The Buffalo Sabres have sent a message to the rest of the Eastern Conference. Outlast Ryan Miller, turn on the pressure, and we will crumble like dried putty in your hands.
Again the Sabres came out and were kept in by their goaltender, but bowed their heads at the first sign of adversity.
Ryan Miller made some incredible saves tonight – but was slow on the play when the New York Islanders opened the scoring up, and got zero support from the defenders on the play.
I see it in the comments on the fans – firing Lindy Ruff wasn’t the answer. True – Lindy wasn’t the largest problem this team has, but he was part of the problem. Ron Rolston is a band-aid on the situation, and cannot in this shortened season change the culture of the team enough to mend the ways. He is a band-aid when a tourniquet is needed.
Trades are not going to happen – despite the fact that they need to. Rolston needs to shake up this team, and to do it he needs to shuffle players. Take the captain off Jason Pominville, pass the torch. You don’t take it from Pominville because he hasn’t done the job, no you take it from him like pulling a goalie to wake up a team, not because he is at fault. The only problem is, who do you have on your roster to replace him? You need a fire and brimstone guy to shake things up in the locker room.
Jason Pominville would be a fine captain if he was taking on the reins of a team not in a situation of turmoil. Drew Stafford doesn’t deserve an A on his chest, and I feel that Thomas Vanek only has one because he is the best skater on the team.
Don’t take anything away from the Islanders tonight -they too have a lot wrong with their organization, but they are a team that fights. Evgeni Nabokov made some great saves – and a lesser goalie and we would have been talking about a Buffalo Sabres team that put at least 4 goals in tonight with the chances they had. He went toe-to-toe with Ryan Miller (figuratively and almost literally) and won.
The Sabres are now 0-2 in the post Lindy Ruff era, and it might be a long time before we see a win, or even an above .500 record for the team.
That crap at the end of the game with just four seconds left should have never happened. You can’t let 59 minutes and 56 seconds of emotionless hockey culminate into your goaltender having to stick up for himself again. There is no emotion on this team, there is no fight on this team – no one can win battles – and the guys that are logging the ice time and putting up the effort that we need are not the guys that will carry this team to victory. They are role players for a reason.