The Ecstasy and the Agony

The Ecstasy

That Leafs game was some seriously good times. Leafs fans are annoying mothereffers, but the arena was undeniably  amazing on Friday. The Leafs fans added to our experience tremendously. At times (like, every time the Sabres scored) it was AWESOME to have so many Leafs fans there, and times I wanted to light myself on fire with rage, but the entire night was passionately experienced, which is more than I can say for most games at FNC these days.

In the past I’ve avoided Leafs games (because, as previously mentioned, Leafs fans are annoying mothereffers, but also because you can completely rip them off by selling them your tickets), but Friday was a real eye opener. Leafs games are high risk, high reward. If the Sabres had lost it would’ve been playoff-loss-level misery, but when they won it felt like no win could ever feel as good as that win. Sometimes it’s good to just lose your head during a game, and the Leafs game certainly provide plenty of opportunity for that. (Along those lines, about halfway through the game, while watching a drunk, moronic nearby Leafs fan stand up in a sea of Sabres fans [during a commercial break, no less] and do that infinitely retarded thing where he grabbed the logo on his jersey to “taunt” other fans, Robin suddenly blurted out, “I’m gonna to punch that guy.” And for a brief moment, I think she meant it. After the moment passed, we laughed REALLY hard about that one, because of all the people I know, Robin might be the least likely to punch someone at a sporting event. The fact that she was tempted to punch someone speaks volumes about Leafs fans and also about our level of emotional commitment to the game. We went all in on Friday, and our reward was sweet.)

Robin and I sit low in the shoot twice side, so the Leaf fan presence wasn’t that horrendous (visiting fans tend to gravitate more towards the other end), but I know that my friend Roman didn’t fair as well. He estimated that up in his section in the 300s, the ratio was 70/30, Leafs fans. Ew! Poor Roman! But down in our end, we were mostly okay. In fact, the closest guy to us in a Leafs jersey turned out to be a Sabres fan who had lost a bet. We discovered this when, to our complete confusion, he turned around to high five us after the Sabres’ second goal.

Me: (high fives a dude in a Leafs jersey) WTF, dude? (points to his Leafs jersey)
Him: (shakes his head sadly) It’s okay. I’m a Sabres fan. I lost a bet.
Me: Ouch. Does your skin burn in that thing?
Him: Yeah, it does.

There was a moment late in the third period when I remember thinking to myself, “No matter what happens with the final score, I need to remember how fun this game has been.” Thank you Hockey Gods, for not testing my resolve on that pledge.

I had so much fun on Friday that after the game ended I was tempted to make a pact with the devil: As long as the Sabres manage to beat the Leafs at FNC forever and for all eternity, I don’t care what else happens. But thank GOD the devil wasn’t taking my calls on Friday night because the VERY next day, I was whistling a different tune…

The Agony

I was playing a concert Saturday night, so I didn’t see much of the game. But I saw enough. I saw enough to say definitively that the Sabres are in deep doo-doo. If Ryan Miller is going to play like crap, and half the roster is going to be injured, and the other half of the roster is going to be Roy and Stafford… the Sabres are in serious trouble. Not, like, cute “we just need time to gel, but it’s okay because we beat the Leafs last night” trouble, but real, “OMG. This season will be lost,” trouble.

The thing is, the more I think about it, the more I agree with Ted Black. We need to be patient. It’s not that I think that if we’re patient this roster is suddenly going to be good, or that Lindy Ruff will suddenly figure out how to make Roy and Stafford stop sucking, or that everything will be better once Tyler Myers and Brad Boyes come back. I just think it’s going to take time to fix this team. The fix is way more complicated than we want to believe.

Personally, until Ted Black and Terry Pegula give me reason to feel otherwise, I trust them to make measured, intelligent changes. It probably wasn’t what I would’ve done (no one will ever accuse me of being intelligent and measured), but keeping Lindy and Darcy after the ownership change was the intelligent, measured thing to do. The problem is that right now, in this situation, there isn’t a measured, intelligent change available. A new coach wouldn’t suddenly heal the injured players, and a new GM couldn’t make new cap space appear out of thin air.

As longtime readers of this blog know, I’m not one of those, “Lindy should have a job for life,” people. I’ve called for his head before. Right now, I don’t think the problem is coaching, and even if I did, there is just NO WAY Lindy should be fired while his forward lines look like this.

