(If you haven't read Saturday's post regarding my feelings about shaking up the team by firing Lindy Ruff yet, you might want to read that first. But then come back here.)
I was delighted to pull up TBN's website today and see the headline Rather than replacing Ruff, kick players to the curb. "Oh, goody!" I thought to myself. "Someone agrees with me. It's... Bucky."
I sighed and shook my head for a few minutes but you know what? I'm just gonna say it. I agree with everything Bucky says. And I don't even feel conflicted about it. This might be one of the signs of the apocalypse.
There have been a lot of comments lately complaining about the system and how Lindy should just let the players go and play their offense-first style of hockey. I certainly understand the inclination because clearly these guys are, for whatever reason, not buying into the system even though it has worked for them more often that it hasn't when they actually do it. But Bucky is right when he says that Lindy isn't letting them play that style because it doesn't work in today's league. It doesn't. It doesn't work. It's not 2005-2006 anymore, guys. You can't make passes from one end of the ice to the other, you can't speed past five bodies in the neutral zone, you can't stick handle your way to the goalie's doorstep. We missed our chance to win a Cup playing that kind of hockey when the defensive corp blew up in the 2006 playoffs. The Sabres are victims of their own success. The run-and-gun teams were blowing opponents off the ice so teams that didn't have the personnel to play that kind of hockey compensated by playing a completely different style, one that has now overtaken the league. Lindy understands that and he's trying desperately to make his players, who seem to be stuck in 2005-2006 mode, understand that. If they can't wrap their brains around that, they're not going to win, at least not enough for it to matter.
I could say more on this subject - and probably will - but it's late and I have a loooong week ahead of me at work so I need to get to bed. But please discuss. I'm curious to see what everyone thinks. I'll chip in more later.