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Sabres off to a poor start

Posted By George Kouvalis On Oct 18 2010 @ 2:05 am In Buffalo Sabres | No Comments

Maybe Lindy Ruff is finally on the hot seat in Buffalo.  The Buffalo Sabres have started their 2010-2011 NHL season off and suffice to say it hasn’t been a good so far.  With a chance to get off to a great start as four of their first six games in the season were at home, the others in Ottawa and Chicago, the Sabres didn’t take advantage.   The Sabres are off to a 1-4-1, including 0-3-1 at home.  For a Sabre team that has been great at home for most of the past few seasons it has come as quite a surprise that they have to register a home win.

A dismal display of offense in the first few games has been a reason for this.  The Sabres have scored 12 goals in 6 games, while only allowing 18.  They have been on the wrong end of a 1-0 OT loss to New Jersey  and a 2-1 loss to rival Montreal.  Their power play ranks 26th in the league and PK has been average to say the least.  If not for the play of Ryan Miller the Sabres would probably be 0-6 and not be in any of those hockey games.  The first period of games also seems to be the demise of this team at home.  In the game against the Rangers they were outshot bad in the first which lead to a quick two goal deficit.  In the New Jersey game the Sabres just looked awful in the first being out shot 15-1, did I mention these shot totals were at the HSBC Arena.

Ruff needs to figure out a way to get the team motivated.  Derek Roy has been the lone bright spot up front for the Sabres, having scored 5 of the teams 12 total goals.  Buffalo needs to find some secondary scoring up front and even some emotion.  The team has lacked to play with any sort of fire or energy it has seemed all season. At times it seems as if the guys just are out there for a skate.  Top forward Thomas Vanek has been invisible along with Tim Connolly and Jochen Hecht.  These are the guys that need to step up and make something happen for Buffalo to have any success this season.

Defensively Tyler Myers has officially entered a sophomore slump.  He has not been nearly as consistent as he needs to be in the back end to anchor the defense. Jordan Leopold has been a positive for the team.   You can try and look at the fact that they have been in most games this year but their play should does not reflect that of a team in such tight games.

This could be a very long year in Buffalo, with the hope of yet another division title on the minds of the fans they may be in for a crash landing.  The Sabres need to right the ship and fast.  Whether or not that means making a few trades or roster moves to shake things up or maybe even finally change up the coaching staff after 14 seasons.  I respect Lindy Ruff and especially his longevity in the industry and in Buffalo.  Sometimes an image change may be the answer if the players aren’t motivated enough to want to play.

Either way you look at it this team could be out of the playoff picture the way the Leafs were last season by mid November.   You cannot afford to throw away points, let alone not win a game on your own ice after four chances.

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