What Would Einstein Call This?
What would Albert Einstein say about the Sabres this season? He would likely being by asking who they were and why we brought him back from the dead, but shortly thereafter he would would say that their season is his definition of insanity. For it was Einstein who said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I think that is the best way to describe the way things have been going for the Sabres for the past few months. Sabres’ fans are left wondering what it will take to break the insanity. Will it be tonight’s 4-2 loss to the bottom feeding Hurricanes (currently 14th place in the Eastern Conference pending the Islanders game) that finally prompts change?Not too long ago I wrote about the goaltending situation after an embarrassing 8-3 loss to the Penguins. In this post I suggested that perhaps Jim Corsi (the goalie coach) may be part of the problem and that he should be changed before anything was done with Lindy Ruff. While I still think that there may be some validity to my hypothesis, it is very clear at this point that injuries and goaltending are no longer excuses for the Sabres’ performance.
The obvious problem as of late is scoring outside of the top line. I could sit here and throw numbers at you, but this post by Eric Schmitz does a nice job of evaluating the Sabres current lack of secondary scoring. What I will do, however, is ask fans to take a few minutes to relax and think logically about the Sabres’ current situation. I am, of course, not saying that everything will be okay if we just wait a little bit longer. I merely ask that we step back as fans and take a deep breath to remind ourselves that this is only a sport. There are more important things that we could be worrying about right now. I do, however, believe that the time for patience has come and gone. The time for action is now.
Staying the course is certainly not doing anything for the Sabres. This is a quintessential case of Einsteins’ definition of insanity. There has to be a point where enough is enough for Darcy Regier and he decides to make a move. The loss to the Hurricanes tonight is certainly a good starting point. Even though they have not yet hit rock bottom, they are certainly approaching that it. They are currently 3-6-1 in their last 10 games, good enough for 25th in the league over that stretch. The only teams below them are the Canadiens (3-7-0), Ducks (2-7-1), Blue Jackets (2-7-1), Oilers (2-8-0), and Wild (1-6-3). During this stretch they have been outscored 36-25 and have allowed no less than 3 goals in only 2 games (discounting the shootout “goal” by the Senators). Conversely, they have scored 3 or more goals in only 3 of those games. Not exactly good numbers, especially for a team that was considered to be a contender before the season began.
Regier aside, one must wonder what the breaking point for Terry Pegula or Ted Black is. At some point one of them, if not both of them, will have to intervene to stop the madness. Pegula may have said that he was going to let the people that know the business of hockey do their jobs, but at some point he has to become involved. Everyone has a breaking point, and at this point it is simply a matter of seeing how bad things must get before that point has been reached for both Pegula and Black. If someone is not performing their job properly emotional ties must be put aside (this is a business, after all) and that person should be removed from their position.
At this point I do not care where the change comes from or where it is made. Certainly seeing Regier pursue a top center would be high on the list of things I would like to see, but at this point any change that makes the team better is welcomed. As far as I am concerned, of the players that started the season in the NHL there are perhaps 3 or 4 untouchables. Namely Thomas Vanek, Tyler Myers, Jason Pominville, and Jochen Hecht. Hecht being the one player I could go either way with. I suppose I should also add Christian Ehrhoff and Robyn Regehr to that list as well. After all, they were guys that were actively pursued by the Sabres and have been contributing in their own ways. Regardless, something needs to be done and soon.
Only time will tell if someone in the upper echelons of the Sabres organization is willing to say that enough is enough and make a change. Without some sort of game changing move the Sabres will likely be flatlining near the bottom of the league before we know it. As of tonight the Sabres would hold the 7th overall pick in the 2012 draft. They have not had a draft pick inside of the top 10 since 2003 when they drafted Vanek at 5th overall. If things go really south, then perhaps it will be time for Sabres fans to break out the #FailForNail hashtag on Twitter and put the #DoSomethingDarcy hashtag away. Let us hope that it does not come to that point.
In Tyler(s) we trust.