The roller-coaster ride continues for fans of the Buffalo Sabres; so far their season has gone 2 up, 4 down, 1 up, 3 down, 2 up, 2 down, 1 up, 1 down. A bit nauseating, for sure, but at least the Sabres are keeping things interesting – no boring ten game winning streaks to yawn through! – and giving us plenty of items to talk about: trade rumors, cold players, Ryan Miller‘s vocabulary, and so on. Might as well keep the ride going, then, and compare last week’s effort by the Sabres to the world of amusement parks!
Offense: Hershey Park
Solid, not spectacular, with room for improvement. That’s what I think whenever I visit Hershey Park in Pennsylvania, which is usually at least once a year. Good park for kids, has some good coasters for the thrill seekers, and the park gets a little bit better just often enough to keep you coming back. That pretty much sums up the Sabres’ offense last week. Aggressive against Ottawa, and promising for the most part against Boston and Pittsburgh. Probably the best week of offense we’ve seen so far this season, even if the Sabres only notched one win.
Defense: Walt Disney World (Florida)
I’ve been to both Disney World and Universal’s Islands of Adventure within the past five years, and here is what I can tell you: one of these parks deserves all of the hype it garners . . . and that park ain’t Disney World. Start the chant: overrated! Sure, there’s good things to do, if you’re incredibly patient and used to waiting. Kids love it – but what do they know? We adults tend to dread going to Disney World, as it pretty much just amounts to a test of our patience. Buffalo’s defensive numbers look okay from last week – only 2 goals allowed against Ottawa and Boston – but the goals the Sabres do give up can usually be traced back to guys being out of position, or a failure to clear the puck. End result: looks good, but not as good as advertised.
Coaching: Darien Lake
Dairen Lake has been around for quite some time, which is both good and bad. It’s good, in the sense that you know what you’re going to get when you go there, since very little changes from year to year. It’s bad . . . in the sense that you know what you’re going to get when you go there, since very little changes from year to year. What was new and exciting a decade okay now seems quaint, great for nostalgia’s sake, but not much else. Everywhere I turn, I hear the same complaint about Lindy Ruff: he doesn’t have the attention of his players any more, and he has overstayed his welcome. Last week didn’t exactly do much to dispel those rumors. Sure, the Sabres played a great third period against Boston on Friday night, but they also frittered away the lead and the game against the Penguins on Sunday and continue to drive fans crazy with undisciplined, sloppy play. Unfortunately, Sabres fans seem to know what they’re going to get every game with Ruff, which is why so many of them are looking for the organization to make a change.
Goaltending: Universal Islands of Adventure.
There are things happening at this park that will take your breath away, and you would be hard pressed to find anyone who complains that they don’t get their money’s worth. Watching Ryan Miller play lately has been worth the price of admission to Sabres games; he’s at the top of his game, he’s guaranteed to get you high-fiving your buddies a few times a game, and he’s almost good enough to help the Sabres win games all by himself. Even his post-game interviews are entertaining! Enjoy him while you can.