Well, technically they're 0-1-1 but whatever. Looks like the team is going to have to find yet another panacea du jour for getting back to the win column, because anyone with an IQ above room temperature knows the Sabres' injuries have played a very minimal role in their lackluster performance of late.
Obviously injuries aren't irrelevant, but what's pissed off Sabres fans the most over the past month or so is twofold: 1) the club's propensity to place more emphasis on making excuses for losses than on finding ways to win, and 2) the front office's insistence upon pussyfooting around with a GM/head coach tandem that has overstayed its welcome while yet another (potentially salvageable) season washes down the drain.
As I've mentioned several times before, injuries are not the problem. No one wants to be without guys like Tyler Myers and Christian Ehrhoff, but players get hurt; good teams can accommodate short-term injuries.
Take a look at the D right now. The Sabres are absent Christian Ehrhoff and Andrej Sekera. If you plan to argue that Sekera is any sort of significant loss whatsoever, please pass the hooka now because I need some of what you're having. And Ehrhoff wasn't even on the team last year yet it found a way to make the playoffs without him.
So this year -- right now, even without Ehrhoff -- the Sabres' defensive corps has Myers, Leopold, and Weber -- all holdovers from last season -- only they've exchanged guys like Morrisonn, Butler, Montador, and Rivet for Regehr, McNabb, and Gragnani.
Would anyone out there actually take last year's lineup over the one that will take the ice tomorrow night against Toronto, even absent Ehrhoff and Sekera for now? I sure as hell wouldn't.
Injuries are not the problem. Hell, most Sabres fans would tell you that the reason the team got it together last year was because Derek Roy missed most of the season. If that's the case, what's the excuse now? That underachiever Tyler Ennis is still out? Please.
When Lindy Ruff has the luxury of making Zack Kassian a healthy scratch -- which, if you ask me, is just plain stupid -- you can't really bitch about injuries. I love Matt Ellis. Would that even half the team had his fucking heart. But the guy looks like a cat in a bathtub when he stickhandles, and you play him over Kassian? If anything, maybe try playing him in addition to Kassian and benching any forward not named Vanek or Pominville for a game or two. Gee, there's a thought.
Injuries are not the problem. However, Ryan Miller sucks. The forwards making $4 million a year couldn't hit a 25-cent whore with a roll of quarters in their pocket, much less the back of a net. Lindy Ruff allows/encourages soft play and from what I can tell has essentially lost his team. Blah, blah, blah.
So what cosmic events have conspired to cause this perfect storm of shittiness? Who knows? Probably a lot of things, and most likely many intangible ones at that. I've never been the kind of person to advocate change simply for the sake of changing, but you can't fix intangibles without changing the tangibles. It's already 2012. They're long overdue.
There's a reason a team with the third-highest payroll in the league can't win. There's a reason it doesn't retaliate against a team that runs its goaltender. There's a reason it refuses to lay bodychecks on an equally weak team that's obviously travel weary.
There's always a reason for everything. I'd love to get paid to figure it out if the Sabres would like to give me a shot. After all, I'd love the job security.