Buffalo Sabres in Crisis: Looking Flat and Uninspired, Team Needs Shake-Up

Aaron McKinneyCorrespondent IIIJanuary 19, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 18: Mike Weber #6 of the Buffalo Sabres sprawls on the ice trying to stop Jamal Mayers #22 of the Chicago Blackhawks from shooting at the United Center on January 18, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Sabres 6-2.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Don't try to tell me the Buffalo Sabres' losses against Detroit and Chicago are acceptable because they're upper-echelon Western Conference teams. When the total score is 11-2, something is wrong unless you're totally talent deprived.

There are obviously more problems in the Sabres locker room than we know about. I don't care what anybody says, if Ryan Miller has to try and dispel trade request rumors, he's absolutely become an unnecessary distraction. He's also not a crucial member of the team anymore considering the play he is contributing.

I realize he played only one of those games, but that was a 5-0 shellacking at the hand of the Red Wings. So, Miller has a terrible game; throw in Jhonas Enroth to give him a break. That went equally well with a 6-2 beatdown by the Blackhawks.

This cannot continue. Yes, these are the top-two teams (points) in the Western Conference, but the Sabres were predicted by many to at least win the Northeast Division and by some to play in and win the Stanley Cup.

I like Ryan Miller, but his play is lacking, and there are way too many rumors regarding his status as a Sabre. It doesn't help that his wife is an up-and-coming actress in Hollywood and he's nearly the entire way across the country.

It doesn't matter what anybody says from the locker room to the front office. Something has got to be done now rather than later. There were expectations for this team that weren't particularly lofty, and now, especially after these last two games being so putrid, they have reached a crossroads.

Either make a deal involving Miller now to try and turn this around with a playoff push, or unload the players you don't expect to build around—i.e. anybody except Tyler Myers and Thomas Vanek.