Where Do the Buffalo Sabres Go From Here?

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Oh boy.

Oct 23, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Cody Hodgson (19) celebrates his goal against the Boston Bruins during the second period at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Just when you think things could not get any worse in the 716, the Buffalo Sabres get whacked by the Boston Bruins in a nationally-televised game and now face the media and fan backlash that comes hand-in-hand with John Scott‘s ill-advised hit on Bruins’ forward Loui Eriksson during the third period of last night’s mess.

Ugh.

I’m not even going to attempt to go into detail about what I feel about Scott’s hit – I’ve already done so on Twitter and in the comments sections of a few posts here on the site, so there is no point in dwelling on that.  Rather, I am going to outline the steps that the Buffalo Sabres HAVE to take if they want to salvage their reputation as an NHL team and go from being an absolute laughingstock to a relevant professional hockey team any time soon.  I’m a fan, and I am sick of what I see, but there are ways to stop the bleeding, so let’s roll up our sleeves and get down to work.

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Topics: Buffalo Sabres

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  • Jes

    Agree with everything Richard. Good points all around. Don’t agree with you on Scott’s hit though.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what any of us think, The NHL is going to start making examples out of these players, beginning with Scott. Thanks for the read, as always!

  • davidmuscalo

    Scott’s hit was a good check, – a little high, but not intentionally high – but the Sabres are not one of Bettman’s good ole boys. Too much is being made of the hit which was far less intentional and devastating than the hit Miller took from Loose$$$t – the hit the league did nothing about. The management of this league is replete with incompetents and hypocrites.

    As for your other points, they have some merit, but I disagree with yours, and just about everyone else’s assessment, of Rolston. He is doing the best he can with the pathetic material that he has – Al Arbour couldn’t win with this patchwork quilt of substandard personnel.

    I am gratified that you brought out the fact that Black is one of the reasons we have a failure of a team. As far as I can tell, he does nothing except make excuses for the incompetent, arrogant Regier.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      The Lucic hit aside, I challenge you to find ANY professional writer who agrees that Scott’s hit was a good check. A blindside head-shot? Not intentionally high? What, Scott has no control over the shoulder he plowed into Eriksson’s head? :D
      I’d love to defend Rolston, but this team is so laughably unprepared I can’t find anything good to say about him.

      • Dano

        ” I challenge you to find ANY professional writer who agrees that Scott’s hit was a good check. ”

        Pardon my language on this one but I would challenge you to find any unbiased ‘ professional writer ‘ that isnt full of $hit.

        Milbury? McGuire? Buffalos own Matt Barnaby?

        How about Cam Neely? Former player and now writer, known for some brutal on ice incidents?

        “I didn’t like the hit. I didn’t like it at all. I didn’t think it was necessary,” he said. “I’m sure the league will look nice and hard at it… There has to be a way to figure this out, because we’re losing good players to concussions.”

        Freedom of opinion is limited if you want a job, thus, finding someone to say ‘ this was a clean hit ‘ goes against the grain and promotes all the twits into believing they are ‘ correct ‘.

        Being the devils advocate on your suggestion to find a ‘ professional writer ‘ the NHL or Twits doesnt have a thumb on becomes a next to impossible task.

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          Oh come on – you really believe that? You’ve never heard an ex-player, or ex-coach, turned broadcaster who defended a hard hit? Are you serious? So EVERYONE who writes about hockey is wrong? Okay!

          • davidmuscalo

            No one is defending the hit, because it was a Buffalo player who delivered it. If it had be the other way around, Milbury would have been falling all over himself calling it a good hockey play – the guy was just finishing his check.

          • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

            Oh, screw Milbury! He’s a tool. :)

            What about every other ex-player or ex-coach? You don’t seriously believe that EVERY writer or hockey analyst hates Buffalo, do you? I really have a hard time believing that the ONLY reason people are calling this hit dirty is because everyone hates Buffalo.

            It is what it is, and honestly it doesn’t much matter – Scott will be suspended, ten games at least in my opinion.

          • davidmuscalo

            No I don’t believe that EVERY writer or hockey analyst hates Buffalo, but I do believe they feel they can denigrate the team, its players and its coaches because the fan base is so strong they will continue to support the team no matter how is treated by the media and it’s mouthpieces.

          • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

            Ok – so if not every writer is anti-Buffalo, but every writer feels that it was a dirty hit . . . remove the ones you don’t trust, and you still have total agreement: Scott’s hit was dirty. It really isn’t a debate. I guess Sabres’ fans are defending Scott because they feel defensive, but defending an illegal hit sure won’t help the team receive LESS crap from the media.

          • davidmuscalo

            I just think the media have exaggerated the seriousness of a hit that a couple of years ago would have been considered a good hockey play.

            Remember the hit on the Montreal player, Paccricocity (spelling aside), a couple of years ago? The hit was not universally criticized by the media and the Boston media and fans stated it was legal and it should not be penalized.

          • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

            Perhaps – but like I said to Dano, you can’t use the past to judge the present. The game is changing. The NHL doesn’t want to see 50+ concussions a season. They don’t want to see a guy get paralyzed like the kid overseas last year. Whether this hit was legal a few years ago, it is not now, and things are not going to go back to the way it used to be, you know?

          • davidmuscalo

            Things, they are a changing, but is that true for all teams and everyone? We will see when Ovie, Malkin, Stamkos or Crosby deliver a similar blow to someone, won’t we. Would like to bet that it won’t be interpreted differently?

  • Jes

    Hey Richard just watching some Thursday Night Football. I guess a Tampa Bay radio station purchased a billboard saying FIRE SCHIANNO. Any chance you and the rest of the SabreNoise staff is interested in starting a donation thing for something like that? LOL But ya I’d be the first to donate. Have it up for a month or something. And I’m sure most of the fans on here would donate also for something like this.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      Not a bad idea there, Jes!

  • Dano

    Where do the Sabres go from here? They go after the #1 overall pick. It might not even be by choice but thats about the only thing they will win this season.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      You’ve got that right – there’s your silver lining in the clouds!

    • BryanD

      Edmonton will get it again..we will lose at the lotto too

  • BryanD

    You actually hit the nail on the head with this one! Front office needs a clean out and bad. Rolston I say his top level of coaching is AHL nothing higher. The ones who needs a healthy scratch is Tyler Myers and Drew Stafford , and if that doen’t work how about a stint in the amerks

  • Lloyd M. Jr.

    Any such hit on ANY Bruins player = GOOD AND FAIR PLAY