Mar 23, 2012, 11:21 AM EDT
Last summer was an exciting time for Buffalo Sabres fans. New owner Terry Pegula opened his gigantic wallet to sign free agents Christian Ehrhoff and Ville Leino, plus the club took on Robyn Regehr’s sizable salary in a trade.
All of a sudden the Sabres were Stanley Cup contenders. Well, except for one little thing: they actually weren’t.
“This is by no means an excuse, but I think being labeled as ‘Cup Contenders’ simply because of hype and our change in ownership hurt our mentality and approach. Instead of building toward smaller goals as a team and creating the culture and identity of a championship-caliber team, we skipped major steps in our approach,” said Miller.
“Plus, we didn’t earn or deserve the label at all, so instead of growing and building in a positive light toward being contenders by playing the games and going through the challenges, we were constantly viewed as failing in every situation in the fans’ eyes and in the media, and we had to constantly answer for something that I don’t think we should have been labeled.”
From Nov. 19 to Jan. 21, the Sabres went 7-17-5 and fell nine points out of a playoff spot. Since then, however, they’re 16-5-5 and one point out of a playoff spot.
- Fanspeak: Martin Brodeur named greatest Devil in franchise history 8
- Devils’ Gomez considered retirement 6
- It’s New Jersey Devils day on PHT 22
- Fanspeak: Bobby Orr named best Bruin in franchise history 27
- Video: Bruins participate in commercials to promote NHL 15 6
- Oilers ink Schultz to one-year deal 2
- It’s Boston Bruins day on PHT 44
- Fanspeak: Dominik Hasek voted greatest Sabre in franchise history 35
- Is Colorado’s rise a fair example of what might happen in Buffalo? 7
- It’s Buffalo Sabres day on PHT 20