Tonight, the Buffalo Sabres hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets. For those brave souls who attended the game, and those who were watching at home and managed to not change the channel, you were treated to a fine loss by the Sabres. By fine, I mean it was not close, that is just bitter sarcasm. 5 games into the NHL season, and Buffalo remains winless.
Buffalo has obtained just one measly point out of a possible ten this season. They are dead last, not just in their own Eastern Conference, but in the ENTIRE league. If you are a longtime fan, these performance have been tough to watch. For the almost-fans of the team, or youngsters just getting into hockey, they will probably be finding a new favorite team in short notice.
If you have read my other ‘Knee Jerk Reaction’ articles this season, you already know that I have little to say that is positive. Ryan Miller had another good game – that is about it. The 4 goals given up by Buffalo are a little misleading, as Miller was hung out to dry on most, if not all, of the Columbus goals.
Tyler Myers continued his reign of wretched play. Just 2 minutes into the game, Myers could be found exactly where he was at the end of last game – standing to the left of the goal, watching the opponent score. He also provided terrible defensive coverage on two other Blue Jackets goals.
Thomas Vanek scored the lone Sabres goal – but he also whiffed on two breakaway chances. As the captain, and a veteran scoring presence on the team, he should have buried at least one of those. Once again, when the chips were down, NOBODY on the team stepped up. The play of the Sabres is at pitiful levels, yet none of them seem embarrassed enough to step up their play and make a statement. Sure, they have been adept at dropping the gloves at any time, but it has not helped the final score of any games.
To their credit, the first period was entertaining. The Sabres had more energy and vigor than usual, the passing was improved, and they seemed interested. The between-the-legs-deflection goal by Vanek was beautiful.
Yet, the horrendous defense of the Sabres killed all that noise with swiftness. Props to those of you who watched the game all the way to the end – you have earned every right to call yourself a die-hard Sabres fan. I have no hopes for this season, so double-props to you if you do.
Talk about “the future” of the team as much as you want, but the future is now. And right now, the Sabres have no wins in 5 games.