As for Darcy: So far, this season is looking like a perfect storm of suck for Darcy. I’m not willing to argue that any of his off-season signings were disastrous on their own (okay, maybe Leino, but… I still want to believe in Leino, so dammit, that’s what I’ll do), but the cap situation is h-o-r-r-i-b-l-e. The Sabres have exactly zero space under the cap right now and they are in injury hell.  The lack of cap space puts Darcy in a severely weakened position when it comes to tinkering with the current roster. Even when the plan was “cross your fingers and pray everyone stays healthy,” Darcy was still walking a very dangerous line with his cap space, but now, with all these call ups, he’s in serious trouble. This is the very definition of cap mismanagement, and in my opinion, depending on how the season shakes out, it’s a fire-able offense. But again, we’ll see.

It’s annoying as HELL to admit it, but it’s pretty difficult to fairly assess the roster with this many injuries. The intelligent, measured thing to do is to wait and see. Ted is right.

It seems to me that a lot of Sabres fans reacted to Pegula by upping their expectations dramatically without much consideration for how these new expectations could be met. I upped my expectations too, but unlike in the past, I now have faith that Sabres ownership is going to keep trying. When things don’t work out, Pegula and Ted Black aren’t going to do nothing. No, the first two and a half months of the 2011/12 season have not gone spectacularly well, but, I fully believe that they’re going to keep trying. So, if Darcy and/or Lindy need to go, I think sooner rather than later they will go. I couldn’t say that about the previous ownership.

Instead of feeling angry about the roster, I feel oddly pacified this season. It never made sense to me that Pegula could waltz in and be all, “I am a billionaire, and I want a Cup! BEGIN WINNING CUPS, BUFFALO SABRES.” That would’ve been too easy.

I believe that when Pegula took over, he gave Darcy Regier just enough rope to hang himself. Whether or not Darcy’s summertime moves have doomed him is still up in the air. I like Darcy as a person, and I love it when the Sabres are successful, so I hope things turn around here, but if they don’t, I do trust that things will change.

For now, we wait.

(But if Darcy wants to get to work trading Roy and/or Stafford, that’d be fine by me.)

18 Responses to “The Ecstasy and the Agony”

  1. 1 Erik December 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    That’s the thing KB, there’s plenty of cap space available when you get rid of the overpaid “talent” that’s on this team. The problem is, I don’t think Regier is going to part with any of his children. That’s why Darcy needs to go. I fully understand that when you fire your GM/coach that you ultimately leave yourself volnerable to something much worse. But I think a statement needs to be made now. I’m one of the writers on the Swordplay blog, and I just stated today that Terry Pegula wouldn’t even own the team right now if Lindy and Darcy were capable men for the job. Meaning, the Sabres should have won a Cup or two since 2005, and if they actually would have won one, I don’t think Golisano would’ve been a seller. Why he didn’t fire them? Who knows. But, people like Roy and Stafford need to be the first to go, and if they aren’t moved in the next week or two, that gives you full proof that they’re never going to be. Hence, shitcan the GM! Every team has injuries, every good team gets through them…that’s coaching. So, if you ask me, which you weren’t, but anyway, that’s were you start. It’s not going to make anything worse than it already is right now.

  2. 2 Katebits December 19, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    If Darcy doesn’t part with any of his children by the trade deadline, then I agree, he should be fired. But there is a trading freeze in effect until after the holidays, so don’t hold your breath until then. It’s not going to happen in the next week or so.

    My point is that the next guy will not be able to magically fix the cap problem. Of course, taking the overpaid “talent” off the team would create cap space, but you can’t just… remove players from a roster. You have to trade them off. This cap problem is Darcy’s doing, and like I said, it’s a fire-able offense. But firing him now does absolutely nothing to solve the problem.

    Personally, I don’t think a “statement” needs to be made right now, and I don’t think a statement would do any good. It’s December and half their team belongs in the AHL. The Sabres are 16th in the league, and 8th in the conference. This isn’t the end of the world.

    As for Lindy, I just disagree. I think you fire a coach mid-season when a.) the team is underperforming (like the Caps this year or the Pens the year they won the Cup), or b.) the coach clearly and dramatically sucks ass (like Maclean in NJ last season). I just think firing Lindy at this point would create a ton of needless hoopla for very little reward. The next guy won’t be able to turn Paul Szhschurchaza into a suitable center for Thomas freaking Vanek.

