It’s been a long time since the expectations of fans have been so high for both the Buffalo Bills and Sabres heading into the season. Both teams added high profile players and coaches and many felt the curse of “wide right” and “no goal” were about to be vanquished. Early injuries have tempered those high expectations.

At 3-2 the Bills are still a contender, but after a little over a month their best offensive players are hobbled with various leg injuries. Tyrod Taylor will not be 100% for the remainder of the season regardless of how long he sits out. An athlete with his speed and agility relies on his legs and the combination of an in injured ankle and knee spell trouble.

LeSean McCoy no longer looks like a back who can rush for 1,500 yards. His hamstring injury has taken away his explosive cuts and change of direction. Time will tell if he is worth the huge contract the Bills gave him to be “happy” in Buffalo, but the early results, even before the injury, indicate he is not.

Sammy Watkins has shown brief glimpses of the ability that made him such a high draft pick. Suffering a calf injury against Miami and another earlier injury during camp, Watkins has not proven to be durable. In the off-season Sammy revealed that he was not 100% last season either, which makes one wonder what the future holds for such a promising player.

The Bills are undoubtedly a playoff team if they are 100%, but today, on offense they are far from it. Can they make do with an average offense and good defense? That was the formula last season and they came up short, but this is a new coaching staff. These last eleven games will show what Rex Ryan brings to the table as opposed to our former buddy Doug Marrone.

The Sabres have been touched by the injury bug as well. Losing goalie Robin Lehner for two months was certainly not the plan when Tim Murray gave up a first round pick to the Senators. Plus the various injuries suffered by defensemen during training camp caused Coach Dan Bylsma to shuffle the lineup, costing valuable time to create a chemistry on his new team.

However, Sabres fan excitement has more to do with Jack Eichel being on the team than a serious run for the playoffs. The two highlight goals Eichel has scored in just three games has already given fans what they hoped for, anything else at this point is gravy.

The NHL is also such a long season, injuries do not have the same affect as they do in the NFL with just sixteen games. A star player missing four games in the NFL can be critical to a team’s success, not the case in hockey.

Buffalo fans are among the most patient in sports, sharing that quality with Cubs and Browns fans. Should both the Bills and Sabres again miss the playoffs, injuries will at least give hope for what a healthy next season could bring.


Filed under: Koshinski's Korner

Tagged with: , , , ,

Readers Comments (0)

Sorry, comments are closed on this post.