The Buffalo Sabres came into the 2013 season with playoff expectations. They hadn’t lost anyone significant, and they figured they had addressed their biggest needs by adding some “grit” players in John Scott and Steve Ott while also inserting their big rookie center, Mikhail Grigorenko, into the lineup to address size and offense issues.
But if the first third of the season is any indication, they’re not even going to come close to meeting their postseason goal. Through the first seventeen games, the Sabres have won only six contests and are firmly holding onto last place in the Northeastern Division.
Suffice it to say, the Sabres fans have let their feelings be heard at home games, consistently booing the team. Buffalo netminder Ryan Miller, after the Sabres’ most recent loss (a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the visiting Winnipeg Jets), couldn’t find any reason for the fans to react otherwise.
Via Puck Daddy, Miller had this to say: “We’re letting them down. We’re not giving them the caliber of hockey this city deserves. Yeah, we deserve to get booed.”
To some degree, Miller’s right. The Sabres have made the playoffs two out of the last three years, and were in the Eastern Conference Championship as recently as 2007; all teams Miller has been a part of. The kind of failure Buffalo hockey fans are seeing right now is pretty foreign to them.
Still, there’s time to right the ship. Buffalo still has 31 games to play; plenty of time to make up lost ground and pull itself out of the league’s fourth-worst record. But until that happens, Ryan Miller and the rest of the Sabres can expect to keeping hearing a lot of boos.