The 2013 Buffalo Sabres are halfway to somewhere. Where that is exactly is tough to pin down. Last place? Somewhere between last and 8th? Oblivion? The playoffs?
Man, I don't know. There still are 24 games to go and I like to try and be optimistic. Really, being pessimistic is so easy. Especially with this bunch. The chance you'll end up being correct is pretty good and even if you're wrong who will care. Everyone would be so busy going bonkers because they actually made the playoffs that they'd forgive fans who were more skeptical.
But who are these guys and, really, where are they going? Part of the reason they're so hard to get a read on is the coaching change. After losing their first two under Ron Rolston, the Sabres cleaned up their own end a bit and picked up 7 of 8 points over the next four games. Tuesday in Carolina was a reversion to earlier form in their own end. How long that lingers will tell us a lot about who these guys are going to be in the second half.
The ground to make up isn't insurmountable. Last year around this time the Sabres were 4 points out of 8th with 16 games to go and got there, unfortunately, with games to spare. I say unfortunately of course because the Sabres coughed up that coveted 8th spot over their final 5 games and missed the playoffs. This year finds them 4 points out again, albeit, with more traffic to get past, but 24 games to get it done. It still may seem far fetched to fans who've watched this team stumble around in winning only 9 of 24 games, but another good stretch starting tonight would go a long ways.
Heck, avoiding back to back losses would be progress. So far this year, whenever the Sabres have followed up a win with a loss, they've lost the next game too. Got that? Avoiding losing streaks is kind of important. I know this technically is already a two game losing streak, but at least they got a point in the shootout loss in New York on Sunday, so put a few more wins together and you've got a real season salvaging kind of stretch.
I know, I'm delusional, right? Whatever.
The bigger questions about who these guys are and where they're going lie in the GM's office and in the future of the interim head coach. If the Sabres don't make the kind of run I'm describing above, what happens to Darcy Regier? Lindy Ruff got thrown into the volcano and rightly so, I say. If the team Regier built doesn't straighten up and fly right under Ron Rolston does Regier get to preside over another off season? What about even leaving him in charge for the trade deadline? If the Sabres end up being sellers because the team has much larger problems than Lindy Ruff grinding down his players, how does Regier get to keep his job? The answer is he probably doesn't, I think. If you know that by the trade deadline, should he really be I charge of selling off parts, assuming you want to do at least some of that?
So now what, I fire my GM in April? That's kind of messy, no? What does any of this mean to Ron Rolston? It can't be good for him.
Here's where I end up. These guys better win. If they don't it'll be plain to see what the Sabres are. They'd be a mess.
Sabres may need to just set their sights on being halfway to Chicago at this rate.
If Leino comes back and looks good a lot of critics will lay off of Darcy
TEAR IT DOWN
Find the right GM and let him figure out this mess.
Another indictment of Marcy Regier is this
How do you scout and draft players at the higher levels who don't communicate on the ice?? Per Hamilton's article. It is unheard of. He must still be doing the video scouting and think the sound is off.
That's kind of messy, no?
Nothing compared to the mess on the ice.
Fire the GM now!
HALFWAY TO WHERE?
NO WHERE AS LONG AS DARCY REGER REMAINS GENERAL MANAGER OF THIS JOKE. HE ISN'T DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT. THIS SEASON IS OVER. NO REASON TO BE OPTIMISTIC. I HOPE THEY LOSE THE REST OF THEIR GAMES AND FINISH DEAD LAST AND BEGIN THE BULLDOZING AT LOCKER CLEAN OUT DAY. THE FIRST HALF RUFF WAS FIRED AND THE SECOND HALF REGEIR SHOULD BE SHOWN THE DOOR. THIS ORGANIZATION SUCKS RIGHT NOW. HAVE YOU NOTICED BULLDOG? THE CREW OF EXTREME HOME MAKEOVER MAY BE A GOOD OPTION AT CLEAN OUT. THIS IS BEYOND PATHETIC WHATS GOING ON HERE. THIS IS A MESS RIGHT NOW.
REV UP THEM CRANES AND BULLDOZERS!!!
