O'Reilly calls Sabres' playoff drought 'pathetic'
With three straight losses, the Buffalo Sabres are now tied for the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference.
It's not a position Ryan O'Reilly had envisioned for his club entering this season.
After consecutive down seasons where it looked as though the team was rebuilding, the Sabres have stumbled this year. Buffalo will now get set to conclude the regular season - without any playoff aspirations for the sixth straight year - and that has O'Reilly venting his frustrations.
"It's so disappointing, it's so frustrating coming to the rink right now," O'Reilly said, according to NHL.com's Joe Yerdon. "Practicing, there's no purpose right now. You're seeing other teams gearing up for playoffs and seeing teams, like a Toronto, who's young too, seeing them in the spot we should be in - it's very frustrating. I'm sick of losing, it's getting exhausting and it's not fun. It sucks the fun out of the game."
O'Reilly is in his second campaign with the Sabres since being acquired from the Colorado Avalanche at the 2015 draft. Last season was almost equally as heartbreaking for O'Reilly, as the Sabres finished with the third-worst record in the East with 81 points.
"Your first year it's all right because there are so many new faces and you can see it took a while for guys to get used to each other in playing, but then this year you start to get things going and then you fall back into old habits again and our old ways and, again, that's a big piece of it is me," O'Reilly added.
"Being a leader, a lot of it falls on me, but to do it two years in a row like this and not go anywhere and not get any better is pathetic. It's so frustrating and things have got to change. We've got three games left here and we've got to prove something at least to ourselves."
The Sabres have just three games remaining on the schedule, starting Wednesday against the Montreal Canadiens, and you have to think at least one player will be looking to bring his A game.