Friday, April 4, 2008

Sabres' Season Ends - Boo

Last night, the Sabres were finally eliminated from the play-offs by the Habs (those weenies). I admittedly wrote them off 3 games ago. Not because I lost faith (considering mathematically they still had a chance) but the odds were stacked up against them. (Ever see Dumb and Dumber? You got a 1 in a million chance---So you say I have a chance! Uh, no.) Not only did they need to win all the remaining 6 games at that point, the Bruins or Flyers also had to lose some, if not all their remaining games. It's one thing when you have full control, it's another when you have to ride on another team to lose.

I'm sure there will be plenty of what ifs, speculations and what nots in the next week about why last year's President's Award recipients didn't make it into the play-offs. IMO, there was just too much changes and injuries. If we were to look back from the beginning of the season, the Sabres have played exactly the way they did in the last month of their season. Uh, okay, the whole season. Ups and downs. Missed chances, lack luster power plays, too many give aways, lack of enthusiasm, blah blah blah. The loss of some very key players (due to free agency, trade, injuries) were the driving force.

A very young team was another factor. The Sabres biggest loss, IMHO, was the lack of a veteran leader. This is not to say that the Sabres didn't have veterans. They did, just not the true leader type. And in that aspect, I still stand by what I said about losing Chris Drury and the lost leader effect it would have on the team if he left. No, not the Lords of the Flies kind of effect, more like a ship without a router. Oh they had a captain, Ruff McAubrey is his name (another movie reference, if I may). But how do you expect a crew to sail a winning ship without a router? A captain can only yell out so many commands. Never mind the goals Drury brought but I felt Drury was the router of the team. As for the other loses, the Sabres proved that there are enough talent to make up for it. No question the team has talent, which makes not making the play-offs that much more painful. If they just plain sucked and had no talent, it would be easier to not expect the Sabres to make the play-offs. I mean, really, how many Sabres fans actually thought the Sabres "might not" make the play-offs this season?

BTW, Buffalo fans. Can we finally get rid of the saying "Believe"? Please, that's like the Bills mantra, "Strive for Five". Five what? Consecutive Super Bowl loses? These phrases didn't help the year before, or the year before that. What makes you think it'll help this year? I know, how about "clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose!" Works for those Dillon Panthers! (Sorry, FNL)

Some have to wonder what's going to happen to Ryan Miller when he starts to negotiate his contract. Maybe the loss of his cousin in the beginning of the season really messed him up mentally. Maybe he just can't play back-to-back games. Maybe he still has to mature as a goalie. Who knows what the answer(s) is but I sure hope Miller figures it out. He's got talent, there's not arguing there.

Well, I've hung away my jersey for the next 6 months. Official hockey withdrawal will start around June. I'll be sitting on the couch, jonesing for old hockey games to watch until the next season start. Now I have to pick some teams to root against during the play-offs (well, that won't be hard). I think I'm going to root for the Sharks.

It's going to be a nice weekend here in San Diego. Have a wonderful Aloha Friday and a fantastic weekend! And don't forget to eat well.

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