12 Questions For Christmas - #12

The Christmas songs have been playing on the radio for a while now, and some folks are already done with their holiday shopping too. With Yuletide festivities underway, this is a good time to address a few questions that will be going through Buffalo Sabres fans minds as they sit around the tree knocking back eggnog.
We will be marking the twelve days of Christmas with a question for each day. We would love to have you all chime in and let us know your opinions - keep it here after the break for today's question.

#12 - Can the current run of poor form be excused due to injuries?

The Sabres are by far the most injury-afflicted team in the NHL this season. Eight starters have missed six or more games due to injuries. Nine rookies have played on the first team so far. Towards the end of November there was a spate of games when a player or more was lost each and every game. It is difficult to build any sort of chemistry or team strategy when there is so much flux in the lineup.

At the same time, as many readers have noted, the Sabres haven't developed an identity, a standard work ethic and style of play that the newbies on the squad attempt to fit into and move on with. While in the long run it'll be good that some of the rookies are getting extended tryouts, in the short term will the inconsistent results lead the Sabres to falling so far behind from the leaders that they will be scrabbling for lower playoff berths come spring?

Team president Ted Black has called for patience, and shown his reluctance to make any changes to the coaches or the players - it has been difficult for the management of the team to accurately assess the first quarter of the season when the starting lineup has resembled a freewheeling turnstile.

Do you feel that the Sabres are as good as they have looked, or are really a better team than their 7th place in the conference shows?