BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers describes this season as a failure. Captain Jason Pominville regards it a wasted year. And goalie Ryan Miller calls it embarrassing.

Those were among the most blunt and bitter assessments expressed by Sabres players while cleaning out their lockers Monday. The comments reflect a sober close to a frustrating year in which the Sabres, and their high-priced lineup, fell so far short of their Stanley Cup-contending expectations that they failed to make the playoffs altogether.

A frantic late-season run, in which the Sabres went 20-8-6 over the final two-plus months, wound up falling three days and four points short of making the playoffs. With 89 points, Buffalo (39-32-11) finished ninth in the Eastern Conference standings by registering its fewest points since 2003-04.