Sunday, November 13, 2011
State of the Sabres
What's going on with the Sabres? The young 2011-2012 season has certainly been an interesting season so far for them. From their successful trip to Europe, to the fan-made goalie controversy, to Sabres fans and Buffalonians alike turning on The Buffalo News reporters because of a column about Pegula and the Penn State scandal, and now to the embarrassing outing against the Bruins.
I have to say I feel bad not updating anymore because there's been a lot of fodder for fans to discuss and I always love throwing my opinion out there. But I've been so busy with school, work, and other things going on in my life that sometimes it's hard to even sit down and watch a game, let alone blog about it.
But I really had to make time to write about the game last night against the Bruins. I didn't see much of it, in fact I turned on the game right when Lucic hit Miller. I immediately started recording the game because I wanted to see the team's reaction to such a dirty hit to our franchise goalie. When I found out through people on Twitter that there was no reaction, I of course was really disappointed, but also pretty concerned.
Nevermind the 6-2 blowout, that was one of their most demoralizing losses that I can remember because they didn't do anything about that hit. It was the turning point of the game, and it certainly worked in the Bruins's favor. That's upsetting. It's not that I wanted to see one of our own players run Tim Thomas and try to injure him, but how about scoring on the power play? How about showing some life at all? How about some effing defense? It was embarrassing.
Miller certainly didn't mince words in his short interview after the game, where he called Lucic a piece of shit. Of course it stirred up some controversy, which isn't new to Ryan, as his directness in interviews has sparked some debate before.
I'm glad Ryan said it, if no one else on the team was going to stand up to Lucic, at least Miller showed some deserved anger and emotion to the hit.
On paper, the team is actually in pretty good shape. They're 5th in the conference with 20 points and 10 wins in 16 games played. Not bad at all.
But what concerns me is that the team's lack of response to a dirty play isn't something new to the Sabres. Miller has been run before, and he will be run again. He's a star goalie and a franchise player. I remember there being little to no reaction when Scott Gomez ran into Miller which sidelined Ryan with a sprained ankle and caused the Sabres to slip out of playoff contention. I remember a few years ago Miller complaining that the Sabres were playing like a bunch of "scared little kids". It seems the only reaction the team has when one of their star players gets run is to completely deflate and let the other team take over. Seems encouraging for other teams to attempt to run Miller again, no?
Miller has had some rough outings lately, but his confidence seemed to grow during the Jets game and he started to look like his old self. From what I saw of the Boston game he seemed to look like he was in his old form up until he was sidelined in the 3rd with a sore neck. What a shame.
I hope the sore neck is nothing that will keep him out any longer than the Boston game, because believe it or not, we need our franchise goalie.