Buffalo Sabres, 1-3-0 vs. New York Islanders, 2-0-1
Four games in and we are already talking about a must win situation as fans head to Key Bank Center to what should have been at the very least, a modest start to the season. All of the preaching about focus, unity, and work ethic, has been mostly non applicable by the players and the coaches. I understand that it is early in the season to panic, but if our heroes don’t pick up a few wins in the last two games of their home stand, they will be waking up from a continuous nightmare on Tuesday wishing they had foiled up. It was supposed to be a simplistic approach to a favorable early schedule, and the boys have had no continuity. Play a north south game and wear the opponent down. The youthful speed and sprinkled in veterans were supposed to be an advantage…
Forget about talking about the offensive zone pressure. There has been none to speak about on a consistent basis. The defensive and neutral zone play has been deplorable. Unnecessary stickhandling and bad decision making, has led to horrifying giveaways that have ended up eventually in our net. No puck control whatsoever. Every player on the roster has had their moments of mental lapses. We have no regulation wins and teams are taking it to us. They are scoring early and often, putting extra pressure on everyone involved. Get it together people. Where are our supposed leaders? The coaching staff is obviously confused and have had enough. They have made a few tweaks to the lineup but tonight will show a shakeup that proves they are looking for answers. Its unfortunate that you are not allowed to give these starlets a swift kick in the pants anymore. They simply need it. These are what I call McFly moments. Do you know what I mean?
I was proud of the suits to put Levi in for all of the contests but he just isn’t getting the help he needs, and it is forcing him to challenge every scoring opportunity. The skillset and promise is obvious, but his game is suffering without the surrounding cast sticking to the fundamentals. We have been outshot three out of the four games, but he has not been the second coming of the dominator. They were supposed to knuckle down and support the kid, and not assume that he could bail you out this early in the season. His apparent injury along with Bensons’ is discouraging to say the least. We will see what the brass rolls out tonight. I want to be positive and pontificate our glorious ride to success, but somebody needs to give me the material to do so. We have to bombard one of these teams and not let our foot off their necks. I am completely baffled. It is just not that hard with all of the talent that we have. Halloween is coming but this is more than scary. At the most important juncture in a long year, we are seeing ineptitude. Nice story about “How the Sabres changed their culture to change their results” by Kristen Shilton on ESPN, but reading it at this time is inconsequential. The writers on the Sabres website are decent as well, but putting positive spins on Greenway and Jost are not bringing victories.
Notes from the throne –
Sorry for being a little salty but this opening stretch is very alarming. We are not even being entertained. The Bruins are the ones who should be falling off. In our division they are in first place, and we are in last. Sound familiar? I believe we have what it takes to turn this in a positive direction but we can’t let it snowball out of control.
Victor Olofsson deserved to be benched, and I am not exactly sure why we have hung on this long. I know he is a good guy, but this is the nature of the business. We will see what he provides us this evening. Either put him on the power play or put him on waivers. We have other guys who need NHL development. He is not a great skater or two-way forward. It is not going to change.
Jost is a much better compliment to the geezers on the fourth line. I do think that Krebs should get more of a look with different mates, but so far he has shown nothing that makes him visible. His better than average prognosis seems to be in jeopardy. I hope he proves us wrong.