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Pulse Check: How Broken Are Sabres Fans?

Bills Mafia, I know there is a small percentage of you guys who believe the Bills will never win a championship as long as Sean McDermott is the coach, and the result is, some of you hope he gets fired some day. 
I believe Sean McDermott (and Brandon Beane) give us the best chance to win a championship, even though, I will admit, the Bills fans who want him fired someday, may be right. Maybe they do need a change there. But at the end of the day, I simply don’t trust Terry Pegula to find replacements on the football side who are competent enough to run a sound operation. And sure, Josh Allen has a lot to do with the success of that operation, but you have to credit them for getting their quarterback situation right early on, and changing the culture of the organizations

Love them or not, the Bills are stable and credible, the Sabres are not, and I have zero faith in Pegula to make a second competent hire on the football or hockey side. Quite frankly, I believe he got lucky with McDermott, Beane, and landing Josh Allen. Let’s not forget the wonderful run Rex Ryan had before 2017. 
On the Sabres side, the organization continues to be a factory of sadness in the NHL caused by incompetence and dysfunction. 
To the readers of Die By the Blade; imagine living in a world today, where you’re faced with this scenario: 
You can only pick one owner of the two: Tom Golisano ( with Larry Quinn) or Terry Pegula. It’s a no brainer, you’re going with Golisano and Quinn, even with all the blunders they had during their run. 
It’s ironic, because we are now in a place where some people want to turn back the clock, and they want to do so by bringing back Lindy Ruff. 
In the beginning, there was so much promise, even after they fired Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff. They brought in a Sabres legend in Pat LaFontaine to be President of Hockey Operations. They parted ways shortly after. 
This should have been the first sign right here, but to many, we were blind to see it because we were tanking and blowing it up, but we were still so optimistic. We had a young franchise center on the way, and we were about to hire a Stanley Cup Winning Coach, originally Mike Babcock, but would later become Dan Bylsma. We were even in the running for Steven Stamkos, before ending up with the number two free agent in that class: Kyle Okposo (I know). 
Then it seemed like a cycle of GM after GM, coach after coach, and the Pegulas paying many not to coach or work for them. 
We eventually got to a point where we wanted to hire people we trusted regardless of how qualified or unqualified they are (Kevyn Adams). Adams has done some nice things for the Sabres in his tenure, but yet again,  we are in a spot where this Sabres team is missing too much to be a serious hockey operation. 
It seems like for years, we’ve been talking about being harder to play against. Here’s a game I want to play ( in my Jigsaw voice). Take a shot for every year we have mentioned this team needing to get harder to play against. 

The hockey operation itself. I have to say, as much criticism as Matt Ellis has gotten, let’s not forget, he was thrown into the position after Ralph Kreuger got fired. For the first two years that Ellis was here, he ran a unit that was ranked in the top half of the league, albeit inconsistent.
But, this year, it has been a problem, and it’s been a problem for a couple reasons. First, our best guys have not been are best guys. Its execution. The other half of the equation is simply that I don’t think Ellis has the experience to adjust when something isn’t working. The tactics and creativity just aren’t there.
In such particular scenarios, when you get adjust, you need a fresh take, or fresh idea. Nothing against, Ellis. I believe he was put into a tough spot to begin with, but I don’t think he’s what the team needs behind the bench right now. We need a fresh take, and someone with more coaching experience behind the bench.

   By the way, for as much criticism as Ellis gets, let’s not let Marty Wilford off the hook. The penalty kill has been lackluster now for the last two years with him behind the bench. I think the stellar goaltending we’ve gotten from UPL has also helped, as they say, the goalie is often your best penalty killer. While we got off to a phenomenal start the first six weeks of the season, we have been lackluster since December 1st. 
Needless to say, it speaks volumes about the hockey operation behind the bench when the team doesn’t trust its assistants to fill in for a game when Granato is out.
Now I think Granato is a good coach. I think he understands how to develop and bring a player along, and there are a lot of players in the league who owe their careers to Granato. Several players have revived their careers, or taken off under this coach, but is he the guy to give this team the push forward that they need? 
We see the same problems time and time again with this group that it makes you wonder? Maybe some more experienced assistants help? 
Early in the season, I would have been clamoring for Vinny Prospal to get promoted to be a Sabres assistant. While that may be an option, I’m not sure he’s quite ready yet. 
Maybe Seth Appert is an option to take a spot behind the bench? It could make sense to promote Appert and then name Jason Christie his replacement. Christie is one of the winningest coaches in ECHL history, and becoming head coach of an AHL franchise could be a move that makes sense for all parties. 
No matter what happens, something needs to change because there are too many friends of the GM and coach on the staff. 
This of course circles back to the same problem: the organization led by Terry Pegula getting the right people in place. Its starts at the top and trickles down. 
This season has left me in a dark place as a Sabres fan. 
For those who don’t know, Key Bank is a Cleveland bank. When the name changed on the arena years ago, I don’t think Key Bank intended on transferring the “Factory of Sadness” from the Browns Stadium to the Sabres arena, but somehow, they transferred to the bad juju to the Key Bank Center. 
In seriousness, I can’t believe how inept this organization and ownership is. I’m at a point now as a fan where I almost don’t even care if the Sabres move at this point, which is now at the same time, my biggest fear. 
I think the die-hard leaf fans care more at this point because of the cheap ticket prices for some premium seats at an NHL game relative to Toronto. 
A lot of the fan base is now in a dark sad place. There was once a time where I never missed a game I was able to watch, and I knew every day and they were playing. Today, I can’t even tell you when their next game is, let alone watch it, unless I stumble upon it. 
And do you know what’s really weird. I was so pumped for the season, and I’ll tell you, after our old friend Peter Laviolette, a guy who has spoiled Buffalo’s seasons before, came in and beat us, I was left with a bad feeling that never went away. 
And several months later, after an offseason of build up, with hope that this was the year it changes, it all came crashing down. 
And now there are many who believe there is only man who can save us: 
Lindy Ruff. 
As poetic and cool as that would be, I’m not so sure that’s what I want wish for. I don’t know what the answer if for this franchise anymore. 

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