The Start Of Something Special For the Sabres

The 2010-2011 Buffalo Sabres season was something to behold, something truly unique. I’ve been a fan of the Sabres since I was a kid, but it really wasn’t until the early 90s that I understood the game and was a regular to watching the sport.

I’ve been watching ever since then, some years with less interest, some years with more. I’ve had some very down years where I’ve had other things happening and didn’t watch at all. Of course we had the Mogilny/Lafontaine era, then the Hasek playoff runs and Ted Nolan era, then the excitement of the post-lockout years and being good again after almost losing our team.

But even compared to all of that, there was something very special about this past season. I don’t think it was just that it was the most recent in my memory. We were way out of the playoffs in February, but the team started to gel. Then Pegula rode out of the mist on his steed like King Arthur coming to Camelot.

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Well, not exactly like this.

It did seem like a fairy tale: a heroic owner swooping in with brave claims of leading us to the promised land. When Pegula declared that the goal of the Sabres from this day forward was to win the Stanley Cup, it may have seemed trite or simple to other cities, but it was something that Sabres Nation needed. It had to be said that our goal was winning the Stanley Cup, that we could do it and would do it. Plus, there was the fact that Pegula would use his vast treasure to help in any way he could.

The team responded like true Knights of the Round Table, a quest laid before them, all the needed weapons at their disposal, and a King who would do anything for them.

To cap it all off, on the very night they needed 1 point to clinch a playoff spot, they brought in all the previous heroes of the realm. The alumni game was simply amazing and something I think I’ll never forget. It was also a brilliant tactical move for the franchise. Pegula not only created ambassadors for the city, but also helped further rev up the fan base. As well, it sent a message to the current players, one that said, “You are part of this storied franchise, you are a Sabre, and being a Sabre means something special. Now go forth and conquer.” Ok, I may be taking Pegula’s intention (and the King Arthur metaphor) a bit too far, but my point is that the alumni game was worth every penny Terry Pegula spent on it.

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Think T-Pegs could revamp HSBC entrances to look like this?

Granted, there’s still a lot of work to do. The Sabres struggled to take the Philadelphia Flyers to seven games and the Flyers got swept by the Bruins. Of course, we can’t read too much into how it goes when one team hammers a team that beat you, but I think we can agree that the Sabres do need some help.

With Terry Pegula as owner, as Sabres fans we can believe now. Some moves will get made in the offseason and hopefully the Sabres will land a major free agent for once. The Sabres may not win the Cup next year, but who knows? They’re headed in the right direction and as Sabres fans, we have much to be optimistic about.

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Posted in: Sabres

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