Vulgar Opinions: Crafting An Identity
We are ____, and that’s how we will beat you. Every cup winner has been able to fill in the blank in that sentence. The Bruins were tough and hard working, the Blackhawks could score, the Penguins were deep and without weakness, and the Red Wings were skilled and capable of dominating puck possession. It is not clear what the Sabres are.
At times they seem to want to go in several different directions. One game they’ll be committed to being locked down defensively, another they’ll try to control the puck, another they’ll try to make their living on special teams. It is perhaps why they have found so many different ways to lose games recently.
Both the 2006 and 2007 teams were successful because they knew what they were. The former was a fast team better adapted to the new NHL than most. They won games with speed, living off odd man rushes and counter attacks. The 2007 team was the most skilled in the NHL and could score it’s way out of almost any deficit. Now…it’s a bit of a mystery. There is no ideal that the Sabres can strive for or adhere themselves to in order to win games. All we ever hear in losses are vague comments about “not playing the system,” whatever that really means.
They need to craft an identity and they need to do it in a hurry, otherwise we’re going to see more of the same…and it isn’t good.