What a difference a week makes! Last week, the Sabres were a veritable train wreck. They couldn't score, the soft goals were going in, one mistake and the team would unravel like a cheap sweater. In a word, they were terrible. Is it possible… just maybe… dare I say… this team has finally turned the corner?
Archives for December 8, 2002
'The team that couldn't win is suddenly the team that can't lose.'
'"Brian has been very solid for us," Ruff said Saturday. "I think the one thing I've always stressed with Brian is just use your instincts. Brian is a guy that has tremendous speed; he's got good offensive instincts. He's made a lot of nice plays and helped create a lot of nice opportunities for us by using that speed and that instinct.'
'Unfortunately, GM Darcy Regier hasn't traded five or six players. It leaves the Sabres with little choice with Ruff, who is running out of time. Maybe somebody else can overcome the Sabres shipping their heart and soul for Tiny Tim Connolly and Taylor Quiet, I mean, Pyatt. Meanwhile, Regier sleeps peacefully knowing the Rigases were satisfied enough to offer him a six-year deal.'
'"We are disappointed in the progress to date," said James M. Wadsworth, one of the committee co-chairmen. "We recognize that our goals were more ambitious than realistic. The committee as a whole remains committed to the effort, and we are in the process of trying to redefine our goals and responsibilities in going forward. And we are working closely with Mark Hamister to see how we can best help the team."'
'"They put us back on our heels and we needed to get a few good shifts in there and we didn't," center Jeff Halpern said. "It's very disappointing to give up a lead in the third [period] and lose a game in the last five minutes. Very disappointing."'
'The Buffalo Sabres played like they were waiting for the other shoe to drop all night. When it didn't, the Sabres sprang to life and did some shoe dropping of their own.'
'Among the problems with that is the state's $10 billion budget shortfall over the next 16 months. There is talk of a cutback in services and possible layoffs, and it is feared there will be a taxpayer backlash if a professional team is bailed out while citizens struggle. Additionally, if local help is not available, other groups may offer enough to tempt ownership to move the team.'
'“It's a big difference,'' Mair said, referring to the team's new confidence. “Before, it felt like everyone was deflated on the bench. But there was no quit on the bench tonight. We knew that we were on them, and if we dogged them hard enough, maybe they would give.'''
'“It's not a pretty sight,'' Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said after the Sabres rallied for a 4-3 victory over Washington. “Once we get him off the (trainer's) table, and I don't think he's off yet, we'll see how he feels.'''