Bulldog, I was iBn the "Show Me" mode after many arguments with fellow Sabres fan's before the season started. After they spit the bit in the first half of the season I didn't have much hope, but...the rest of the East is so muddled, they are shockingly still hanging around. Part of me wanted them to tank but hey, if they can somehow clean up their own end and get a few playrs hot:STAFFORD, Ennis, and the "X" factor Leino (laughing to myself)...they could sneak in...Doubt it but they could. GO SABRES?! Pat in Lewiston
Pegula not much different than Golisano was in a lot of aspects.
It seems that the "Interim" tag that Rolston has is being completely ignored by the Buffalo media. That is scary because this organization is supposed to be, under Pegula, a top-flight spare no expenses one yet it seems that this is not true with regards to Coach and GM. If Regier, who was hired on the cheap in the first place, stays then Rolston stays and we are back with the same problem we have had forever with first Nolan then Ruff and then Rolston: cheap coaches. Nolan was good, not great, but came cheap. Ruff was good, not great, but once again came cheap. I am sure that Pegula paid Ruff and Regier well, but that simply put the Sabres in a "chicken/egg" scenario where they were (and in Regier's case still are) paying good money for essentially average people. Will things change? So far, there has been an awful lot of rhetoric with very little to show for it. Keeping Regier at all is a waste and letting him handle another trade deadline will accomplish nothing but it probably will happen. Will Regier be fired at the end of the season? It is too late then, he should be fired now. The fact that he hasn't been merely further cements what a growing number of people are starting to realize: Pegula isn't trying that hard to win a Cup afterall and he really is interested in making money when all along he said he didn't care about that.
Sabres are winning the Stanley cup this year. I do not understand how people do not see that @hockeyheaven
2013 Draft & 2013 Summer Offseason is only hope...
Lose to death for Seth
This season is ruined for Drouin
Stop all winnin for McKinnon
Most fun I've had thinking about this team all season.
Welcome to Hockey Hell Sabres Fans. Hockey Heaven was only a sound byte!
Good boy Bulldog
L0SERS all the way for almost 50 years........lol.
It is almost a half century of having the Buffalo Sabres and what do you have? 2 Cup appearances, No Stanley Cups and a team that misses the playoffs more than it makes it in a league where you have a 53% chance of making the playoffs each year (16 out of 30 teams make the playoffs). Do I really need to say anything more? Carolina, Tampa Bay and Anaheim have al been around a lot less than the Sabres but they have all won Stanley Cups. How anyone can call Buffalo, NY "Hockey heaven" is beyond me. I think it just shows how little people in Buffalo understand professional hockey. Now if you are referring to Buffalo as "Hockey Heaven" because the fans will sell out all of the games and buy all the mechandise year after year no matter how bad the Buffalo Sabres are then yes, you would be correct that for an owner, Buffalo, NY is "Hockey Heaven" financially because you don't ever have to worry about putting a competitive team on the ice thanks to the delusional and extremely uneducated fans of Buffalo, NY. Enjoy another century (combining Bills and Sabres) of nothing but losing all you Buffalo sports fans....that is if you even still have those teams in your city.
We are half way to the playoffs and will be this years ciderella team to go deep into the playoffs. Go Sabres !!!!
Please do the show by yourself more often. Having Mike on vacation has been a vacation for my ears. You are so much better by yourself. I know he is your friend and co-worker but it is painfully obvious how much better you are and how terrible he is. Please do the show alone more often or have Jeremy, Joe or really anybody else in that time slot. Keep up the good work. You are a great representation of the true Buffalo sports fan.
X- factor = Myers
Myers is the key to the whole organization-present and future:
GM-Darcy: If Myers does not turn his game around and begin to realize the immense potential he showed early on, he may end up becoming the biggest Darcy draft pick bust and new contract bust in Sabres history.
Play on the Ice: Who can argue that the single biggest factor to their troubles in their own zone this year is undeniably Tyler Myers. Also,their power play would sure be a lot more potent with a mobile, offensive threat defenseman that Myers appeared to be a few years ago.
