The big budget Buffalo Sabres missed the playoffs this season. They gamely rallied – going 19-5-5 during their prolonged surge -- but they ultimately came up short in the season's final week.
It’ll be fun to see how the organization responds moving forward. The Sabres have missed the playoffs three times in five seasons and six in the past 10. They have not won a playoff series in five years.
Coach-for-life Lindy Ruff would seem to be in some peril. The same goes for general manager Darcy Regier, who did not allocate his payroll dollars wisely.
Injuries were a major issue for this team, but a lot of playoff-bound teams overcame similar challenges. This group seems overdue for a major overhaul.
In the near term the players are lamenting their fate. Here was some of the post-mortem reaction, via the Buffalo News:
Forward Tyler Ennis: “It's just devastating. We wanted the playoffs so bad, and it's a tough way to lose.”
Goaltender Ryan Miller: “It's embarrassing to miss the playoffs.”
Forward Drew Stafford: “This year not even making it brings back memories that you don't want to have. It's never a good feeling. We had our chances. That makes it a little more disappointing, the fact that we had it in our hands and didn't get it done.”