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SYLVESTER'S BLOG: WHAT IS IT?

by Kevin Sylvester / Buffalo Sabres
Drew Stafford (photo: Getty Image)
The past few days I have been faced with the same question over and over by friends, family, and fans: “What’s wrong with the Sabres?” 


There is no one answer.

Average goaltending, shooting wide on open nets, mental breakdowns, bad bounces, and injuries all factor in.

The bad breaks came over the weekend in two games that the Sabres should’ve won. They dominated the Flyers and somehow could not find the back of the net with 20 scoring chances (some of them golden opportunities), and the Islanders scored two pinball goals to take control on Saturday.

The term snake bit could be used, but I’d prefer to say they don’t have It right now.

Describing It is tough to do, but you know it when you see it or have it.  It is a combination of mojo, moxy, chemistry, swagger, machismo, bravado, and everything else that fits.

It was there when Drew Stafford scored an impressive goal at home against the Bruins to fire up him teammates to spur on a 3-2 shootout win back on Oct. 21( 700K ). It was there two days later in Minnesota when the Sabres scored two goals in the final five minutes of regulation, then scored in overtime to rip a win away from the Wild ( 700K ).

Even after three straight losses, it was back with back-to-back shutouts against Washington and New Jersey.

Then, somehow, it disappeared. Just like that, gone.

Lindy Ruff is trying to help his team find it again. He is using everything available to him; ice time, the press box, a call up from Portland, line changes and a simplified game plan.

He knows there is no secret to finding it again. The two things that he has been preaching in practice, hard work and playing your role, are the only way out of the losing streak. And if the Sabres are able to beat the Bruins on Wednesday night, that won’t mean it is back.

However Thanksgiving is this Thursday, which means plenty of ex-Buffalonians are come back home for the weekend.  Let’s hope it also makes the journey too.


Feel free to send me your thoughts or questions.
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