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Sabres owner blames “massive, catastrophic injury problem” for poor record

Jan 13, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

Leafs score on Sabres Getty Images

Tonight in Buffalo, the Sabres will play their biggest game of the season. Lose to the Leafs and the club that took on millions and millions in payroll during the summer could fall seven points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

As it stands, the Sabres sit eight points back of seventh-place Toronto and five back of eighth-place Washington. The Capitals host the struggling Lightning tonight.

So where did it all go wrong for a team that many thought could compete for a Stanley Cup?

Ask Sabres owner Terry Pegula, the man who opened his enormous wallet to put this group together, and he points to one big factor — injuries.

“I have to believe we’re a better hockey team than we were last year,” Pegula told The Buffalo News yesterday evening. “We just didn’t have this massive, catastrophic injury problem. Put yourself in anybody’s place in the organization. How do you evaluate what’s going on?”

Speaking of last year, Buffalo’s record today (18-19-5) is the exact same as it was a year ago to this very day. And with a 3-2 win over Carolina at the First Niagara Center, the Sabres kicked off a remarkable 25-10-5 run and went on to clinch seventh spot in the East.

But let’s face it, that’s not likely to repeat itself.

Not that the Sabres are utterly incapable. It’s just, those things don’t happen very often. Otherwise they wouldn’t be remarkable. That’s how big a hole the Sabres are in. They’ll have to be “remarkable” to make the playoffs.

  1. danphipps01 - Jan 13, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Funny. I blame the fact that you’ve got vastly overrated players in nearly every position, Terry. Take Vanek, Pominville and a couple others out of the equation, what’s left? Myers looks bad, Ehrhoff can’t seem to make anything happen without the Sedins to make his PP numbers look good, Stafford, Roy and Hecht are all paid far more than they earn and Ryan Miller’s a sieve that can’t seem to shut the fuck up and focus on stopping the puck instead of hunting for a camera to cry at.

    It’s kind of hilarious to say this, considering how much you invested in this team winning the Cup, but… yeah, it’s probably time to blow up the roster. This one can’t go the distance. Half a season in and you’re guaranteed not to win anything with this squad.

  2. rabidbillsfan - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    Why blow up the roster? We have already been playing with AHl’ers most of the season. That was a very idiotic post danphipps. Gerbe, Ennis, Myers, MAG, and Adam all have bright futures. Kassian, Tropp, and McNabb all will be better players next season. Roy, Stafford, and Hecht do need to go. Heck, even Pommer isn’t the best. Miller is improved from early this season, ten-fold. He needs help from the guys around him.

  3. indigoahma - Jan 14, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Injury problem. Ok.
    But Ruff is as stale as a eight day donut. And the Gm. He’s the same guy who broke a good team up years ago. Terry new owner, new money, should have been new Front office too.

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