I don’t check the standings religiously this early in the season, but I saw them today and did a bit of a double-take. In case you haven’t seen them either, Buffalo is now behind both Toronto AND Ottawa in the Northeast division, with Montreal 2 points behind. There’s still plenty of time, no question there, but it’s a bit disconcerting to say the least. Ottawa is supposed to be terrible, but they’ve won 6 straight. They haven’t exactly been taking on intimdators (Columbus, Florida, Carolina, the Rangers) but you beat the teams you play and they are doing that. Buffalo can’t afford to lay eggs when playing all the middling to bad teams, especially at home.
So what’s wrong? I think you have to start with the defense. Myers has looked unsure of what to do at times, which is unlike him when he’s playing well. He’s waiting too long to decide on whether to go for a pass or just clear the puck, and opponents are reaching him and making the decision for him. Ehrhoff isn’t great defensively, but Canucks fans could’ve told us that. He’s gotta be scoring if he’s not going to be defending. Gragnani has just been a train wreck out there recently, passes to nowhere, difficulty in breakouts, pretty much everything seems hard for him. Will not be surprised to see Mike Weber get a shot Wednesday.
It’s not time to panic and trade everybody, but Buffalo can’t afford to be standing still for too much longer. They just might end up where they were last January,with no new ownership boost available to save them.