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It's the League?

Sorry, but it's a little to convenient. The Sabres are off to a slow start, they can't generate offense, their $10 million man is struggling, and we're supposed to believe it's because the NHL has gone back to a defensive-minded style? Because people have figured out the Sabres?

I'm not saying there isn't justification for some of this talk. But it's laughable to hear it so soon after the departures of Daniel Briere and Chris Drury. And if the league was catching up to them, why didn't they do anything to tweak their roster? It's no revelation. Teams were figuring them out throughout the playoffs last year. The Sabres were exposed as soft and lacking a physical edge. Did they need to see 14 games of the new season to come to terms with that?

Fans and apologists can believe anything they want. Some people are reminding me that Ottawa started off 5-8-1 last year, as if that excuses the way the Sabres have played. But the fact is, Golisano, Quinn and Regier allowed a Cup contender to become just another playoff contender, and it's not because the league is playing better defense.

Oh, and if the players aren't demonstrating a great willingness to sacrifice their bodies for the club, do you think it might have just a little to do with the way the organization treated Teppo Numminen?

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