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What went wrong? April 29, 2010

Posted by calvin in Uncategorized.
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We’re all disappointed about how the season ended for the Sabres. And many journalists and bloggers are asking the same question I am: what went wrong? Some of my ideas:

  • The will to compete simply wasn’t there. Boston wanted it more than the Sabres did. This is a disturbing trend which has reared its ugly head for the past three seasons. Let’s look at the constants over those seasons – some player personnel, including Vanek, Connolly, Roy, Pominville, Gaustad, Hecht, Mair, Stafford, Tallinder, and Lydman; coaching and management – Ruff, Regier, Quinn, and Golisano; and playing style, which could be a part of coaching/management, but I’m making it a separate piece. Because I can. (By the way, I’m not lumping Miller in with the player personnel. I think that boy would compete with an old lady to cross the street, and might strongly consider taking her out at the knees to win if he had to.)
  • Injuries. I’m not comparing our injuries to Boston’s injuries – both teams had players out. But no matter what Tim Connolly says, there’s no way his foot was 100%, Craig Rivet was apparently hindered by a straightjacket (insert your own joke here), and Thomas Vanek was limping like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Jochen Hecht was totally out of the series, and Patrick Kaleta played with only four fingers able to hold his stick in his injured hand. Then there are the players who are injured who we’ll never hear about – Stafford? Roy? My point is this – injuries to key players didn’t help matters.
  • “The System”. Lindy, I hate to break it to you, but “the system” doesn’t seem to be working. How ’bout you spend the summer figuring out a new “the system”?
  • Players tuning out the coaches. Let’s face it – Derek Roy says he has no problem with Lindy, but I was surprised when his nose didn’t actually grow as he was talking. He can’t be the only one. Derek Roy and several other players have been playing for Ruff & Co for their entire professional hockey careers. Even when you work for a boss you love, after a while you start to get comfortable and do your own thing, and there’s no evidence to support the assertion all the players love the coaching staff.
  • Ownership/management not doing what it takes. Raise your hand if you have begged Golisano, Quinn, and Regier to get Thomas Vanek a center who can get him the puck or another winger to complement him. Raise your hand if you watch Patrick Kaleta barrel his way around the ice and a proud tear forms in the corner of your eye, then you watch Drew Stafford lollygag through his shift and you want to put your fist through a wall. Just me? Didn’t think so. The team needs more guys who consistently TRY. It goes back to that whole “compete” concept, but only part of the “compete” factor is the players’ fault. Owners and management have to take some of the blame too.

I may come up with other reasons why they didn’t make it further. Until then, if you have your own reason, let me know in the comments section. I’m starting to think you people don’t love me anymore. *sniff, sniff*

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Comments»

1. Richard - April 30, 2010

Sabres= No guts, no glory. Not enough grit. Need more Tim Kennedys, but with more size. After last year’s uninspired season I was looking for a team that, win or lose, would always punish the opponent. It started off like that but fizzled somewhere along the way.

I sometimes wonder if the team is too comfortable in Buffalo. The people love the team, and support them regardless of the result. Which is good up to a point, but it would be good to get a Stanley Cup also.

2. Mark B - April 29, 2010

Good points all around. I do think the system needs tweaking but a change in the top six would be welcome by me. I think Timmy is the obvious candidate along with Stafford. As much as people hate Derek, he showed signs this year of returning to his scrappy, in your face, style. Not ready to give up on that.

3. Steve - April 29, 2010

I do think Rask beat Miller in this series. I’m not saying Miller played badly, or it’s his fault, but Rask just played better.

manda903 - April 29, 2010

I agree – Rask did out-play Miller in the series, but I don’t think Miller is a problem in general.

4. Cynthia - April 29, 2010

I think your assessment is pretty accurate in most instances, but I always wonder if it’s a question of the will to compete or if it’s more like we’re too easily intimidated. When games get really physical, we start taking penalties and letting the other team take the puck along the wall instead of standing up to them. Is it a result of too many small guys and not enough Kaleta’s? Hard to say, but I do think we let ourselves be psyched out by physical teams.

manda903 - April 29, 2010

Yes, the team does back down far too easily. The thing I don’t understand about that is it’s not the small guys who are backing down – it’s Tallinder, Stafford, Connolly…

5. Tweets that mention What went wrong? « Two Minutes for Roughing -- Topsy.com - April 29, 2010

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Amanda Twentyfive, Amanda Twentyfive. Amanda Twentyfive said: What went wrong?: http://wp.me/pCXAE-cI […]

6. Gabby - April 29, 2010

Nothing to add, but I love your blog and read it after every game! Your summary of “liked/didn’t like” always points out stuff I missed and makes me think. Plus, you are funny as hell.

manda903 - April 29, 2010

Thank you so much for reading! Sometimes it feels like the blog gets published and falls into a black hole, so it’s nice to know people actually want to hear what I have to say. 😉


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