    The only problems on the team that I think are realistically solvable in the short term are Roy and Stafford. They’re the measuring stick for Darcy’s mid-season performance. They’re both underperforming and they’re both tradeable, especially Roy. The Sabres literally don’t have ANY cap space right now, so I’d be shocked if Darcy doesn’t unload one of them. I think the cap problem means that he has no choice.

  3. 3 Heather Bermingham (@topshelfcookies) December 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Erik, the tricky thing is that the overpaid “talent” is well, overpaid “talent.” Other teams aren’t exactly lining up for overpaid “talent.” It’s easy to say, “Hey, we should trade those guys who are making too much money for their production preferably for a someone better,” and it’s hard to do especially when the team is in a situation where they can’t take a lot of money back. The most likely scenario is that we still end up at the cap just with different guys taking up the space. Maybe that works out, but I don’t know, it doesn’t seem like much of an improvement. I’m also more than fine dumping a couple of core guys, but if not one wants them, no one wants them. To say that if it doesn’t happen in a couple of weeks, it’s not going to happen seems pretty arbitrary.

    One thing in Darcy’s favor that I haven’t heard mentioned a lot is that the youngsters – Kassian, McNabb, Foligno – are a different kind of player than we have right now unlike the many years where the prospects were just more of what we already had (small, skilled forwards). That suggests to me that the hockey people were very aware of the weaknesses in the organization and were taking steps to address them. They’re just slow steps. At this point, I can certainly understand people feeling like it’s too slow, but it’s not like the Sabres seem unaware either.

    Teams getting through injury is sometimes good coaching but sometimes it’s depth of talent. The Sabres don’t have that especially with the sheer number of injuries. This has been a very weird, unfortunate storm of events that makes it hard to point the finger at any one person except maybe the guys in goal.

    • 4 Heather Bermingham (@topshelfcookies) December 19, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      I knew I should have re-read that comment before posting. Just to be clear, I’m not saying that Darcy should necessarily keep his job. There are many mistakes on his resume, all of which we’ve heard before. But I do think someone in the organization clearly sees where the roster needs to go and it is slowly going there. That makes me feel like some patience and goodwill are you know, just fine.

  4. 5 mikespub December 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Sybil: the Hockey Edition

  5. 6 Katebits December 19, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Mike… heh.

    Heather, I agree that we seem to have a decent class of prospects coming up through the system. I’ve been pretty impressed with the call ups. But I also think a dim-witted 11-year-old could’ve figured out that the Sabres need bigger players, so I’m not super inclined to give Darcy more goodwill and patience based on that. :P

    I like that Pegula gave Darcy a chance, but so far Darcy’s post-Pegula moves are not panning out too well. But like I said, we’ll see!

  6. 7 Heather Bermingham (@topshelfcookies) December 19, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Oh, I don’t think it should necessarily translate to Darcy keeping his job. I mean, Darcy gets the credit for drafting usually but he’s obviously not the only person in the scouting and development department. (I mean, Johnny Five, hello!) That was just a general observation that they do seem to be course correcting a bit and that they seem to be finding capable players. Someone – Ted? – mentioned at some point a three year plan. Despite a really awful first half of the season, a three year plan doesn’t seem COMPLETELY out-of-the question. I wasn’t preaching patience for Darcy specifically, just agreeing that you know, management seems like they are capable of and interested in making changes that need to be made. My thoughts got a little muddled together there.

  7. 8 trevor December 19, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    IMO Regier has proven he has talent for the draft. Your farm team doesn’t have the rookie of the year (regardles of stature) three years in a row if you don’t. However, it’s very dangerous when you know you have a GM who cannot impartially assess his head coach. On this front alone I believe he has to be replaced given the disarray of this team. I simply don’t think the injuries are nearly as big a deal as the inherent shortcomings they reveal.

