Game 25: A Charles Dickens reference, but for the Sabres
Before Victor Olofsson's penalty shot goal, the Sabres didn't look very good. After it, they did. Unfortunately, it was their only goal in a 2-1 loss to Nashville.
BUFFALO — The problem with the past few Buffalo Sabres games is that they’ve looked a bit too familiar.
The Sabres’ 2-1 loss to Nashville at home on Sunday night resembled one we’ve watched in recent years with this still very young, albeit more experienced, team.
The facts of the Sabres situation are all the things fans want to hear the absolute least. They’re young, they’re going to make mistakes. They’re injured, and even more so now after Alex Tuch appeared to hurt his hamstring in the third period Sunday night, and digging into their even younger, even less-experienced depth for help. They’re doing good things, but the bad have outweighed them of late and there are still some issues that have persisted (like getting off to slow starts in games).
“I feel like right now it’s like it’s two different teams out there,” Dylan Cozens said. “We play a completely different way when we’re down and that’s how we need to play right off the bat. We need to play like we’re desperate right off the bat before we get down two goals because it’s tough to come back from that. We’ve been doing that a lot lately, getting down early. We just need to have better starts.”
The question of whether they’re a bad or good team is leading to more people answering that they’re bad and the results, even occasionally in wins, are leading to negativity piling up. Inconsistency is a real bastard to deal with and it’s made things much more difficult for the Sabres as they try to get things right. One of the side effects of inconsistency is a lack of confidence that shines through when the score line goes against them. Addressing that is one of the things the team is trying to get settled.
“You work to bring clarity of and bring a vision,” Sabres coach Don Granato said. “In one sense, one way through video tape. Another, just explicitly show them situations that—what they look like and what they can do better and what they’re capable of, which they’re capable of more. But clarity. I mean, this is a situation, we’ve been in lots of situations like this over the past couple years. From two years ago. And you’re in these and you need to bring clarity to them and a vision to them. Obviously, through one-on-one, through team—five guys playing together. And you know, we will. We’re battling a lot of different things right now. But we will.”