Sabres after 4 games

Posted: January 26, 2013 in Sports

After only 4 games into the 2013 season the Buffalo Sabres seem to be the same old team. The “New Look” Sabres have in no way changed their image around the NHL. Don’t judge this book by it’s cover.

The Buffalo Sabres came out of the lockout on all cylinders. Starting the season 2-0 and they showed some improvement. That was until game 3 came around. The Sabres were taken apart by Carolina team that has been one of the physical weaker teams in the NHL.  A bright spot for the Sabres has been their 1st line. A line made up of Vanek, Pominville, and Hodgson. That line has combined for 19 points over this 4 game span.

Seeing how it is so early in the season; I can’t figure out why the players seem so tired. A good number of them have been playing in different leagues overseas, the rest have been working out, or so we have been told. Miller for one said he was mentally tired after his second start.  I will say Miller has been sharp in the early going of his three starts, but mental tired? Come on Ryan. We all understand that you have been off a while, but don’t start with I’m tired already. Miller can’t win games by himself; he will need more then the Sabres first line to produce some scoring in order to get this team in to the Playoffs.

Over the off season the Buffalo Sabres made some move to get bigger. The moves look great, but it had been all bang and no goal for the Sabres so far. Myers is struggling to be the player fan hoped he would be. Adding to the conversation on what style of player the 6’8” 227lbs D man will play. Fans want him to be nasty like Pronger, but Myers is looking more offensive in nature not the enforcer Buffalo wanted. The issues do not stop there. Last night Ruff had Mikhail Grigorenko the Sabres youngster playing with Scott in the Second period. In the words of Paul Hamilton “If Grigorenko’s going to play with John Scott, send him back to Quebec right now…” I couldn’t agree more.  Ruff has no room to start mismanaging the young talent. As I have written before Ruff has a history of this style of coaching. He seems over thinks at times.

With all of that being said the first four games have not been all bad. Buffalo’s Power Play seems to be clicking better than last year. Miller is having a great start to the 2013 season. His numbers are outstanding. He has a SV% of .953 and a GAA of 1.67. The addition of Ott and Scott seem to be fuelling the physical play of Foligno and Kaleta. Myers while struggling to find his way has showed some flashes of his 2010 Calder trophy year.

It is way too early to start worrying about the playoffs, however with a 48 game season no team can afford a slump. If the Sabres want to make a run the losing streak need to go no further than two games. It’s up to the players and coaches alike. They said they would show the fans how sorry they were for the lockout. I say prove it.  At 2-2 the Sabres look like a team that is working their way through a new identify. Hopefully it doesn’t take too long.  Buffalo’s a blue collar town, and the Sabres have done well playing blue collar hockey. Shoot, pass, hit and score. Everything else will work itself out.

 

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