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Howard Simon's Blog

Roenick on Sabres Problems

It’s been an extremely disappointing season for the Buffalo Sabres and everyone has their own ideas as to why it has fallen apart.  From time to time we like to get an outside perspective on the Sabres and  this week the WGR Morning Show spoke with former NHL standout Jeremy Roenick to get his thoughts on the nightmare that is the 2011-2012 season.

Roenick, who does work for the NBC Sports Network and blogs for, said it looks like the Sabres aren’t as much as a team as they should be and he’s not sure where the exact problem lies. “I know Ryan Miller is one of the best goaltenders in the game but there seems to be something missing chemistry wise in the locker room” Roenick said. They’re just not playing together, playing hard for each other when they get onto the ice.”

One of the stories of the season has certainly been the large number of injuries but it isn’t the only problem and Roenick doesn’t think it should be an excuse either. “I understand injuries have been a big, big problem, however it just seems when the going gets tough and it starts getting gritty or something happens, it just doesn’t seem like they are rallying around each other.”

The Sabres hit the All Star break with 45 points, tied for the 4th fewest in the NHL.  The offense is ranked 25th and the defense is 26th.  The recent twelve game road losing streak and descent into the basement of the Eastern Conference has certainly left the players with little if any confidence and Roenick knows that is a terrible spot to be in. “Instead of going out knowing you’ll win, you’re going out hoping to win. They’re not confident that they can go out and win games like they were in the first five or six games this season” Roenick told WGR.

We asked Roenick what he would do if he were the General Manager and he suggested trading one of the goalies.  That might be tough to do with Miller who is in the midst of his worst season from a statistical standpoint and his $6.25 million cap number doesn’t help either.  We also asked Roenick for his opinion on Lindy Ruff.  “He’s a very good coach, he’s a tough coach. He’s always had teams that have good systems. The teams usually work hard and they are very difficult to play because Lindy’s system is very structured. Although I’ve seen the team kind of get away from that this year and that’s why I question whether the team, the players are still playing as hard for him as they should be.”

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