via Melissa Kania

Standing Up For Teammates

It’s a pretty simple concept. Anybody who has played any sport, or been a part of any activity, is stressed to work as a team. It’s the very tribal nature of humanity, beat into the heads of children as they spar and train to become the next generation of gladiators and pro athletes.

That’s what strategy is. That’s what teamwork is. Different roles are doled out to different players, hence the entire reason why some guys are labelled “defensemen,” some are “centers,” and one guy on the ice at a time “tends” the “goal.”

via Melissa Kania

 Different pads, different stick, different skates. Still the same team.

By now every Sabres fan has their own opinion of this team’s response (the lack thereof) to Ryan Miller getting bowled over by Milan Lucic. If you’re having trouble formulating an opinion of your own, there are plenty of takes on the situation from folk who write about this team (I limited it to 3, but every Sabres blog has one). Suffice to say, none of them laud Buffalo’s reaction.

Goose didn’t see what happened, didn’t grab the nearest Bruin and start throwing punches, and forgot about the incident after the first period. Vanek ran into Lucic with all the force of a beebee. Pominville, for all his leadership qualities, screwed the pooch for one of his first real tests as team captain. Myers seemed to forget that he’s 6′ 8″ and has the reach of Don Flamenco. Rej Sekera almost gets some credit for tentatively rushing in and playing patty cake with the offender.

I don’t blame Lucic for laughing all the way to the penalty box. The Sabres captain, two assistant captains, and the two defenders who just got locked in for a 4 and 7 year deal did absolutely nothing when he concussed the star goaltender.

Then the entire team proceeded to leave their goalie out to dry for 3 goals, failed to seek any sort of retribution (save for one or two near misses by Regehr trying to hit Lucic), and whimpered away for 3 more goals in front of Jhonas Enroth. Truly the all-for-one and one-for-all mentality.

Miller stuck around for some choice words about the man that injured him, which led to this gem from NHL.com’s EJ Hradek:

from Twitter

 Ryan, I know you’ve got a nasty headache, but please take a moment to crap on Kaleta first.

First off, I don’t know if putting Milan Lucic on par with the NHL’s “Most Hated Player” is exactly doing any favors here.
Second, if there is one thing I don’t want to see from this Sabres team right now, it’s less cohesion. Of the Sabres problems, a lack of sticking up for one another is not one of them. So if Miller or Lindy or anyone in that locker room has a problem with the way Pat Kaleta plays, I do hope that they say something to him in privacy behind closed doors, and they absolutely do not air their dirty laundry. [Insert some pun about leaving Miller out to dry.]

from YouTube

 “Patty’s got, like, 20 unpaid parking tickets. Just saying.”

See, if there are a group of people that you work with day in, day out, just about every day for the entire year, and even for multiple years in a row…you might want to keep some trust between yous. You want to know that they’re going to do their job, and you don’t want them worrying about you doing yours, and so there are certain exercises or practices that help “build” a “team.” One of them is keeping team problems within the team.

So while it’s a really cute idea for Ryan to get in front of a microphone and call out a headbutt or elbow or other cheap shot by Kaleta, it would eradicate any trust between them. Not to mention it’s not Miller’s job to do that, and he’d be immediately known across the league as That Guy That Tattled.

from YouTube

“I’m not saying Sekera’s a Communist. But he did call me a ‘comrade’ once.”

As it is, Miller hasn’t had a whole lot of teamwork to hang his hat on thus far. The team seems to be set on rolling with 5 offensive defensemen, leaving Robyn Rehehr to be the only blue liner whose priority stays with protecting the goaltender. Mike Weber would probably relish the chance to add his talents back there, but apparently the two guys who have played forward before are currently munching on that last spot, while Buffalo’s golden boy flounders to remember which end of the stick you’re supposed to hold on to.

On top of that, you’ve got quotes flying around that this team plays harder in front of the backup. Not to mention all the jackasses that won’t stop trolling and poking and prodding and joking about whether or not there is a goalie controversy. Jeez. Ryan, why haven’t you broken down and started naming names yet?

yes…it’s also from YouTube

 “There are 3 guys on the team from Germany/Austria. None of them shower.”

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Tags: Boston Bruins Buffalo Buffalo Sabres Concussion Derek Roy Drew Stafford Eastern Conference Fansided Free Agency Hockey Jason Pominville Jhonas Enroth Lindy Ruff Milan Lucic Nathan Gerbe NHL Northeast Division Patrick Kaleta Patrick Lalime Ryan Miller Sabres Stanley Cup Stanley Cup Playoffs Terry Pegula Thomas Vanek Trade Trade Deadline Tyler Ennis Tyler Myers

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