The series and saga of suffering for the Buffalo Sabres is sustained.
Seven. Seven games. Seven goals. Seven losses.
Most of the games, on the scoreboard, look like they have been close. This is an illusion. Against the Minnesota Wild, it was the same story. No semblance of an offense, no emotion, no exuberance, no excitement, little effort. As has been the case for every game, the goaltending has stellar, as Jhonas Enroth provided a solid performance.
To give you an idea of the Sabres season, Ryan Miller has a .941 save percentage. Yet, entering tonight, 15 skaters for the Sabres had registered zero points. Five others only had one point. Keep in mind that a team typically dresses 18 skaters.
There was a power issue at First Niagara Center that caused a lengthy delay prior to the second period, and those in charge might as well have shut the game down. The lights were slow to come on in the arena, which parallels the Sabres ineptitude for lighting the lamp. It was yet another struggle for a player like Drew Stafford to even seem like he was on the ice.
For former Sabres captain Jason Pominville, it was a nice homecoming. He scored against his former team, which was the game-winning goal. As was the case with Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Ottawa, and Tampa Bay, you got the feeling that the opponent of Buffalo was not gunning at 100%. This Sabres team would probably struggle with some AHL teams. How much longer can fans of the team keep attending games? I noticed tonight that a majority of my fellow Sabres fans that I text with during games had switched to the Monday Night Football game by the end of the first period.
If Pominville scoring against the Sabres isn’t bad enough – castaways Nathan Gerbe has 3 goals and 5 points for the Carolina Hurricanes, and Brad Boyes has 4 goals and 5 points for the Florida Panthers. Pominville, Gerbe, and Boyes COMBINED are outscoring the entire 2013 Sabres lineup. How GM Darcy Regier still has a job is beyond baffling. How many times do we need to watch a player drafted or acquired by Regier struggle under his watch, only to excel when moving on to another team? How is owner Terry Pegula not embarrassed by this team? Do they really expect players like Thomas Vanek, Ryan Miller, and Steve Ott to stay with the program beyond this season?
A youth movement is fine, but only when it is done right. Teams like Colorado, Minnesota, and Calgary are in the midst of youth movements, yet they are currently competitive. This Buffalo Sabres team cannot even connect on simple passes that are 6 feet away.
The Buffalo Sabres have no leadership. This stems from the front office. There is no quality leadership at the GM position, and it trickles down to the ice. There has been no clear-cut leader on the ice for Buffalo since Regier watched Chris Drury and Danny Briere jump ship, and for yet ANOTHER year, we get to painfully watch a Sabres squad skate around aimlessly, with no one in charge.
This is not a great environment for young Sabres players to try and learn in, and it will show in the future results and development of those players.