With the Sabres set to face the Blackhawks tomorrow, Buffalo News scribe Mike Harrington caught up with Chicago center (and Buffalo native) Patrick Kane.
A huge Sabres fan growing up — he attended about 20 games a year with his dad — Kane spoke with Harrington about the club’s recent struggles and criticisms of starting netminder Ryan Miller.
“I still think the fans get on Miller a little bit too much back in Buffalo. He’s definitely the guy there,” Kane said of his US Olympic teammate. “He’s not having the kind of season he wanted to and maybe things are getting caught up in everything back there.
“I think they can be a good team. They’ve got everything in place to do well. ”
Kane’s supportive comments come on the heels of Miller’s emotional response to a 5-0 loss in Detroit (Miller was on the hook for all five goals.) He called the performance “embarrassing” before launching into a tirade about swirling trade talks, questioning his team’s heart:
“There’s no chance anybody comes into this team and just shakes it up or we can even move multiple players and get any kind of return … If you want to just destroy a team and just go out and be reckless and do something, yeah.
“But then there’s going to be new guys in here, but other than that, this locker room’s going to be pretty much the same, if not completely the same, and we’ve got to find it from in here. [Points to chest]
We can’t sit and wait for somebody else to [expletive] do it.”
Any talk of Buffalo’s “heart” leads back to the events of Nov. 12, 2011, when Boston forward Milan Lucic ran over Miller with zero response from the Sabres. Some will argue the incident didn’t have much significance, but the numbers suggest otherwise.
Heading into the Bruins game, the Sabres were 10-5-0.
Since the Bruins game, the Sabres are 9-16-5.
Kane said he was cognizant of Buffalo’s struggles, but couldn’t be overly concerned about them.
“I know the owner [Terry Pegula] and the fans aren’t really too happy with the way things have been going down there,” he said. “That’s fine with me. I can’t really care any more about the Sabres.
“Hopefully we can make it even worse for them and get a win against them.”