Paille: It's difficult to watch Sabres hit rock bottom

Paille: It's difficult to watch Sabres hit rock bottom
October 22, 2013, 4:00 pm
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(USA Today Sports)

WILMINGTON – It’s been four years since Daniel Paille last suited up as a member of the Buffalo Sabres, and it’s fair to say there’s been a lifetime of memories separating his Buffalo career from his successful time in Boston.

Paille never truly found a comfortable role with the Sabres in the five seasons he logged games in Buffalo, but then almost immediately evolved into a vital penalty killer and key member of the NHL’ best fourth line along with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. Paille’s skating speed and gritty competitiveness make him an effective energy player for the Black and Gold, and also put him into plenty of offensive situations for a bottom-six forward.

Those attributes made him a first round pick with the Buffalo organization, and saw him develop his game along with many up-and-coming NHL players with the Sabres. So the 29-year-old Paille still has old teammates with the Sabres like Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller among others, and that means he stays aware of the happenings in Buffalo.

Those happenings are not good.

“My first couple of years there [the Sabres] had some good runs, and even my last years there we went down to the last day of the season before we didn’t make [the playoffs]. The talent was definitely there,” said Paille. “Unfortunately they’re back in a [rebuilding] situation right now, and it’s not too great for the city. Hopefully for the sake of the city of Buffalo they can put up a good game, even if they don’t make the playoffs.

“It’s difficult for me to watch because the people of Buffalo deserve a lot of good things. They are definitely people that are passionate, and really support the Bills and the Sabres. I saw it really turn over to the Sabres when I was there. I still go to Buffalo and get recognized everywhere they go. It’s a community that cares about the team. It’s just like us [in Boston] except we’re in a bigger city.”

So Paille is fully aware of how bad things are with the Sabres this season. They’ve bottomed out in the new Atlantic Division with a 1-8-1 record and have scored a brutally impotent 13 goals in those 10 games.

The Buffalo crowds have begun chanting “Fire Darcy” during the games at the First Niagara Center in clear displeasure at the job done by the longtime Sabres general manager. Players like Vanek and Miller are expected to be traded away to contenders in the middle of a clear rebuild, so there’s a fair level of uncertainty to go along with everything else.

But that being said Paille won’t be underestimating a Sabres club that’s been backed into a corner after an awful start to the season. Buffalo is already heading to a point where they need to win games before they play themselves out of the playoff picture, and that should breed some desperation on Wednesday night.

“Nowadays anything can happen on any given night,” said Paille. “It’s only 10 games in, so I don’t think anybody should give up on a team whether it’s us or anybody else. There’s still plenty of time left in the season.”

The Bruins will hope to be sharp all-around as the San Jose Sharks will be waiting for them back in Boston on Thursday night at TD Garden in the second half of a back-to-back for the Black and Gold.