It's Time to Show What's Beating Inside the Jerseys
So here the Buffalo Sabres sit. Not just circling the drain, but with one skate being sucked down while the other is paddling for life. A 2-7-1 record over the last 10 does not inspire confidence. It's more like dry heaves.
What kind of shape is the team in?
Nobody is putting in effort. Not a consistent one for a full 60 minutes, let alone that little bit extra needed to win the battles required to win those 1 goal games they had previously been racking up all season.
The 'effort' was simultaneously nauseating and yawn inducing while being a complete abomination.
The top 6 forwards might as well be the 3rd and 4th line with how they have produced since the start of the west coast trip.
The defense has been offensive the past 12 or so games.
Steve Montador and Toni Lydman have taken turns impersonating ?turnstiles to perfection.
Even worse, Craig Rivet, the captain, has been almost assuredly their worst defenseman over the course of the last 30 games. His gas tank is running on E.
If Ryan Miller was a high performance sports car, he would be leaking oil, be in dire need of an alignment, and have 4 tires with so little tread that they would look bald.
If the entire team were a car on the highway, they would be doing 45 in the middle lane, swerving all over the place, with 3 blown tires, riding on the axles with sparks flying everywhere, with no brakes.
The real issues with the recent stretch of games reside behind the bench and in the front office.
Lindy Ruff sure loves driving his stud car (Miller) hard until he either careens into a telephone pole or the engine blows.
Darcy needs to better understand that and pick up a capable back up that Lindy has no trouble giving consistent minutes, even in back to back outings, but Darcy also has a critical character flaw.
He only makes trades that fall into one of two categories.
The trade would have to be a heist/thievery or it would be a move so under the radar that it would make a stealth bomber pilot smile. There is a small problem with that : it takes A LOT of time to pull those kinds of trades off, and with the Olympic trade freeze going into effect this Friday, Darcy better have the bluetooth spot welded to his ear and have a 5 hour energy I.V. firmly planted in his arm.
Fast forward to tonight's game. Winning this game is paramount.
Perhaps the only team paying worse than Buffalo is Boston.
The good news? Going into tonight's game, Buffalo has played the fewest games in the conference.
Forgetting Washington (they bid sayonara to the #1 seed in the East a week ago), they are only 3 points from the number 2 seed, and New Jersey has been anything but on fire recently.
The division and number 2 seed in the conference are there for the taking, but can the players grab it?
Tune in tonight at 7pm to find out if they can take that first baby step to rebuilding their confidence into what it was a little over 3 weeks ago.
On trades : I have never been a fan of proposing trades because nobody really knows, except Darcy and other G.M.'s, what a team is asking for in return for certain players.
Would the Sabres be greatly improved with players like Matt Cullen, Ray Whitney, Tomas Kaberle, Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, and Martin Biron? Of course, but what would they be giving up in return?
I can only tell you what I would covet were I the G.M. Young D with wheels, offensive upside, and a nasty streak, meaning I would not be trading guys like Weber, Butler, or Sekera unless it was part of a larger deal bringing a true sniper or play making center in return.
I simply do not give up on young D with talent like the 3 mentioned above.
Feel free to make your trade ideas below and I will comment on all of them both regarding the cap and the reality of the trade proposal coming to fruition.
About the Author
Written by William Brouillette