Buffalo - September 9, 2014 - Brian Gionta means well. Really, he does.
But he might be just a little bit off his rocker with his prediction that the Sabres will make the playoffs in 2014-15.
Gionta talked to ESPN on Monday and had the following to say:
“My expectation is to make the playoffs. I didn’t go there to sit around and watch the playoffs on TV,” Gionta told ESPN.com on Monday. "The expectation is to make the playoffs and continue to grow and build. I think that’s the first step. I think it’s a realistic step to try to get in there in the playoffs."
He even said that it would be alright if that hurt the team’s chances of winning the Connor McDavid sweepstakes in June. Which, look, I get it. Gionta is a veteran and will undoubtedly be one of the leaders on what is to be a very young team. He can’t say “yeah, I expect us to be some of the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked.” You can’t say those types of things.
But if Gionta thinks that one of the worst teams in Buffalo Sabres history is going to make the leap from basement to penthouse, he’s sadly got another thing coming. Think about it for a second: the Sabres were one of the most inept offensive teams in NHL history. How did they remedy that situation? By signing the aging, 40-point scorer in Gionta and a 25-goal scorer in Matt Moulson. Those are fine additions if you’re a borderline playoff team looking to make the push, not when you’re a pathetic lottery team.
Not only that, but the defense, while solid on paper, will have a few kids in the mix and will be playing in front of a tandem of goalies that have never been unquestioned starters before in Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth.
There should be some improvement – it’d be hard to do worse than last season’s efforts, especially given the additions to the roster and the overall suckitude of last season – but to think playoffs in 2014-15? That’s crazy talk.
You mean well, Brian, but maybe leave the interviews to the less delusional next time.
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