The Sabres had some pretty high expectations coming into this season. WNY, and Sabres fans around the globe, expected a lot from this club.
New contracts were handed out, multi-million dollar renovations were made to their locker room, and players were visited around the continent and globe to convince them to come play in Buffalo, NY, the new Hockey Heaven of the world.
Pressure. It can do funny things to a person. Some can handle it well and actually thrive from it. We have seen many athletes in different sports live up to, and surpass, expectations heaped on them. #39 for the Sabres comes to mind.
Others, just can't handle the pressure of living up to a new contract or being placed under the microscope and having every mistake or good play analyzed to no end. It gets to them. The stick gets gripped tighter, opportunities to succeed bounce off the end boards and the ability to carry a team in a slump vanishes into thin air.
I think that's what we have with this team right now. The pressure of the expectations, expectations that have never been heaped on some of them before, are getting to them.
Seriously, we have a lot of players we were depending on having the worst year of their NHL career. I can think of 5 right off hand that have been putrid for the most part without naming names. OK I'll list numbers......9, 21, 22, 23, 28 30, 57 and 63. That's actually more than 5, huh? You may agree or disagree with some of these players but, in my mind, they have let the Sabres down so far this year.
How else do you account for so many players that were to be relied on to have a good year doing so bad?
I think the pressure has got to them. Maybe, just maybe, somehow, some way, the Sabres can string a few wins together and the pressure will lift and they will have good second half's of the season.
Mentally weak? I don't know but it sure appears that way.
Last edited by 5 Minute Major: 01-07-2012 at 10:14 AM.