With the Buffalo Sabres likely to miss the playoffs and by only a couple of points, it seems that everyone is looking at the points they have given up in the past couple of weeks and throughout the season. There is no denying that they would love to replay the third period of the Senators game and the final five minutes of the Habs game. It seems that even Lindy Ruff is looking back at some of those losses.
"Well, I don't want to stand here and be where we're at," Ruff said Monday, a day before the Sabres play at Toronto to open a season-ending three-game road trip. "I just feel that we could've been a little bit better in a few of those situations that we let slip away."
I don't want to discount what Lindy is saying because he is absolutely right about what happened recently and it's inexcusable but it hasn't always bad news. I can remember a couple of games just off the top of my head where Buffalo came back and stole two points. A game played back in October against the Leafs with Jochen Hecht tying the game in the final five minutes. I remember erasing a 2-1 third period deficit against the Flyers back in December, a couple of days later Thomas Vanek tipping a Jochen Hecht shot by Marty Biron in the final 10 seconds to tie the game. Of course who could forget the recent game against the Tampa Bay Lightning when Buffalo scored six third period goals and that wasn't the first time they came back against the Lightning.
The Buffalo Sabres can easily look at a few games during the season as the points they lost on their way to missing the playoffs but it is much more realistic to say that they aren't good enough to be there. I have talked over and over again about the talent on this team and it is still there but they need to harness it and become a winning team. I can not sit here and talk about the lost points when I know that this team is exactly what I thought they would be. I'm sure that at least once before the season I mentioned this team being a 7-10 seed in the Eastern Conference and that is exactly what they are.