This is a rant. This rant is not based on statistics. This is a rant based on emotion. Emotion of a fan who has watched or listened to all 35 games of the current season.
This isn’t good enough. The Sabres are 14-17-4 and in 12th spot in the East. It’s not good enough to make the playoffs. It’s not good enough for the City of Buffalo. And this team is sure as hell not entertaining enough to justify being so bad.
The City of Buffalo deserves a better effort. Effort by management and ownership in particular. The people of Buffalo are not fooled when it comes to hockey. They care deeply about this team and they deserve nothing but a Cup winning effort by ownership and management. Don’t tell me that 12th place is as good as we can do. Don’t talk to me about salary restrictions. Don’t talk to me about injuries to Tim Connolly and Drew Stafford. The Flyers have the same salary cap as the Sabres and they have made tough decisions and put together a dynamite team. YOU’RE THE ONES who signed Tim Connolly Knowing full well he’s only good for 55 games a season.
I don’t doubt the players desire to win. I think every player on all 30 teams wants to win the Stanley Cup. I don’t hear them in the locker room, I have no idea how much each guy trains in the off-season and i’m not at their practices to see who’s dogging it. I DO believe that this Sabres team DOES NOT have what it takes to win the Stanley Cup. They don’t have the talent, the toughness, and it would be easy to say they lack a Cup worthy defense. Since winning The Cup is all that matters…
SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE
Here’s my Two Cents
1) You can’t change the owner. He owns the darn team, Silly! Many people would love to trade for a new owner but that’s just not reality. At least Ralph Wilson doesn’t own the Sabres! Of course as all good up-to-date Sabres fans know, there’s a good chance that Golisano IS selling the team. If that is true then all that follows is a mute point. Since we are not in the future yet I will deal with current facts. The facts are that Golisano owns the team and he is part of the problem. He is not, however, in my opinion what is keeping the Sabres from winning the CUP.
2) The next in line to receive blame is Management. Larry Quinn, Darcy Regier, and Lindy Ruff. We all know that Ruff has significant influence in management decisions so we’re going to include him with management. We’ll get back to this group in a minute. For now they get a free pass…
3) As far as coaching I may be in the minority here. I think Lindy Ruff is good enough to win the Stanley Cup. He’s good enough to win The Cup with the right Players. Since i’ve unilaterally decided that Lindy Ruff isn’t the problem(for now) let’s move onto the players.
4) The Players – The Players are to blame. Simply put, they are the ones who are not scoring enough and stopping enough goals from going in the net. I’m not going to sit here and do a player by player analysis. Anybody who watches can seewith his own eyes who’s pulling their own weight. Right now all I can do is to say that the collective team is NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Hmmmm….. Who can do something about the players not being good enough??? Oh, Right!, that’s Management’s job!
2a) Management – Jochen Hecht can’t PUT HIMSELF on waivers but somebody needs to do it. Management needs to make some tough decisions. A few obvious ones are named Hecht, Rivet, and Connolly. Just about every player except Tyler Myers has been brought up as a potential trade piece. Nobody should be sacred. We need management to set their feelings aside and make some moves here. This team is not winning the Cup with Craig Rivet as captain.
If management will not start pulling the trigger on some of these obvious moves then management themselves become the problem. My #2 choice after a major player overhaul is to change management, which on this team includes the coach. My hope is that a new GM(with owner cooperation) will first make the necessary moves to better this team and also hire a coach who is equal in talent to the departed Lindy Ruff. If we can’t get a coach as good as Lindy( a potential or former Cup winning coach) then making a coaching change is pointless.
I’m not saying that management should be changed mid-season. I want to give management a chance to sleep in the bed they’ve made. They KNEW that this season was make or break and all they did is sign role players and keep the same under-achieving overpaid stars. Of course due to my ignorance there is a chance that Tom Golisano is personally veto-ing these types of moves. Even so, management is not doing enough. I want to give them the remaining 47 games to make moves and try to get this team into the playoffs. I would even cut management some slack if they made a few MAJOR (i’m talking ’trade Thomas Vanek’ levels of trade action) moves and missed the playoffs. However, If they sail along with this same sinking boat of players then Management is hopeless.
This isn’t good enough. Something needs to change.