    I make this case today at swordplay, but I spend more time making the case for Ruff’s departure. I won’t use my favorite blog as a linking ground to mine, so feel free to go check it out if you like :)

  8. 9 Erik December 20, 2011 at 12:14 am

    I just want to say, the reason I read (and love) your blog is because of how knowledgable you are about the game (and obviously your unique sense of humor). I respectfully disagree with you about the whole “statement” thing though. I don’t care if half the team is injured, so are the Penguins. Yet, they still continue to sustain an A-class performance with arguably better talent left off the ice. I feel that things are just a little too family-friendly around Sabreland. We have obvious different takes on the whole situation, mainly to due with timeframes. My personallity just makes me want to see this happen sooner than later. I understand both sides of the situation and appreciate your opinion very much.

  9. 10 brian December 20, 2011 at 9:39 am

    quoting Sully on a recent tweet…
    The Blues are 13-2-4 under Ken Hitchcock. Hitchcock has been fired three times since beating Lindy Ruff in the ’99 Finals. Just sayin’.
    My point exactly…

  10. 11 Katebits December 20, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I simply don’t think the injuries are nearly as big a deal as the inherent shortcomings they reveal.

    I actually agree with this, but again I think the fault then falls harder on Regier. (And for the record, i also agree that one of Darcy’s biggest shortcomings is the fact that he’s created an environment where Lindy and his players know he’ll never ever get fired.) I read your post, trevor, and it makes a good case for Lindy’s suckiness. Again, I am 100% in FAVOR of firing Ruff when the firing comes due. I just don’t think that time is now. I don’t think you can wave off injuries of this magnitude. In your post that you compare the Pens game the the Sabres/Flyers game from a few years back. But the thing is, those Flyers still ended the season last in the league. (I think it was last in the league. If not last, pretty close.) That firing did nothing to save the season for the Flyers. And whether we like it or not, Lindy Ruff works under a different set of rules than EVERY other coach in the league. He’s a special case. In order to slay Lindy, the circumstances have to be juuuust right. In my opinion we do not have those circumstance now. It would cause more trouble than it would be worth.

    Erik, aww! I seriously appreciate that you’ve taken the time to read and comment here! As for the Penguins, the actual game was an atrocity, no doubt. The Penguins have a better roster, better coach, and better GM, for sure.

    Brian, if I were running the show, I’d have fired Lindy twice, just just since the lockout. But I still don’t think firing him now accomplishes anything.

    Thanks for all the great comments on this one, guys! I guess I was in the mood for a good old fashioned, pointless session of “Let’s all argue about Lindy Ruff!”

  11. 12 trevor December 20, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Yes, Philly sucked the rest of that year; certainly you can’t expect miracles when you clean house. But hey, cut bait as soon as possible once you realize it isn’t catching anything.

    I absolutely agree Regier has created the complacency on display right now. There are several reasons DR should go, but tops among them is the fact that he’s said Ruff will never be fired. This is nuts!

    We can clearly go round and round – and probably will – but like many marriages, this one just needs to end. Whether it’s sooner, later..whatevs. I don’t get to make that call. I just know that this lack of leadership and accountability has led to a team of coddled princesses who know they can live high on the hog without really having to produce much of anything. Good gig if you can get it!

    It simply comes down to whether this gang as currently assembled is going to win a Cup or not. It’s just not. Poor Miller looks as if he KNOWS everyone has figured him out; they’ve been outed as soft and that still seems to be weighing on them, etc. I mean, shit, even high school and college teams turn over at least every four years. We’re stuck with the same ol’, same ol’..and life’s just gotten comfy for them.

    This is honestly where I’m at right now – either trade Vanek so he can play with people who actually give a shit, or cut the dead weight and surround him with guys who will put in the effort he does every night. It’s clear what I’d prefer. No time like the present.

  12. 13 Mikey B December 21, 2011 at 9:11 am

    I always hate these types of conversations because I’m definitely a heart-first fan. I’ve been a fan of Ruff since I was too young to even understand all of hockey’s rules, something about the fact that he’d lay down in front of a slapshot always appealed to me. When I heard he was head coach for the Sabres I was ecstatic. The “Fire Ruff” conversations always make my inner kid sad. :) Having said that, if I thought him getting fired would help, I’d begrudgingly be happy if it happened. But here’s the real question: who is out there that could replace him right now? There’s no doubt that the Sabres have sucked elephant unmentionables recently, but I think the Pegula-raised expectations at the beginning of the season, combined with the fact that they came out of the gate winning a ton, may have us overestimating how bad off the situation is right now. It is after all only December and this time last year they weren’t even really in the playoff hunt at all.

