I just spent the last week of my life watching the entire series of Breaking Bad for the first time. Then, to watch the Buffalo Sabres road game against the Vancouver Canucks tonight, I was setting myself up for disappointment. Breaking Bad was well-written, and put together excellently – these Buffalo Sabres are the antithesis of that statement.
The Sabres lost to the Canucks, 4-2. Buffalo was winning 2-0 at one point, and it looked like they might be able to expose Eddie Lack for the mediocre goaltender that he is, but most of us know better than to be optimistic with this Sabres lineup.
Rookie netminder Nathan Lieuwen ended up being the one exposed. Former Sabres first round draft pick Zack Kassian recorded 4 – yes, 4 – assists against his former team. Buffalo fans have suffered enough this season (hey, Darcy Regier warned us, right?) and we didn’t need the extra insult. So, thanks Kassian.
Hearing that the NHL wants to find a way to screw Buffalo out of their shot at a possible star in the 2015 draft in either Jack Eichel or Connor McDavid might be even harder to deal with. The Sabres have only drafted in the top 5 ONCE in the last 24 years – and that was Thomas Vanek. If Buffalo wants or feels the need to purge their roster and start from scratch, that should be their right – especially in a revenue sharing league.
The team was lousy tonight. That is to be expected when you are relying on 2 or 3 players in Tyler Ennis, Drew Stafford, and Cody Hodgson to carry your scoring. That is to be expected when you have two AHL goalies dressed for the game. That is to be expected when 90% of your roster of defensemen are not NHL-caliber. The brass of the Sabres purposely chose this route, and the fans are the ones paying the price.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my Sabres, but this team is hard to watch. The players are hard to root for. There are no Walter White’s to pull for. This team could only manage 10 shots on goal in the first 2 periods, which is atrocious. Ville Leino is Jack Welker. Ryan Miller stepped into the role of Jesse, and escaped to a potential better life.
Some of you have waited since 1970 to see a Stanley Cup winning Buffalo Sabres lineup. I hope you are prepared for at least another 5 years for a chance.