I suppose the "Chris Drury and Danny Briere!" items were bound to start after this weekend. But come on. Can we at least be a little bit rational here? Can we not invest too much into a two game stretch? Drury has one goal and one assist against us in four games. His amazing tangibles had a talented Rangers team also fighting for a playoff spot and needing an infusion of heart and effort from Sean Avery. That's hardly a dominating performance against us or against the rest of the league. Even Briere, who completely kicked our ass on Friday, has only played one game against us and sixteen games against everyone else. Two players playing well against us doesn't make the rest of their season null and void. I understand we're talking about intangibles and leadership and stuff like that but this is ridiculous hyperbole:
Say what you want about their contracts, numbers and health -- it's irrelevant. All those things would be different if the Sabres had stepped up and kept them.
Really? Chris Drury would've repeated his 37 goal season these last two years if Buffalo had only kept him? Danny Briere would have remained healthy as a horse for the last two years if he were still playing in Buffalo's atmosphere? Because he never missed any time while he was here, right? Both guys would've ceased to age - something that last time I checked, does occasionally affect a pro athlete - if the Sabres had only manned up and kept them? Even though last I heard the Sabres did want to "step up" and match any and all offers Drury received?
I understand what John Vogl is saying in the linked blog and I don't disagree completely. A lot of leadership and character walked out with Drury and Briere - because let me remind you that said players did ultimately have control over where they ended up - and the Sabres didn't replace it. They thought they still had enough left in the room and it turns out they didn't. Clearly. But you can't have it both ways. You can't trumpet all the reasons the Sabres should have kept Drury and Briere while completely dismissing, in one thought that doesn't even make sense, all the reasons it might work out in the long run for them to have moved on from older guys with long-term contracts who have probably played their best seasons. Bucky Gleason is terrible about this in his chats. If someone wants to bring up how Drury and Briere are underachieving he very dismissively tells them to get over it, no one wants to talk about them anymore. But as soon as it fits his argument and the point he wants to make, who are we talking about? That's right, Drury and Briere.
Do the Sabres miss Drury and Briere? Yes, in many ways they do. Are they completely effed forever, to the point where we have to keep talking about these guys - both of whom have been pretty average since leaving Buffalo - like they would've been the saviors of the franchise? No, we do not. We don't. We really don't. I don't plan on ever doing it again.