Tag ‘Em, Bag ‘Em

Courtesy: sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Are you fighting to make the playoffs?  Do you need to just secure a better spot? Or do you just need an ego boost?  If you answered yes to any of those questions, then all you need to do is play the Philadelphia Flyers!

What the hell is up with our team? First, we blow a 2-0 lead to the Sabres in a 5-3 loss on Saturday.  Then on Sunday, we take that shit sandwich and add spoiled mayo with a 7-0 humiliation thanks to the Rangers. To make matters worse, the second game was NBC’s Game of the Week. And after all the season long trash talking and utter domination, we are quickly becoming a laughingstock.

Our potent offense has become impotent.  Our impenetrable defense has been easily penetrated, at will, by anyone and everyone. Our rotation in net, that we’d covered for so damn well, was exposed.  This was a team built around a deep defense core.  Their job was to make life easy on the goalies, and push the puck up as quickly as possible. Yes, we have 3 powerful scoring lines.  But you can’t put the puck in the net if it’s always sitting in your own zone.  For 50-something games, we executed the game plan perfectly.  What the hell happened?

It’s not like we’re sitting back and not creating any chances. But rather than keeping pucks out of the middle and making teams work hard for goals, we’re giving them access to the slot.  Blowing leads, untimely goals against, early deficits are becoming a normal thing around here.  We cower in the face of adversity. All season long, we played from in front.  Late heroics and comebacks was not one of our specialties.  And now that everyone else in the league has come into form, we’re not handling them as easily.

There’s two ways to look at this slump:

  1. It’s good that it came now and not later on.  We’ll work through this, learn a few lessons, and be better for it once the playoffs roll around.
  2. We suck now. Everyone has us figured out.  We’re gonna get upset in the first round and this season will become a huge waste.

I’d like to believe more in the first theory.  But doubts linger. On paper and on ice, we dominated for so long.  Now it’s all come crashing down and I’m not certain we can pick it up again.  With 17 games left, we’ll just have to wait and see.

There’s been a few good things in each game during the slump.  But if you win as a team, and you lose as a team, I don’t feel anybody deserves some individual recognition right now.  They’ve lost their respect.  It’s time to go earn it back.

Thanks for reading!

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Topics: Buffalo Sabres, Game Of The Week, Losing Streak, National TV, Nbc, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Slump

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