Intangibles: Would the Sabres not be "harder to play against" and not so soft a team if their biggest guy (excluding John Scott who is useless)would be more of a physical presence on the ice. Heck I'd even settle for any physical pressence on the ice.
So, in my opinion, it all comes down to Myers. If he's a bust, Darcy has to be fired, the season is shot to hell, and the future doesn't look good with so many years left on his deal. However, if Myers somehow comes out of the coma he appears to be in this year so far, then maybe Darcy isn't fired, the season might be salvaged, and we have the cornerstone player that every great franchise needs to have for years and years.
To me, it's really that simple.
Darcy Regier's imprints in the souls of each and every player
Darcy 'the midget lover' Regier made this team in the image of himself. Regier picks boys who are either midgets in their physical size, and if not in body size, then midgets in their mental toughness. Darcy 'the embodiment of Buffalosports' Regier made a lot of money off of the misery of the poor Buffalonians. Shameful guy.
I agree it is absolutely essential for players to communicate on the ice. I was floored when I read it. The article went on to say that players are going to "try harder" to do this. If they don't to help the team win, then goodbye in my eyes. I have always thought that the way many of these players play (Pomminvile, Stafford, and all the other church mice) was affecting the newer players as they come in. To me it has been and will be this constant selfishness that will prevent the players and the team to ever reach it's full potential. since Regier did bring them in here without obviously scouting them correctly, then i am wondering how he still has a job ?
Lack of Communication
Every single team I have every been on stressed the importance of on field/ice communication to sort out marks, organize our defense and attack as a unit. Hamilton's article basically pointed out that most of these guys are mute throughout games. Pominville should've had his C taken away the minute Rolston stepped in. He may be the softest captain in the NHL. Granted some guys may be smaller, but I can gaurentee they are more vocal. This is blasphamy and I am sick of him in a Sabres uniform. Trade him and one of our endless puck moving/no-contact defensemen immediately. Lastly, please put Pardy back in the lineup...haven't we noticed how much more physical and better organized they are while he's in.
The Sabres are heading to a sleepover and golf weekend in Boca with Pegula
If they don't make the playoffs, or rather, when they don't make the grade again, then Terry can have more time with Darcy and the crew, at his estate in Boca Raton.
What a mess, and Regier still has his parking spot.
It depends on what the immediate expectations are. On one hand you fire Ruff only 17 games in which seems to say they expect a playoff run. On the other they trade two experienced centers and replace them with two 23 yr. olds with very little top-six center experience. Also, the second line and the bulk of secondary scoring was suppose to come from (as mentioned above) Ennis and 21 yr. old Foligno. Not sure with this lineup why expectations were so high this year. Everyone knew the Sabres were thin down the middle and it takes time to rectify that (by the Hodgson trade and last year's draft). It seems the turnover to youth means a reload/rebuild. Regier may not like Stafford, among others and is trying to find a decent trade for them. The Regier haters have got to admit the Hodgson for Kassian deal looks good right now. Basically, if Regier and company thought this was a playoff team then fire him; if he is turning over the roster while trying to remain competitive then it's early in the process and he should get a year or two to see what direction it takes.
Move the team to LA they will build them a new stadium..OH WAIT WRONG TEAM.....HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA SABRES SUCK
HALF WAY TO....
GOLF! GET READY, LoOSERS!!!!! Soon.... FORRRRRRRRRRRRRRREEEEE!!! EXTENDIUMREGEIRIUM FOREVER4!
look and be real
forget the playoffs even if they get there their gone in the first round they need a few new players not rental players lino will be back and healthy next yr. I would play the rookies as much as possible forget the standings give them some on ice experience and a good draft choice and let them star the yr. with a new coach from the start and you will see a much better team next Yr.
We need a fire sale
I think we need a GM like Brian Burke for this job. The Leafs didn't give him enough time, I think he would be a great fit for us.
Bigger mess...Sabres or GR?
