The Journey Begins:
I think we can all agree that there is something terribly wrong with the Sabres.
The problem is, no one is quite sure what is wrong with the Sabres. Is it the top six? Is it the defense? Is it Lindy? Are they just not that good? Were they all concussed over the summer in some kind of unreported team bus crash? Are they coach killing? Is Tyler Myers high? Were Toni Lydman and Hank Tallinder the straws that stirred the drink (no way)? Is Craig Rivet a robot? Are they afraid of being booed, and THAT’S why they can’t win at home? Have Thomas Vanek’s low self-esteem issues given him an eating disorder? Will I ever bother to learn how to spell Neidermayerierniderer or Mmoorriissoonn?
WHY are they so bad? WHY?
We go around and round.
All I know is I need to step back from this surface-y examination of the first ten games of the new season. I need to dig in deeper. I need to look at the history of each member of “the core”. I need to understand how we got here, so that at the very least, we might have some hope of saving the younger players. I need to do what I’ve always done when the Sabres are leaving me feeling lost and confused.
I need to look at their roster photos.
As longtime readers of this blog know, I believe strongly that many secrets of a team can be revealed by careful examination of their roster photos. The situation in Buffalo is complex, and there are no easy answers, so in order to get to the bottom of what ails the Sabres, I believe we have to acknowledge the personal journey of each individual player.
Today is the first post in what will hopefully be a series of posts. We cannot afford to pretend that there isn’t a problem in “the system”. Something is going terribly wrong with these players, and it is our obligation to find it, and fix it so that so future Sabres do not have to suffer. The process is bound to be painful, but it is our duty as Sabres fans to see this through.
Today we investigate Derek Roy and Drew Stafford.
There is so much lost innocence and turmoil evident in Roy-Z’s early roster photos. Heartbreaking. He was clearly at a crossroads in 2005, and sadly, he took the path which lead to the Roy-Z we know and (kind of) love today. To my great shock, in 2005 Derek Roy was Montador-esque in appearance. Plain, nearly disheveled, in 2005 Roy-Z was a young man on his way to the top. But then, in 2006, came the haircut that would rock the Buffalo hockey world. Granted, 2006/07 was a good season for the team and for Roy-Z himself, but he was skating on borrowed time. Let this be a lesson to the young people who read this blog: One ill-advised haircut can ruin your life. By 2007 Derek Roy’s fate was sealed. By the fall of ’07, Roy-Z had sunk so low that he clearly believed a carefully constructed fauxhawk could replace the leadership of Chris Drury and Daniel Briere. As we all know now, Roy-Z was wrong about his fauxhawk. He was so dreadfully wrong.
Unable to recover from the fauxhawk, the roster photos show that Roy-Z descended deeper and deeper into skeeviness. While Roy-Z can continue to play hockey at high levels, there is no known cure for his increasingly greasy hair.
Analysis: Based on Roy-Z’s roster photos, we can deduce that he was not given the guidance he so desperately needed at the start of his young career. As a result of being overlooked by authority figures, Roy-Z was susceptible to all manner of peer-pressure, the worst of which resulted in a devastating fauxhawk. To prevent this type of calamity in the future, young Sabres should not be allowed to own or use hair products. Also, for the good of the innocent rookies, further research must be done to determine if the greasy fauxhawk is contagious.
It does not take a genius to see what happened to Staffy. At some point in his childhood, he was bitten by a zombie. By 2007 his zombie-ism was full blown, and his skin was astonishingly pale. In 2008 in a sad effort to hide his zombie-ism Staffy attempted to smile in his roster photo, but the results were…disturbing. By 2009, Staffy’s obvious undeadness could no longer be denied. Thankfully, in 2010, with the help of zombie experts, Staffy’s condition is being controlled, and there is reason to believe he can one day be a useful member of society the Sabres again. *fingers crossed*
Analysis: In the future, the Sabres should consider asking all potential draftees “Are you a zombie?” If the answer is “yes,” the Sabres should think long and hard before drafting this player. On paper, zombies seem like they should be good at hockey, but in reality this is not always the case.
Stay tuned for future installments of this vitally important study. We here at the Willful Caboose Research Labs promise that we will not give up until every Sabres is cured, and the team returns to respectability.