Of course, the Sabres lost. A 2-0 shutout at the hands of the Maple Leafs. It would seem as if the Sabres are still spiraling their way to the bottom. Thomas Vanek left the game early, leaving the Sabres with one capable scoring threat. The Leafs had little trouble snuffing out the Buffalo attack on their way to an easy win.
A slow start equated to a flat effort that came from a team that is slowly drifting into coach-killing mode. As to what may shake the roster from the funk? It will either be a new voice or some new faces. Frankly, having the same players with a new bench boss will only go so far. Eventually these guys will revert to passionless hockey. The real solution would be to pluck a few from “the core”. These players need to know they aren’t safe, a shake-up would prove that.
- Buffalo’s goal scoring has become flat-out embarrassing. To hear Darcy Regier say no shake-up is imminent goes beyond embarrassment to blatant lunacy. The Sabres are in desperate need of a new identity. Terry Pegula was supposed to bring that when he came on board, he was the first drop in the bucket. Now the Sabres need to identify the issue staring them in the face. It may already be too late.
- Ryan Miller once again played a strong enough game to get his team the win. Considering the timing of some of the questionable goals he has allowed lately, early ones trump late ones in my opinion. If there was any heart or spark on that bench, the 2-0 deficit would have been easily erased. Hell, it happens enough in the other direction. Miller can’t be blamed tonight. Yet another game no goal scoring failed the team.
- Hopefully Thomas Vanek truly did have the flu. The Sabres are an obvious train wreck without him in the lineup. He and Jason Pominville may be the only two players keeping this team on the rails. The “slump” being experienced by the Sabres’ depth scorers has far surpassed the typical definition of a slump. These players are flat-out underperforming with the production they have been putting forth.
- Pat Kaleta’s game is going to drive him out of the league. His penalty today was borderline, but probably the correct call. While he is effective on the penalty kill, there is little else he can add at this point. It will be a tough call to re-sign him in the summer. Particularly considering Corey Tropp is knocking on the door.
- How awesome is Toronto’s goal song? It is a rip off from a couple other teams, but it is tailor-made for an NHL goal celebration. However, based on Twitter, the atmosphere in ACC was generally awful. Probably because 60% of ticket holders show up in suits and want to discuss profit margins. I wonder how high their hockey IQ is.
- January will officially determine if the Sabres are buyers or sellers at the deadline. If Regier makes a deal during January he will open the door for his team to turn around. If he waits, the Nail Yakupov sweepstakes will have begun.
1. Jonas Gustavsson
2. Nikolai Kulemin
3. Mikhail Grabovski