Apparently, the gods in Hockey Heaven let any ol’ sinner inside the gates, because this Sabres team is worse than their .500 record indicates. The team spending the fourth-most money in hockey certainly isn’t damned at this point in the season, but the fans can be forgiven for feeling they’ve taken a trip into purgatory.
Fourth-highest cap hit for the league’s fourth-youngest squad, by the way. What’s even more remarkable is that the average age of 26.543 will barely budge once Tyler Myers (21), Nathan Gerbe (23), Patrick Kaleta (25) and Brad Boyes (29) return. What does that say for the veterans on this team?
This team is playing like garbage right now from the crease to the center. Thomas Vanek is trying to put the team on his back, but apparently the other guys are covered in Crisco.
It’s time for a change. I wouldn’t fire Lindy Ruff, but I would love to see him get the keys to the GM’s office. I almost salivate at the idea of seeing which guys he immediately moved out, because it’s not about the parts being brought in… it’s about what’s still here. Christian Ehrhoff and Robin Regehr were worthwhile additions to the club, but who’s playing center? Who’s been given such a long leash that their trade value is questionable at-best considering what you’d be giving up. You don’t have to totally fire Darcy Regier, though I would. Let him run scouting because whoever’s in charge of that is doing just fine.
How bad are these 16-16 Sabres? Well, how about some more of my beloved numbers. There are a lot of average teams in hockey. During the Sabres’ stumbling start to last season, you heard me advocate patience until the schedule settled down. Buffalo’s 2010-11 gamut was front-loaded.
This year? Not even close.
There are nine teams in hockey at least five games above .500, with just six more than five below the even mark (counting overtime losses as the losses they are). That leaves 15 clubs within shouting distance of .500.
– 0-6 against the Top nine teams in the league
– 6-9 against any team above .500
– 10-6 against any team below .500
– 2-5 against the worst six teams in the league
So, no, this team is not good. They pick up the easy wins and they don’t pick up the hard ones, either. They are horrendous and home and as I detailed here, beating horrible teams at home.
This is a bad hockey team, injuries or not. This is a team that needs a change. If the general manager won’t do it, then he needs to go.