So the immediate response from yesterday afternoon was to damn the torpedoes and once again fire everyone – or at least Ryan Miller. As I was listening to reactions on the radio this morning, I was not surprised at how combative Ryan Miller got with the media yesterday after the game. Which makes you wonder, does he just not want to get up for games this year?
Ryan Miller has not been the same Ryan Miller that we saw last year. Maybe it is because he is getting married – maybe it is because there is nothing to motivate him to strive to be better – there is no one set to take his job in Buffalo – and he doesn’t have an Olympic Committee to impress. So he lets in seven goals against the New York Islanders. Simple answer? If we get into the playoffs, we never have to play the Islanders – so why worry?
If we don’t make the playoffs because we missed it by a few points, there are going to be a string of excuses from current management (if they are still here) about losing Ryan Miller to injury early in the year. The excuses about not having a trustworthy backup goaltender to relieve Miller for a break will be there. The season ending injury to Derek Roy will be there. The fact that our defense had to suffer because we continued to carry Captain No Show on the roster despite his inability to make it onto the ice, and the fact that he refuses to give up the captaincy. All the excuses will be there. Except for one thing. You miss the playoffs by a handfull of points and guess what – you let six points out the window by losing to the Islanders three times, and not just losing to the Islanders, I mean, we LOST to the Islander.
Losing to the Islanders isn’t really a big deal, when if you take a look at our last eighteen games we are still at an impressive 12-4-2 record – and we still have games in hand against the teams ahead of us in the standings – but you have to control your own destiny and win the games you should win. The New York Islanders should have been six points in the standings for us this year. So far the Sabres have come away with one. Let the excuses roll off your tongue. Simple fact of the matter is you didn’t beat the teams you should have beaten.