Safe to say it wasn’t just the losses the Sabres were piling up that led to today’s shakeup in Buffalo; it was the way they were losing, particularly on home ice in front of their faithful, #suffering paying customers.
“Hockey fans here in Buffalo, they’re smart,” said new president of hockey operations and former Sabres star, Pat LaFontaine. “Our job…we are in the entertainment business…we expect nothing but [the players’] best efforts every night.”
Even last night’s 3-2 shootout win over the Kings — the team’s first victory of the season at the First Niagara Center — saw the Sabres badly outplayed for most of the game, as evidenced by the 45-17 shot discrepancy in favor of the visitors.
“I wasn’t really too impressed with the game,” said new head coach Ted Nolan. “It wasn’t a very exciting game. I think people spend a lot of hard-earned money to come and watch. The least we can do is entertain them and give an effort.”
Shots 5-0. Cue the nightly Bronx cheer for the #Sabres' first one.
Simply put, the Sabres have been dominated by their opponents. They’ve got by far the worst shot discrepancy (-14.8), and when it comes to possession stats like Corsi and Fenwick, they rank dead last in those, too.
Some of that, to be fair, is due to the lack of talent on the roster. But if you could quantify effort, it’s a good bet they’d be down near the bottom in that as well.
Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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