When you play a home and home with a team on back to back nights, you hope for the split. When you play a home and home against a team with days off in between, you go for the throat. Tampa Bay went for the throat.
In two different styles, the Buffalo Sabres lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in miserable fashion. Ryan Miller looked like Patrick Lalime, and the Buffalo Sabres struggled to get anything going at many points during both games.
There were some positives that game from the game, but there were more negatives than anything. Heres a breakdown of the Buffalo Sabres three losses so far this season:
We are no where in need of hitting the panic button just yet. The Buffalo Sabres still hold a 5-3 record after eight games, which right now is good for fifth place. They trail the 3rd place Toronto Maple Leafs by only one point. The rest of the Northeast Division sits below the eight place seed. If you were to ask me what the Northeast would look like two weeks into the season, my opinion would look a little more topsy turvy than what is going on.
Montreal is just one point above Columbus for the last spot in the league, Boston is just a game ahead of Montreal. Ottawa just a game ahead of them. So the Sabres fast start has put them on pace to be able to waiver slightly, but they need to return to their winning ways.
All three Sabres losses have come at the hands of Southeast division teams. I wouldn’t call games against the Southeast hopelesss, as they have beaten Florida. So there is hope against Washington and Winnipeg. Winnipeg is struggling to put wins on the table; and Washington is currently running a seven game win streak. So far the Buffalo Sabres have struggled against teams named after weather phenomenoms, Hurricanes and Lightning. Can we chalk up the game against the Avalanche as a loss as well?
I know its only eight games into the season, but Lindy has to do something. If Derek Roy is playing through an injury, I think its time to send him to the press box to get healthy. The team proved they could win without him last year, there is no reason why they cannot continue their success without him for a short period this year.
I think the team needs to make a decision on Hecht as well. Foligno and Kassian have paid their dues, and have to be at least ready to come up and see if they can’t spark a Rochester Revolution here in the bigs to get something clicking. Were short at center (sorry Derek, no pun intended) – and so far Luke Adam is our most productive pivot man.
Im not saying blow it up eight games in because we laid two stinkers against Tampa Bay – but maybe a game or two in the press box will focus a couple of guys and get everyone’s head in the right frame of mind.
Buffalo has two remaining games this week, one with Columbus and one with Florida. Both very winnable games, and that could put the Buffalo Sabres back on the winning foot they need.