    I always laugh when people talk about leadership in the locker room or what happens at practices or how the players feel about Ruff because…well, are you in the locker room or one of his players. It’s all conjecture. Granted, to play Devil’s Advocate to myself, I know that the results speak for themselves, and you’d have to start looking at the top if things aren’t clicking right. Still, because I’m a heart-first fan, consider these things on the more positive end:

    – Despite recent suckiness, the Sabres are still over .500 on the year.
    – Despite losing 4-1 to Ottawa last night, I thought they played a really good game and Miller looked really good, possibly better than he’s looked all year. He had a couple mid-air stops with his glove and blocker that showed his focus was really dialed in.
    – Despite the arguement of, “Well…the PENGUINS are injured too!”, you can not deny that having a bollocks load of injuries isn’t hugely detremental to a team. Yeah, Ruff has switched up lines a lot this season…has he had a choice? The Sabres have put 11 rookies on the ice this season, 7 of them who had never played in the NHL before. Sure, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins beat the Rochester Sabres the other night, but it reminds me of when the Rochester Amerks beat the Capitals. Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.
    – The Penguins loss was the only game where they really looked bad, and I think you have to put that one square on the shoulders of leaky goaltending. I’m an Enroth fan and even more a Miller fan, and I defend those guys all the time, but…they both just sucked colon against Pittsburgh. (I know, “sucked colon” is pretty ugly imagry. So was the goaltending that night.) Miller wasn’t even snarky in the postgame, so you KNOW he played bad.
    – Vanek is playing like a superstar even when he’s not scoring. His work down low and in front of the net has been inspired.
    – Despite people’s objections with Pommers, (which I still don’t understand), he’s playing great too. He might not be putting up huge goal numbers but he backchecks hard, he’s always in position, and his passes are on the tape…you know, of Sabres instead of other teams.

    Seems to me, right now the Sabres really only have two major problems: mental breakdowns leading to giveaways leading to goals, and lack of ability to bury chances. (Granted those are pretty big problems.) You can make an easy argument that chemistry is the sole blame there. When we get a few key guys back from injuries and we start getting more stable lines, I think those giveaways will get less and the chances will start getting buried. I’ve seen a lot of blind-ish passes that go to either no one or the other team, and it always just looks like the player is expecting someone to be there who isn’t. That’ll get better.

    Also, look on another bright side. If half the Sabres are hurt right now, by the time the playoffs roll around they’ll all be rested from having time off so will go into the postseason fresh!

    And one last thing about being a heart-first fan…when you trade tons of players and fire your coaching staff, is it really even the same team? My personal hope is lofty. I want to see the Sabres win a cup with most of their current long-tenured players, Ruff behind the bench, and Jeanneret calling the play-by-play. That would make my inner kid pretty happy. :)

  13. 14 Katebits December 21, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Mikey B, thanks for your comment! I pretty much totally agree with all of your points, and I share your heart-first tendencies. I think many people are overreacting to the current situation, particularly the Penguins game. One thing I don’t agree with though is:

    But here’s the real question: who is out there that could replace him right now?

    This is an argument I’ve heard over and over and over again in Buffalo in regards to Ruff. Personally, I don’t think it matters. No one had ever heard of Boudreau or Bylsma (on the NHL level) until they were hired. Every NHL-tested coach has won a bunch and lost a bunch. I never know what people are looking for in the potential new coach when they say, “But WHO would they hire next?” Lindy Ruff is one of a kind, and that’s a double edged sword.

    Another kind of underrated point about all of this is that the Sabres just AREN’T going to fire Lindy right now with all these injuries. There’s no way. None. Zero chance. So we’re all just arguing over what will absolutely turn out to be nothing. If the fact that Lindy won’t get fired with all these injuries makes some fans (trevor) sour on Pegula and Black, that’s certainly fine. But for me, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for them to wait and see in this position at all. Plus, I want to keep loving Pegula and Black. I’ve gotten plenty outraged over the Sabres in the past, but I like to pick and choose my spots. This just doesn’t feel like one of them.

