Whelp, one more game and then we can say goodbye to a very disappointing 2016-17 Buffalo Sabres season.
After the Sabres finish up this evening at Tampa Bay, it’s back home for locker cleanout and exit interviews with the players and eventually the coaching staff. Word on the street is that head coach Dan Bylsma, as well as GM Tim Murray, will have some explaining to do when they meet with owners Terry and Kim Pegula to review the season and the Pegula’s will be looking for reasons as to why the team finished with a worse record than the prior season.
But most important for the future is what Murray can glean from his players concerning Bylsma and the coaching staff.
There seemed to be some serious disconnects as to how the players and the coaching staff wanted to approach the game and although njuries certainly were a factor early on, as the season progressed and the team got healthier they failed to make progress as a team.
While we’re not sure exactly what the individual players might be saying about their experience with Bylsma this season, perhaps this is what they may be thinking as they sit down for their exit interviews:
Jack Eichel: Hang on a second, am I in the right spot to do this?
Ryan O’Reilly: It’s my fault. I have to be better. Does that sound right?
Robin Lehner: Everyone’s responsible and if anyone disagrees, look into my eyes.
Rasmus Ristolainen: He should’ve played me until I collapsed.
Sam Reinhart: Sorry I'm late. Jiminy Christmas, I wish Jack would do the dishes. At least once.
Brian Gionta: I’m a professional professing about professionalism. And after this season, I'm done professionally playing for the Sabres.
Zemgus Girgensons: God, I really hope we don’t end up in Vegas together.
Evander Kane: Shoulda played me with Jack more.
Dmitry Kulikov: Sorry, can’t talk. Gotta catch next flight outta here.
Kyle Okposo: It doesn’t matter. I’ve got my health to think about right now, and even if I didn’t, it still doesn’t matter.
Jake McCabe: I want to stand somebody up.
Zach Bogosian: Screw the stretch pass.
Marcus Foligno: I love that guy. Second-line minutes with Jack? Who wouldn’t?
Josh Gorges: I’m confused. What did he want us to do?
Evan Rodrigues: I’m cool. Hope the next guy realizes I played on Jack’s wing in college.
Cody Franson: I never thought a coach could make me play slower than I actually am.
Justin Falk: I’m better than Franson and a faster skater too.
Sean Malone: I’m Ivy League and I can’t figure out his system .
Matt Moulson: Man, I love the powerplay. Hope he stays.
Alexander Nylander: It’s gonna suck at the family gathering this summer.
Will Carrier: I just wanna skate. Can I just do that?
Nicolas Deslauriers: Why didn’t you let me loose?
CJ Smith: Friggen’ A. I made it.
Tyler Ennis: I hope I impressed him with my fancy stickwork. Hope he stays if I did.
Taylor Fedun: I’m better than Franson and a much better skater, scorer and passer too.
Anders Nilsson: I told him to put me in for the shootout. He wouldn’t listen and now we both may be out of a job. (God I wish Lehner would stop with the death-stare)