Whose playing worse, the combo of Myers and Regher or Schopp and Bulldog? Stafford or Simon? Hecht or Sylvester? I think I could easily make the argument that many of the on air staff ant GR are performing as badly, if not worse in some cases, as many of the Sabres players we rightfully criticize most every day in these spaces. To me Sylvester is hands down the worst. First off how bad of an idea is it to have a Sabres employee (which Sylvester is) host a hockey show. Unlike his counterpart John Murphy (a Bills employee who host a football show), Sylvester can't help himself from being a management shill, first backing ownership all during the lock out and now relentlessly covering for Regier's obvious personell mistakes and taking callers to task who even have the timerity to call out this ownership/management group. He is by far the worst..."let's talk to Petey, or Snowy".... but is not alone in the list of daily dregs GR trots out to pummel our ears each day. Simon has become as bland as milk toast and if Schoop gets any more condescending to his callers it will mean he personally shows up at their houses to slap them in the face. Bulldog often sounds like one, largeley unintelligible between the gasps, moans and word repetition that comes with virtually every sentance (if you can call them that) that comes out of his apparently drooling mouth. They are the ultimate self promoters, constantly hawking their blogs "on WGR550.COM" that are generally recaps of the minutia they spit out during their on air time. As we are fond of saying of the hockey club....enough of these stale, unlikable personalities. Let's take the offseason to clean both off these messy houses, ok?
Sabres - Halfway to where? Right Where they BELONG... LOOK AT THOSE LOSSES!!!
Congratulations to Darcy Regeir who has REWARDED Terry "BIG FAN" Pegula's extension by "shrewdly" MANAGING Walmart to the MOST LOSSES IN THE NHL!!! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK DARCE!!! You are only WEEKS AWAY from MORE GOLF!!!! FOREEVERFOREN AROUND!!! WALMART = LAFF IN!!!
Re: Your show
No on Jeremy. He is a shill. WGR needs a makeover. Fire the patsy Hamilton too.
The only difference is
Regier 'builds' a team of skirt wearers in his own image. Now we find out these purse swinging sissies don't talk; otherwise they WOULD be women.
re:L0SERS all the way for almost 50 years........lol.
Right on!..Buffalo is hockey HELL!..not to mention football HELL! A century of combined losing between the two.
How can two ML sports in the same city be the only teams in their divisions to never have won it all? and the answer is "LOSERVILLE"
WGR / Sabres / Buffalo hockey fan culture...
It all needs a housecleaning. Im not being nasty but I cant stand anything about hockey in Buffalo. From the media, print and the lightweight talk radio. The team which is soft physically and mentally and is a carbon copy of the GM. The coach with no solid credentila sto coach in the NHL. Sorry, a year in Rochester is not nearly enough to warrant an NHL spot. He was a Team USA and college coach which is not the NHL game. Id feel better with a hardened CHL coach who coaches teams that resemble the NHL style of play. And the sheep fans, who seem so influenced by the sad commentary of the media here. Buying merch and tickets with reckless abandon for a horrible product of robotic soft drones. Give me a team with character like Boston, or the Leafs this year. Then Id buy in. Besides blind loyalty, no true fan here should want what we have. Ive heard people saying they like the new coach. Why? What has he accomplished in pro hockey besides mediocrity? "He a teacher". There are alot of teachers, give me one who will actually ice a tough, hard team. Not some pencil necked geek who thinks his players are all still waering full cages.
Re: Bigger mess...Sabres or GR?
The Sabres are a joke, but right now GR is a bigger joke. All of the clown acts on GR should be replaced. The morning shows are the worst. Very disappointed in Howard. He used to be good at one time. What happened? Jeremy is a complete shill and a nerd. The smart a llic Fisher in the booth is a complete idiot and should be banned from saying anything stupid. Sylvester is a complete waste of air time. Hamilton hates the fans. How could all these idiots that follow this team and act if nothing is wrong? Why? They all should be getting on this waste of a GM on the shows. Are they told to hang low on their remarks regarding this joke of a hockey team? Radio should be a big help in forcing changes by getting tough about this joke and letting fans speak their minds live instead of screening them out. Why so soft??? FIRE EVERYBODY! I can't listen no more. Changes will never happen with radio like this. Keep on shilling you idiots. Enough, I got to go puke!