Felger: The Buffalo Sabres show why you shouldn’t tank
The Boston Bruins defeated the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 on Tuesday night in Buffalo to improve to 12-1-2 on the season. On Wednesday’s Felger and Mazz, Felger gave his thoughts on the Sabres and talks about how he feels that they are the perfect example of why teams shouldn’t tank for high draft picks!
The Buffalo Sabres are why you shouldn’t tank….
Felger: One more thing on last night, and that is the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres themselves being a cautionary tale for Jim Murray and his ilk who want to “tank” in any sport with any team.
Jim Murray: Oh, I’m going to get tsk tsk’d today.
Felger: I blame you for the sabers because there are, I’m sure, many Buffalo fans up there who 15 years ago when this the run of their’s started said it’s better to lose and get a higher pick and then they lost and got a higher pick and still sucked. And then got another high pick. And I’m sure there were fans at the end of that year saying, “well, keep losing, let’s get let’s get a lottery pick”. And then they kept losing and got a lottery pick and then they got a lottery pick in the year that it was Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid. It’s like, well, keep losing. Keep losing and get that pick and you get Jack Eichel.
Jim Murray: They didn’t lose enough.
Felger: Well, if I’m not mistaken that year they might have had the first and lost it. I can’t remember. But either way, keep losing and get that pick. And then they kept losing and then they got the first overall pick. You ever hear of Owen Power? Murray, be honest with me.
Jim Murray: No.
Felger: First overall pick three years ago. But I’m sure at the end of that year there were Sabres fans saying, well, we got to keep losing, we got to get that pick. And they got that pick and they drafted something named Owen Power, who you’ve never heard of. He played last night. He’s a big defenseman. I don’t know if he’s going to be good or not. He’s supposed to be franchise defenseman, first overall pick. Did you know the Sabres have had 10 top-10 picks in the last 11 years, including number one overall just a couple of years ago, that’s Owen Power, they’ve had number eight, number seven, number one again in 2018. Tell me you’ve heard of Rasmus Dahlin?
Jim Murray: I have heard of him because, you know, I’ve watched a few of these games.
Felger: Rasmus Dahlin, he was the first overall. So they have, I think Jack Edwards even mentioned this, they have two number one overall picks that are on their back line and they epically suck. Do you watch them trying to play defense?
Mazz: I’m so glad you mentioned this because I was going to say, they especially suck on defense. If Danton Heinen is in front of the net and you can’t get his ass out of there, you blow.
Felger: They have no idea how to play. So again, number eight, number seven, number one. number eight, number eight, number two, that was Eichel, number two of the year before that was Sam Reinhart, number eight, the year before and they suck and they don’t know how to play and you know why? Because somewhere along the way there they became losers and it became okay to lose and became part of the culture and it became okay. If you weren’t good enough to just lose and they lose and lose and lose and lose and lose and lose and the next thing you know, it’s baked in. You’re losers. And that’s a cautionary tale why you Should never tank. Because the slippery slope is the Buffalo Sabres. They haven’t made the playoffs in 13 years, longest run in the NHL.
Mazz: That’s hard to do in hockey.
Felger: 13 straight years. Despite drafting in the top ten just about every one of those years.
Jim Murray: And this was a year, like they’ve had a handful of years to in the last five or six, where they’ve been like this sneaky, buzzy team before the season starts. And this is one of those years and they suck again.
Felger: Because everyone gets all horned up about “weeee, the prospects and the young players”. And if you lose the culture of winning, if you if you lose that, sometimes it goes and it never comes back.