Thursday, February 14, 2013

Take a load off Terry

For those who did not happen to catch the Grammy's on Sunday night, check out this All-star band covering The Band's, "The Weight" in a tribute to the late Levon Helm.

Elton John is the centerpiece with the likes of Mavis Staples, Alabama Shakes' Brittnay Howard and Mumford and Sons channelling Helm, Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson in a rousing rendition of the epic 1968 release.

From the book Across the Great Divide, The Band In America, author Barney Hoskyns asks Robertson about the character in the song, who's simple directive--a favor for a friend--turns into an "incredible predicament."

"One thing leads to another," says Robertson, "and all of a sudden it's like 'Holy Sh!t, what has this turned into?'"


What does this have to do with the Sabres?

While watching Buffalo struggle in Ottawa last night, one could see that there's something weighing heavy on the team.

Perhaps it's the weight of high expectations gone south or the seemingly constant struggle to find their identity. Perhaps its the burden of a fan base left wondering what the hell it did wrong and clamoring for something, anything, to cling to.

Or, the team could be struggling because of the heavy weight that's upon the shoulders of their coach, Lindy Ruff.

Whatever the cause, this team is stumbling right now.

Sure, they came out strong Tuesday night, like they've often done in years past. But a failure to pot a goal against a hot goalie left them frustrated, like so many times in the past.

That frustration traditionally leads to brain-cramps in the second period. Sure enough, Ottawa scored a shortie in the second.

Then a familiar refrain of nervous uncertainty followed by another quick goal against.

Finally they spend the rest of the game in a valiant attempt to get back in, only to fall short. And in the end, another loss.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Lindy Ruff is doing his best, but he's being crushed right now and it would seem as if he can barely breathe.

Maybe it's been that way for a while with myself and many others just not seeing it. Then again, maybe it's just never been this much of a burden, especially when the entire organization wants to do their best for their owner.

Whatever the circumstances, this team is in a bad way and doesn't seem to be getting any better. It's gotten to the point that maybe owner Terry Pegula should do his coach a favor and take a load off.

Ruff's a good guy and has guided this team through many adverse situations. He's re-invented himself and the team through no less than four ownership changes. And he's digging deep to find something else. But perhaps he doesn't have anything else to give.

The "B" side single of "The Weight" has the band covering Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released."

Perhaps it's time to flip that 45 over.

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