Terry Pegula addressed the state of his team during an interview Thursday, blaming injuries for most and practically all of Sabres’ problems. Pegula was asked several questions about other topics, but the conversation eventually turned back to fighting through the injury bug.
Here are a few other comments from the owner that didn’t make the story in today’s Buffalo News.
On whether he understood the frustration fans were experiencing going into the second half of the season: "We’re keenly aware of the frustration because everyone in our locker room feels the same way –- coaches, everybody. Obviously, they’re not pleased with the way the season is going.”
After being told some people would view his comments about injuries as an excuse for poor play and other problems leading to the Sabres’ struggles the organization: “This is not an excuse. This is a fact of life. This is not your Buffalo Sabres. I’m not putting down the guys that came in. But guys like Corey Tropp, Colin Stuart, Zack Kassian, Marcus Folingo – they would have never come up to Buffalo this year unless something crazy happened. It’s the sheer volume, the names.”
When asked whether his feelings have changed regarding GM Darcy Regier and coach Lindy Ruff: “My attitude is the same as it was at the beginning of the season. No. 1, the whole world thinks you’re going to get a star player for nothing. These other GMs might have been born at night, but they weren’t born last night. If you want to trade for a quality player or someone who can help your lineup, well, guess what? You might have to give your future away. As far as making deals, especially when they know your season isn’t going as well as projected, they try to pick you even worse.”
On whether the Sabres can rebound and make the playoffs after an 18-19-5 start for the second straight season: “It’s not impossible when you know you were 10-5 at one point. You know you can win hockey games. Obviously, part of what goes on, is that there’s new faces are in the lineup every night. Everybody says, ‘Well, the goalies are having a bad year.’ Sometimes, [the goaltenders] look in front of them and it’s like a revolving door.”
On whether the Sabres have looked stale at times: “I’m not going to say anybody is getting stale until we put the team together. They came out of the chute 5-1 and were looking pretty good.”
-- Bucky Gleason