After another terrible road showing in Chicago and another blow out thist time 6-2, all I keep hearing is, whats wrong with the Sabres? I have 3 answers for you: poor hockey IQ, soft, and no passion.
Last night I couldn't help but first scream at Ville Leino (I know he can't hear me) for his drop pass to nobody and then laugh continously throughout the rest of the game at what was occuring. Want to see what the Sabres pay Leino 4.5 million dollars for? Take a gander...http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console
You can't see the drop pass that well, but basically he takes two strides over the blue line and drops it between his legs to Duncan Keith who sends Hossa in alone to make it 3-2, game over. A good example of no hockey IQ. I've been playing hockey since i was 4, and im 23, I'm no professional, but I do know you never never drop pass the puck at the blue line. Lets move onto Weber and Leopold, they were an awful -4 in Detroit, so most would think they would try to rebound in the next game right? Wrong, they come back with a -3, along with Derek Roy and Drew Stafford. Weber doesn't know how to tie up people in front resulting in the 1st and 2nd Hawks goal by Shaw and Toews. Then Weber makes you wonder if he has any hockey sense by literally catching a puck off the glass with his hand and tossing it behind his back into the mesh for a two minute penalty. That really happened no exaggeration. I felt bad for Jhonas Enroth until he looked terrible on the 5th and 6th, but didn't matter anymore anyways.
Outside of Patrick Kaleta, Thomas Vanek, Nathan Gerbe, Robyn Regher, Paul Gaustad and Tyler Myers this may be the sofest team I have ever seen. Derek Roy refuses to go into the corner to take a check to make a play, Stafford forget he is 6'2 and will not go into the corner either. Brad Boyes would rather cruise above the face dots avoiding all possible contact. Leino tries to get into the corner, but is usually late to the play or falls down. I guess I can throw Jochen Hecht and Matt Ellis into the not so soft category too, at least they try.
Remember back in November when Milan Lucic put Ryan Miller four rows into the stands at TD Garden and the Sabres didn't respond. Then after that they said never again we are going to stick up for each other. Well last night Jamal Mayers crushed Paul Gaustad (a well liked player in the room and team leader) into the boards from behind. In response probably to the hit Gaustad laid on Bolland the shift before that. Gaustad was injured, left the game and didn't return and will likely not play tonight. Now let me find the clip where the Sabres went after Mayers in a blow out to make a statement. Hold on...wait a second....wait...almost got it....oh yes that's right, they didn't do anything!!! The entire game you could see Mayers after every whistle looking over his shoulder waiting for someone to challenge him. He must of forgot the team he was playing.
It gets better, the now very much anticipated Lindy Ruff post game presser. A definate classic last night. First let me put some background into it, Ruff told Pierre McGuire during an in-game interview he didn't mind the Leino play and that Stafford left his lane. I thought to myself no he must have mixed up his words, nope. In the postgame presser he again threw the blame at Stafford who sat most of the 3rd period for not being good at hockey. Stafford apparently left his lane without telling Leino, however Ruff did say it was a terrible play. Nice to see Leino is clicking with his new team 40 games in. When pressed by a reporter why Leino didn't miss a single shift and wasn't benched to make a point, Ruff came back with excuses and then stormed off like a little kid and yelled back at Mike Harrington Buffalo News reporter "You coach, Mike". Good idea coach! He would probably do better than you right now. I like how the Sabres always attack the media, excellent way to do business.
The absolute kicker of the night was seeing Pierre McGuire and Eddie O just break down and rip apart the Sabres, over and over and over again. They showed replays of breakdown after breakdown after breakdown. Couple quotes I can recall from Pierre "they have the thousand yard stare right now" from EO "they need to bring in the symbols player from the band, they need to make a move just for the sake of doing something". Mike Millbury and Keith Jones continued to kill the Sabres in the post game show too. I loved every second of it, this team needs to be exposed to what they really are. How much longer will Pegula let his franchise be the laughing stock of the league. Anyone who sees the Sabres on the schedule right now thinks easy win.
Oh yeah Sabres play in Winnipeg tonight. Good luck 4-1 Jets. 11 road L's in a row.