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To the "Tank" Before the Break.

January 27, 2024, 5:46 PM ET [2653 Comments]
Brad Lohr
Buffalo Sabres Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Ok, where do I go from here? The disappointment is deep and our general manager doesn’t do bleep? I do listen to our local radio sports station. We all do. I can’t take credit for being the first one to throw this fact out there in regards to our management since Pegula anointed Kevyn Adams as our savior, but the moves he has made have been guarded at best. Now, I understand that our other franchise has thrived, and at least we have made upper office moves that have provided top tier results. Not ultimate championships, but something the fans can root for and chew on. In short, the Bills have taken a precedent over the Sabres. I am not saying that what has transpired is neglectful, what I am bringing forth is that a plan after too many failures was implemented, and unlike our football team, there is not a sustained crescendo. Whether call it a step back, or categorize it as a bump in the road while things mesh, our hockey team is a complete let down this year. This place is familiar, and the stockpile of assets either won’t get to play, or need to be traded for a gem of a veteran to teach these guys how to compete again. Where is the skilled toothless guy who fearlessly goes into the corners with the NHL’s best defensemen and starts cycling the puck? Then he goes in front of the net on top of the crease and disturbs. A fan called in and pontificated the moves than have been made since our once Carolina enemy has taken over. He got rid of Jack, because he had to, for a modest package. It could have been better, but I do not have any information in regards to what was available. “Major” trades or acquisitions included Greenway, who is a try hard guy and big, but I have come to realize that he has average skating skills at best. Others include Clifton, Erik Johnson, Stillman, Robinson, etc. See what I am laying on the table that our organization refuses to dive through? Somewhere along the line you need to pull the proverbial trigger and shake the cocktail…

Carolina beat us and won the cup with Adams and a lineup infused with veteran leadership. Is this where he is getting his model from?

The disparity of the success that our up and coming stars had on offense this year, as opposed to last year is staggering. It was a calculated risk that has failed completely. If I was in charge, would I expect stats that moderately compared to last season? Yes, I would, but it does not matter because it is not happening. Last year we had elite scoring and supposedly bad goaltending. Now we have decent puck stoppage with no support up front. Ironic, isn’t it? What I know is that our bottom six isn’t good enough, and when we get rid of Kyle and Zemgus, we have too many prospects that need a chance, to fill minimal roster spots. Real hockey decisions have to be made, old school trades have to be considered. This team can easily be improved. If nothing is done and they come out like gangbusters next year, then I will gladly eat crow. What the overall picture is however is unacceptable. The pipeline has been built, and it is time to utilize what might never even get a true opportunity. It also might be a point where one or two of the core guys need to be shipped out for a recognized star with character. We are too young and soft. Our veterans who are supposed to infuse a spirit don’t have enough in the tank and were never stars. This is a mess Kevyn and Terry. It is ok to dream that the book you wrote be a best seller, but when it is not, you have to put pen to paper again. As a fan, being the worst franchise in the league for over a decade is disheartening. Other organizations have easily rebounded quicker. Use the semi positive things you have accomplished and be better.

Game 49
Buffalo Sabres, 21-23-4, vs. San Jose Sharks, 13-31-4
Saturday, January 27th at 4:00 pm
SAP Center, San Jose, CA “The Shark Tank”

As the season keeps pushing through, the “must win” statement puts more pressure on the boys, and sticks are getting gripped tighter. The Sharks have thirteen wins and definitely should not have fourteen going into the all-star break. After losing to Tampa in a critical four-point swing, the Sabres went to Anaheim and laid that duck egg, before pulling it out against the Kings. Not being prepared after a couple of days in the fun and sun would raise certain doubt if any of these guys can get it together and be leaders on an NHL club. I am not giving out any more free passes to Granato, and certainly not his assistants. Do you think at this point he is giving this type of speech before the Tampa game? Before the contest before a week break, and being ten points out of a wild card spot?

Notes from being tired of drafting in the top ten –

Casey Mittelstadt. Did we make a mistake by signing all of our other guys for long term extensions before him? Are we going to be forced to trade him now even though he only will be a restricted free agent at the end of the year? With all of the accolades that management has been given by being proactive in locking up our core, there has to be some criticism with they way they have tied their hands. Samuelsson is the one I question most, Cozens and Power didn’t need to be given the bank so quickly either.

For as much trouble we have had this year, the Toronto Maple Leafs can’t quite figure it out either. They are blessed to have Matthews with 39 goals on the year. At 24-14-8, they only have 15 regulation wins to the Sabres 19. Shows you that the small details matter. Play a full sixty minutes and give yourself a chance for points. If Buffalo could just figure this aspect of the game out..


Brad Lohr
Aka: Lumberhacks
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