The Buffalo Sabres play their last two games before the Winter Olympic break tonight and tomorrow night against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators, respectively. After solidifying their stance as the worst team in hockey with a loss to the Edmonton Oilers two nights ago, it probably doesn’t matter who Buffalo plays as the team limps into the Olympic break. But it just seems exceptionally cruel that the Sabres would have to face the best team in the Eastern Conference and then a hated division rival that is on a roll just before the league breaks for a few weeks.
The Winter Olympic break will last three weeks and give the Sabres plenty of time to ponder the team’s next moves. Could tonight be goaltender Ryan Miller‘s last home game in a Sabres’ uniform? Will the Sabres really trade away Matt Moulson and give over to a complete rebuild of the team? The trade market is limited for Buffalo, but the team may be interested in taking advantage of its best two trade options before the Mar. 5 trade deadline.
The growing sentiment among Sabres fans is that, while it would be nice to see Ryan Miller stay, it would be a better move to trade him away to a contender and give him a chance at winning a Stanley Cup before he retires. Then again, Sabres fans are also kind of tired of seeing good players having to leave the team to win a championship. How long will this rebuild take? Ryan Miller has about three or four good years left in him, and he would probably like to win as many Cups as he can between now and the time he retires. Would the Sabres be able to rebuild fast enough to bring Miller his championships? It has happened before in other cities, so it could happen in Buffalo.
As the Sabres approach the Olympic break, the team has the worst record in the league and no prospects of even coming close to the playoffs. These last two games could just be two more daggers in the hearts of Sabres fans all over the Western New York area. These are dark times at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY, and the fans can only hope that there is light at the end of that long, dark tunnel.