I'm an optimistic person by nature, and I think that's carried over to the Sabres more often than not. But can I be honest? I'm not feeling it. I want to believe they're going to come back from a 3-1 deficit. I really, really do. But I don't think they can.
I listened to Lindy Ruff's postgame press conference again after work today, and it bothers me even more than it did last night. Tim brought up a very good point in the comments on the last post: The Sabres, for the most part, played really well, and maybe Lindy didn't want to throw them under the bus. If you tell a team that played well that its best wasn't good enough that could have a negative impact. I think that's a valid read on the situation especially since Lindy has definitely used the media to send messages to players before. But I don't know, to me that response was too emotional to have much calculation behind it. I heard a coach who was fixated on a bad penalty period. And that's a bad thing for a few reasons. One, he's the coach and players take cues from him. If he can't let go of that call, players aren't going to either. Two, you can't do anything about a bad call. It sucks, but you have to deal. And three, that call, for all the kvetching it caused, did not lose the game for the Sabres. It was a bad call. It sucks that the Bruins scored a goal on it. But after the penalty was served, the score was still 2-1 in the Sabres favor.
Twenty-four hours later, I'm not angry, I'm not heart-broken, I'm just really disappointed. The Sabres looked so good in Game One. It wasn't a perfect game by any means, but they looked like they wanted to win. They fought for pucks, they pushed back and sometimes they even pushed first. I think they really proved some naysayers wrong in that game. But then we didn't see that team again until the last five minutes of Game 3 when they were, for all intents and purposes, down 2-1 in the series. Why? Everyone knew this series was going to be tight and low-scoring. In series like that there's probably going to be at least one night when you play really well and lose. Why would you give away two games? I don't understand it. I've never understood that about this team and some of these players. I find that so frustrating as a fan, maybe even more frustrating than watching a team that's just plain bad at hockey.
So that's where I am. I want the Sabres to advance. I want some pride and desire to kick in. But I don't think this team, as it's currently constructed, has the heart or mental strength to win three straight games against the Bruins of right now.
That said, please, please, PLEASE prove me wrong.