Yes, it is only 3 games into the season, but these Buffalo Sabres are officially atrocious. Awful. Aggravating to watch. The team has done little except justify my decision NOT to purchase any tickets to any Buffalo games this year. In no way have they earned my money since Terrance Pegula took over the team, and that does not appear to be changing anytime soon. The players themselves certainly are not earning their own inflated paychecks, either.
For the Sabres, this game was deja vu of the Detroit game just a few days ago. Buffalo playing a top team, giving up two goals in the first, scoring one late, giving up a penalty shot, displaying little effort, and featuring a pathetic power-play. Oh, and don’t forget, losing.
Optimists will be quick to point out all of the rookies playing for the Sabres. And? In another sport, in the same city, the Buffalo Bills are also full of rookies. The difference here, is that the rookies on the Bills have been invigorating and inspirational. EJ Manuel, Robert Woods, and Kiko Alonso have Bills nation abuzz with electricity and hope. On the Sabres, Mikhail Grigorenko, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Johan Larsson have done nothing noteworthy.
Zemgus Girgensons has been a lone bright spot for the team, but he isn’t expected to carry the team. The top 6 forwards of the Sabres have been ultimately disappointing. The fact that Drew Stafford is STILL on the top line is beyond baffling. Jhonas Enroth did his best Ryan Miller impersonation tonight, but he received almost NO help from the rest of the team, not only in front of his own net, but on the scoreboard.
Buffalo repeatedly lost chases for loose pucks, lost battles on the boards, and gave up way too many shots – just as they did last night against Ottawa. The Sabres failed to produce any sustained pressure in the Penguins zone, and never found any chemistry or momentum. Buffalo badly lost the war (or, lack thereof) in the neutral zone. Though they are professionals, I have seen better passing in pee-wee hockey games.
I have nothing positive to say about the team at this point, but I will tip my cap to Enroth and Miller. Darcy Regier decided not make any moves in the off-season, which signaled no interest in fielding a competitive hockey team for 2013-14, and after 3 games, it shows.
Hockey Heaven has been proven to be a hoax.