  14. 15 Mikey B December 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    That’s a fair point, I’m sure there are plenty of folks out there that would be a suitable head coach. I guess I just don’t *want* there to be. :)

    I love the game, but the stuff that really sucks me in is the stories behind the game. The Folignos are super interesting to me in that regard. Mike Foligno is one of the guys I consider true Sabres alum, even though he played his closing seasons with the filthy Leafs. Former Sabres captain, and one of his sons plays in the NHL with the other one trying. Marcus gets to play his first NHL game for the team his dad used to be the captain for, against the team his brother currently plays for, and through some bad luck with a job loss, his dad gets to see that first game. I wanted Marcus to score so bad last night and do the patented Foligno-Leap with his brother there and his dad in the stands. That’s the stuff legends are made of.

    That’s the part of me that hopes Ruff is the Sabres’ coach forever. Between having been a player and the head coach, Ruff has been a Sabre for almost 24 years now. Real life is bogus and…well…REAL, all the time. The little kid in me wants to see Ruff win that cup with the blue and gold.

    It’s funny, the more involved I get with statistics and things, the more immature I’ve been approaching being a fan. Sure it’s unrealistic, but when you sit down to watch a game and on any given night you really believe that Gerbe could drop the gloves against Zdano Chara and beat him soundly, that Roy will turn into that star center everyone wants, that Miller will score an empty net goal…well I tell ya, it’s a lot more fun and exciting.

    Screw being mature and grow’d up, hand me a sippy cup full of beer and my Sabres feetie pajamas, I’m gonna go watch the game. :)

  15. 16 trevor December 22, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    But here’s the real question: who is out there that could replace him right now?


    This question has always been a red herring.. as if any of us knows who’s “out there” when we don’t do this for a living.

    But the short answer is “Plenty of guys.” They’ve also already passed on Arniel (the last coach that could actually pen an effective Sabres power play), Tortorella, Dineen..

    Another kind of underrated point about all of this is that the Sabres just AREN’T going to fire Lindy right now with all these injuries. There’s no way.

    No argument here. In fact I don’t think there’s any way R/R lose jobs all year. That’s precisely why I made the case this week for canning them both now. That and, well, I’d also make a tits GM.

    As I’ve said many times now, their play has nothing to do with injuries. Let’s not forget that they weren’t exactly playing inspirational hockey before all the injuries started. Not to mention, their D and goalies are almost fully healthy, so they shouldn’t be getting lit up by Ottawa.

    Let’s also not forget that the 2007 Sabres had virtually no injuries when they flopped out of the conf finals – even TC was healthy! But I recall writing on bfloblog numerous times that season that there was very little effort or determination during the year – and that was WITH Briere/Drury on the team – so why would the playoffs be much different. What was the excuse then? They won the President’s Trophy for crying out loud.

    But that was then. I look at the team this year and try to find the guts, heart, and leadership and I see nothing, with the exception of Vanek most nights. It’s like they hold on to R/R just to flout a shitty Buffalo jobs market.

    Call me crazy, I just don’t like seeing ownership content to sit on their hands and let a season go down the drain. It’s not like this is the first season I’ve wanted R/R to go on their way.

  16. 17 Mike in Idaho December 22, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Andy Murray who I think is the best coach without a job right now would be perfect in Buffalo IMHO. It hurts to say that since I have met Ruff and he seems like a great guy. I even asked him what he thought about people talking about his job security all the time and he said he just tuned it out. Although I guess it’s a lot easier to tune out when your GM says it will never happen.

  17. 18 Becky December 24, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Elsewhere I had read the suggestion that Ruff be kicked upstairs to some sort of management position (and NOT GM as the same person put forth), which would keep him in the organization, but allow some serious shaking up to happen. Ruff quite possibly could use some time away from the bench to get some fresh perspective on both style and players (although I feel confident that he would not agree) and still be available for future consideration should the need arise.

    “I’ve seen a lot of blind-ish passes that go to either no one or the other team, and it always just looks like the player is expecting someone to be there who isn’t.”…this has been an ongoing problem, not unique to this season, in my opinion.

    Pegula has a fan-affair with Sabres Past, not necessarily the current group…

    I also firmly believe that Pegula has people in place to look at this team with coldhearted precision who will eventually make the necessary moves, whatever they may be.

    Keep Vanek, Kassian (never thought I’d say that previous to actually watching him play)…probably Pominville (he got angry in public? things are bad…) and a few others (like most of the new acquisitions)…the rest…eh.

    And speaking of the new hires, ever notice that most play with a slow precision rather than hacking away wildy at the puck?

    Looks like I just wrote a blog post :)

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