Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lost In Space

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
With all that has gone awry with the Sabres as of late, it has been tough on me to establish a solution to the many dilemmas burdening this hockey team.

19-22-5.  That is 19 wins in 46 games.  Fourth place in the Northeast.  Eleventh place in the Eastern Conference.  Twenty-third overall in the league.

It's January 18th for God's sake.  Who anticipated this one?  The answer is no one.  If you did, then you were playing devil's advocate at the time.  In fact, many people from what I recall had this 2011-2012 Sabres team finishing top four in the conference and giving Boston a run for their money at the Northeast Division title.  Well I willingly admit that I agreed with everyone who had those supreme views of optimism before the season was even underway... and I'm not regretting my stance one bit.

Fans are losing interest in this team very quickly.  Fan loyalty is walking on quicksand and slowly being sucked down into the abyss.  Bottomless?  I don't know.  I'm lost in thinking what to tell friends when they raise the question of what this organization en masse should do for a shake up.  All I can do is entertain the numerous scattered and farfetched opinions.  I find myself just standing there sometimes as people rant.  I'm simply nodding my head just to validate the fact I'm listening.  After all, that's what a marketing major is essentially taught.  Listen more than you speak.  But thank you to all out there who make me laugh.  Some of your suggestions for this franchise are completely foolish and utterly insane.

The variety of suggestions generated by this fan base baffles me.  But Chris Ostrander of 2ITB is speaking with his head aligned correctly in this recent tweet.  By no means should any "fan" be rooting for this team to lose.  If you are, stop wasting your time voicing that shameful presumption and spend your time on something constructive, like rethinking your "fan" status.  It's sickening.  Sure it would be wondrous to swing a top-five pick and draft the next Sid or Ovie, but you don't scrap a season to the curb with that objective in mind.  You fall in combat.  You go down with a fight.

What would you do to shake up the Sabres? (Multiple choices allowed)
Fire Darcy - 61%
Fire Lindy - 35%
Trade Miller - 33%
Trade to break up the core - 57%
Trade keeping the core intact - 6%
Patience - 7%

I also want to reiterate what Buffalo native Patrick Kane recently said.  "I still think the fans get on Miller a little bit too much back in Buffalo. He's definitely the guy there."  So yes, please fans, lay off Ryan Miller a little bit.  The harassment does NOTHING.  He is a paid professional who doesn't want to forfeit his job just like the rest of us.  He knows the team's goals and he knows his role in achieving them.  He is giving it his best.  He doesn't miss his wife.  He has not and will not ask for a trade.  Stop it.

Glad to get that off my chest.

SportsClubStats had the Sabres playoff odds at 4.0% as of yesterday's games.  SOPA and PIPA are keeping me from updated numbers tonight... but the odds are not on our side.  When it all comes down to it though, I admire the patience Terry Pegula has displayed with this franchise.  He is a man who finally bought his dream car, but is now realizing that the air conditioning is broke, there is sludge within the engine, and the alignment is off.  As the season drubs on, he'll also realize the exhaust is rusting out.  It will take some time to make the appropriate repairs and steer the car in the right direction.  Things will turn for the better Sabres fans.  When?  I do not know.  But it can only improve from here.

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