The Buffalo Sabres want you to believe that nearly choking away a 5-1 lead is no big deal. We’re not buying it.
The Buffalo Sabres earned something resembling a W last night in the desert.
Yeah, the standings will tell you that the Sabres defeated the Arizona Coyotes, improving their record to 4-7-2 on the season. Sure, coach Phil Housley would tell reporters, “Obviously, we’ll take the win.” And of course players such Robin Lehner will spin the fact that the Sabres won despite blowing a 5-1 lead by saying something such as, “What I liked was I didn’t feel like we were panicking . . . We didn’t panic. I didn’t panic, and it’s a big win.” (All player comments courtesy of Buffalo News.)
But come on.
The Coyotes were 1-11-1 with three points to their credit heading into last night’s game. They had not had won a game at home in the Gila River Arena yet this season. And they were a league-worst -23 in goal differential before the Sabres came to town.
So how is barely holding onto to beat this team after holding a four-goal lead a “win” for the Buffalo Sabres?
It isn’t, if you consider what left winger Benoit Pouliot had to say following the team’s near-total-collapse:
"Maybe we just thought the game was over before it was over. We got a little bit lazy, and they capitalized, but we came out with the two points."
How does a team that started Thursday at 3-7-2 with just 8 points in the standings ever feel that it is okay to get lazy and over-confident? How is this even possible? The question has been asked before, but the fact that it continues to need asking should tell you all you need to know about this Sabres team.
Also fun to hear? Housley’s description of what his team did once they had built a 5-1 lead:
"We get the 5-1 lead, and I thought we just need to bear down and make the right decisions. We got away from what made us successful, and we almost shot ourselves in the foot."
Isn’t it fun to know that the Sabres are the type of team who, when given a lead, fail to make the right decisions and wind up shooting themselves in the feet?
Yeah! Truly, no lead is safe, folks.
The Buffalo Sabres have been playing better of late, so that is all well and good. For some reason, though, this team still lacks the sort of urgency and killer instinct that is needed to scratch and claw its way into a playoff spot. As long as the Sabres continue to gift-wrap entire periods to the opposition, fans should keep some Tums in their pockets on game days!