, before we gave him a full time gig. Craig Rivet has had a piss poor season by anyone’s standards. It’s time to take the C away and give it to someone with some heart, or at least that shows a heartbeat. Tyler Myers has been the hinge pin of this defensive corp, and Tallinder and Lydman will have different homes next year – so what is their incentive for playing hard for you?
Offense – were still waiting for them to wake up. Thomas Vanek has just now gotten to 20 goals? There’s less than 20 games left in the season, and we’re paying him 7 Million a year to score 20 goals? Talk about getting burnt…hindsight tells me to take the draft picks from Edmonton. Pominville, Roy, Hecht, Stafford, Connolly, Torres….why are there some nights when these guys don’t even skate hard or go the extra mile? Where is the desperation to win? Whose blocking shots? Grier started the season off helping to change things, but he managed to slump his way into the Buffalo doldrums.
Yeah, this team will get get into the playoffs because Ryan Miller got them there. He might even still squeek into the Vezina because of the Olympics (which shouldn’t count towards the award, but you know GMs). His Hart eligibility his fading fast, because he can’t win games for Buffalo when it counts, he won them in the beginning of the year because they mattered for him, he had something to prove because of his Olympic snub for years ago. What does he have to prove now?
I hate feelings of Deja Vu. I can’t way to see Ryan Miller’s name on the Stanley Cup. I can’t say he deserves it, because well, you don’t deserve to win the Stanley Cup, thats an honor you have to earn. Behind a good team, thats exactly what Miller will do, is win the Cup.