Buffalo Sabres fans, there is a saying – perhaps you’ve heard it before:
When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.
Gah, I hate that saying.
What if it’s no longer summer? Lemonade loses its appeal after summer.
What if I’m out of sugar? Can’t make lemonade without sugar.
And dammit, what if I ordered apples for an apple pie? How the hell is lemonade going to make up for my lack of apple pie? Especially if I am expected to bring dessert?!?
Sometimes, when life hands you lemons, its because life isn’t fair, and you wind up sucking lemons and leaving with a bitter taste in your mouth. That pretty much describes every Buffalo Sabres fans’ experience with tonight’s game at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Even if you are one of those patient types who just want to see the young players improve as the season progresses, you cannot be happy with what you saw tonight, because what you saw would suggest that these young players are not receiving the level of training they will need to get in order to have successful NHL careers.
Especially when it comes to defense.
Why do I say that? Only because every single one of the four goals that the Blue Jackets scored tonight was the direct result of a complete and utter breakdown in defensive fundamentals. If one, maybe two, goals had resulted from defensive breakdowns, you would shrug your shoulders and blame the players. But when all four goals resulted from poor defense, you have to wonder whether the Sabres’ coaching staff is doing its job.
Let’s break down each goal, and see what the Sabres’ defense did – and what they SHOULD have done, instead.