Even by the Buffalo Sabres unexacting standards, the 2021 campaign has been a resounding disappointment, as fans and local media are growing irate over another lost year.
Buffalo signed Taylor Hall to a one-year, $8 million contract and acquired center Eric Staal in a trade, with the hopes of bolstering an anemic offense, and simply, it hasn't worked at all.
Buffalo News columnist Mike Harrington ripped into the Sabres, not by traditional reporting, or through an op-ed, but through the usually lighthearted vehicle of power rankings. Harrington filed the column Saturday, and the Sabres responded by dropping their 11th consecutive game in a 6-0 blowout loss against the Washington Capitals on Monday night.
There are only 31 teams in the NHL this season, but Harrington ranked the Sabres 32nd, placing the 2021-22 debutante Seattle Kraken in the No. 31 spot.
"A circus act that deserves to be below a yet-to-start expansion team," Harrington wrote for the Sabres entry.
It's a concise and cutting summary of the 2021 Sabres. The Sabres only have six players with more than 10 points, stumbled to a 6-17-4 record, and despite a promise to get star forward Jack Eichel additional support up front, have recorded a league-worst 58 goals. This is not at all the start that Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams had in mind upon taking the role in June 2020, and the same could also be said of head coach Ralph Krueger.
It's not getting better anytime soon for the Sabres, either. Eichel was ruled out for the "foreseeable future" with an upper-body injury on Saturday, and there won't be any help on the way.
In what's been a disastrous campaign for the Sabres to date, getting dragged by a beat reporter through the power rankings adds further insult to injury.
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