Wednesday, February 10, 2010
S.S. Sabres Sinking
A few weeks ago, the view from the top of the Northeast Division was clear. It was similar to being on a cruise ship for the Buffalo Sabres, wining and dining with the best foods, drinks, and dancing. It was a 5 star event, and the Sabres were starting to garner attention around the NHL.
After all, the Sabres boasted a Veniza trophy candidate in Ryan Miller, a top rookie defenseman named Tyler Myers, and one of the best coaches in the NHL, Lindy Ruff. Plus, the Sabres have a lot of young forwards on the roster, and in the system. In addition, you just had to think Thomas Vanek would break out and return to his 40 goal form. The lead in the division was 10+ points. The feeling of 2005-2006 was starting to creep back into the Sabres fans' consciousness.
Could this be a magical year in the Queen City?
Fast forward to tonight, February 10th, 2010. The Sabres did not take well to California, perhaps the inclement weather disappointed them in losses to Anaheim, Los Angeles, and San Jose. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow last week in Pennsylvania, perhaps the Sabres did as well. Miller is showing wear. Thomas has become 'Thomas Vanish'. Patrick Lalime is well....Lalime. Getting shutout at...the Blue Jackets?!! And couple that with the Ottawa Senators ripping off 12 wins in their last 13 games and just like magic, the Sabres and Senators are tied with 72 points to lead the 'NorthLeast' division.
What is a Sabres fan to make of this? Is the magic gone? Is this a slump? Is Ryan Miller worn out? Is the defense showing more holes then a pound of swiss cheese? Should the Sabres have stepped up to the plate for Ilya Kovalchuk? So many questions...so little answers...
As for now, the Olympic break cannot come here soon enough for the Sabres, and not just for the team, but for the fans as well. Will GM Darcy Regier 'go for it', or stick with the plan and let the young players like Tyler Ennis, Chris Butler, and Zach Kassian develop, just to name a few?
The right answer cannot be given, but a decision better be made soon, because the Sabres 2009-2010 ship has hit the iceberg.