Sabres PreGame Skate: Detroit Red Wings

The Buffalo Sabres skate into Detroit to face the Red Wings on their second game of the seven games away from the First Niagara Center.  Game one against the New York Islanders did not end well, despite the Sabres getting a marginal (can’t even call it marginal – a bad call) in their favor which resulted in a Thomas Vanek penalty shot.

The title of any article on today’s game might as well read A Streak of Two Cities.  When the puck drops the Buffalo Sabres will be looking to end an eight game losing streak away from home, and Detroit will be looking for it’s 15th straight win at the Joe Louis Arena.

Despite allowing three goals against the New York Islanders, Jhonas Enroth’s play was much improved over last outings, the team in front of him more at fault for the loss in the arena that defines losing.

Leading the losing effort is the Sabres injury roster, which reads more like a gametime lineup for the defensive corps for the blue and gold, as the injury bug continues to plague the team.   Since everyone in Buffalo wants to go crazy firing people of making changes – we should probably start with the strength and conditioning coach, because it sure as well seems that every time one of the players in a Sabres sweater even thinks about playing hockey or getting into a battle they are coming out injured.  (Mr. Doug McKenney and J.T. Allaire – maybe making stronger players will keep them out of the press box).  Obvious much like every other fan in Buffalo there has to be a firing for me to be happy with the way things are going this year, but truth be told, sometimes the injury bug happens.

The team wants us to be patient, the team wants us to face the reality of of the fact that injuries happen and that it is a matter of fact and not a shield of excuses they are trying to hide behind.  Here’s my problem with that.  The following teams have more man games lost due to injury than the Buffalo Sabres:

 

  • Calgary Flames
  • Florida Panthers
  • Pittsburgh Penguins

And now here is the list of teams with better records and a better position in the standings than the Buffalo Sabres with more man games lost due to injuries:

  • Calgary Flames*
  • Florida Panthers
  • Pittsburgh Penguins

*The Calgary Flames have a better record but are lower in the standings in the Western Conference.

While the difference in standings is only a couple of points, the fact of the matter is – two of the three teams with more man games lost than the Sabres are in playoff positions right now.  While you cannot discount the fact that losing some star power has a lot to do with that, the clear fact of the matter is – the Sabres depth, usually their strong point, has not been playing up to the level they are required – and the reason behind that is probably because of how deep the team has had to dig – and if your digs into the minors to patch your roster are not good enough to keep you in contention – whose fault does that lie with (I will give you a hint, its spelled G-M).

While I need to contain this from being a finger pointing post, or a lets fire everyone and trade all players post – if you are trying to change the culture of Buffalo from a pariah amongst free agents and visiting players to a destination dubbed Hockey Heaven the culture has to be changed, and that starts with Darcy and Lindy.   I have nothing against either of them personally they have both had highs and lows; but a scenery change behind the bench or in the press box might be what the doctor ordered to right the ship.

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