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Sabres bemoan 14th-place spot in conference standings

Mar 11, 2013, 5:28 PM EDT

Thomas Vanek Getty Images

Buffalo forward Steve Ott called the Sabres’ record “atrocious.”

Ott’s teammate, forward Thomas Vanek, was a little less harsh, but the message was the same.

“We should be in the playoffs without a doubt, and we’re not,” said Vanek today, per the Buffalo News. “We’re on the outside looking in again. I don’t think we’re too far off, but we’ve said that before. Unless we fix our special teams here soon, it’s going to be a long last seven weeks.”

After 26 games, Buffalo is 9-14-3 and sits 14th in the Eastern Conference, seven points out of eighth.

On Feb. 20, longtime head coach Lindy Ruff was fired for his team’s slow start. But the Sabres have continued to struggle under interim bench boss Ron Rolston.

It should be interesting to see how general manager Darcy Regier approaches the April 3 trade deadline. Does his job depend on a playoff appearance? What if the Sabres are even further out of the picture in a few weeks? Does he start shedding assets for picks and prospects, knowing that doing so would all but seal his fate?

The Sabres host the Rangers Tuesday then have three days off to prepare for the season’s final stretch.

  1. moose2k - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    To quote Jim Mora, Playoffs? Watch the video, it’s easy to see why you are 14th

  2. 19to77 - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    “‘We should be in the playoffs without a doubt, and we’re not,’ said Vanek”…

    Unfortunately, playoff seeds aren’t awarded on the basis of individual effort. If the other Sabres gave half as much effort as Vanek has this year, and showed up with the kind of clutch games that he’s put out some nights, they’d be a top team this year. What a waste that the guy’s playing such phenomenal hockey on such an awful, halfhearted team.

    • travishenryskid - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      Vanek did his typical thing in lighting it up early only to disappear later. Granted,his start was great even by his standard, but this is how he’s always been. When he’s on, he’s as good as anybody. When he’s off, you wouldn’t know he’s on the team.

      • 19to77 - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:28 PM

        Fair enough. I don’t follow the Sabres regularly, so I’ll admit to being anything but an expert on Vanek’s consistency level. He’s kind of like Semin was for the Caps, then?

      • travishenryskid - Mar 11, 2013 at 8:33 PM

        Semin is probably his best comparable, IMO.

  3. kgun80 - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    The problem with this roster is you have no 2 way players.. Vanek is awesome In his opponents zone but in the D zone he is a liability. We have a bunch of players that don’t play the full game you have guys that play terribly when they don’t have the puck on their stick. This all falls on the GM… He should have gone with Ruff. Trade all of these guys who are supposed to be ” Leaders”. Get some value and start over

  4. richc111 - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    The reason they are where they are is the lack leadership. In the past this team would let anyone that started to lead to leave (Briere, Drury, Campbell instead they prefered to keep the guys that would rather sit back and watch when something has to be done. there are very players on this team that work hard every night. most of them take plays off at all times during the games. The leader of this team is in goal and that is a tough place to lead a hockey team. Vanak is a gifted scorer but he dogs it every where else on the ice. No one will follow a guy who doesn’t work hard. There guys shouldn’t be surprised they are where they are, this is where they are every year.

  5. dayno66 - Mar 11, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Problem is that Buffalo has to many good pieces to commit to a rebuild. As in they should, but they won’t. My guess is that they just end up as Calgary east. Sucks though. I’ve met a lot of good fans from Buffalo.

  6. President Charles Logan - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    not even close to resembling a playoff team

  7. thedavesiknowiknow - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    Don’t worry- the late push to 10th is far more likely than a fire sale; and far more costly in the long run with respect to the organizations future.

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