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Buffalo Plays Rope-A-Dope with Carolina: Sabres 5, Hurricanes 1

The Buffalo Sabres must have watched some video of Carolina's Friday night fall to Atlanta when the Canes crumbled in the third period, because they waited until then to pour it on and scored five times in the final period Saturday night while wiping out the Hurricanes, 5-1.  It was the second consecutive game that the Hurricanes allowed five goals in the third period.  

The Canes remain the only team in the league yet to win a road game, (0-10-3).  They now have a new franchise record for that feat.

One could go on and on about team statistics because the Canes are either last or near last in the NHL in every category.  The astonishing thing is that there seems to be no leadership coming from anywhere, the bench, behind the bench, or from the front office.  And there seems to be no emotion or anger about blowing game after game. 

Fans are wondering, does anyone in management care?  How bad do things have to become for something to give?

Jim Rutherford said he would take responsibility for this mess, but what exactly does that mean?  Management credibility is starting to become questionable when they fire Peter Laviolette after he slipped to a 12-11-2 record, but do absolutely nothing when the team's record is 5-16-5 and long losing streaks are common place.

Matt Cullen started the game's scoring when he stole a puck at the blueline and beat Ryan Miller with a perfect backhander.  But that would be the last puck to get past the Sabre goalie.

The Canes blew another 5-on-3 opportunity, although they came close.  They had a couple of other good opportunities throughout the game, but came up empty.  Rod Brind`Amour got a beautiful pass from Brandon Sutter for a wide open net, but fired it too close to Miller, (and Miller did make a beautiful save).  But the team came up empty again on the powerplay, (0-5).

When Mike Grier scored for Buffalo just two minutes into the third, most fans had a feeling the wheels would come off and that's exactly what happened.  The Sabres kept on coming and coming and coming.  When the game was over, the score was 5-1 and the Canes skated off as losers once again.

After the game, once again Paul Maurice had no answers.  Eric Staal had no answers.  John Forslund and Mike Maniscalco could not put their fingers on what was wrong. No one seems to know.  But something is wrong, seriously wrong. 

Now is the time for Jim Rutherford to take action.