Sabres Awaken Early Gut-Check Time with Fans after Ugly Loss4
Something is off.
There’s a squiddling little feeling in my stomach this morning, and it wasn’t the dollar store cheezy curls I ate during that game last night. No, this is the kind of anxiety that I normally wake up with after playoff losses. What is happening to me?
This is new territory for Sabres fans. Big name signings. A revamped arena. A fancy locker room. Hype enough to overwhelm even the calming stupor of the arena beer-filled masses. By the end of last night’s mental breakdown disaster, fans at the FNC were clutching their free clappers a little too tightly. That’s appropriate, given how the Sabres were gripping their sticks a little too tightly.
The breakdowns on the ice were aplenty. Shift after shift of solid play was foiled by a terrible miscue, a bobble, a stumble, or an errant pass that seemed to lead to a five man breakaway for the Canes every time. Not the stuff of champions. Not the way the Big Dogs play.
Then again, let me check my Twitter feed again…
My stomach, and Sabres fans in general, need to be reminded that there are 79 games left. The Sabres haven’t stamped their identity out yet – that usually takes at least the first ten games. In those first ten, we’re 2-1-0 so far, and that’s pretty good. A goals for/goals against of 11-7 is not so bad either.
Keep it in check, gut. It’s still early.
Still, this is new territory – we’ve joined the elite clubs in terms of relevance and expectations. Since Pegula took over on February 22, the Sabres enjoyed a magical 16-4-4 run, and almost got by the Flyers in Round One of the playoffs. We enjoyed a dominating performance over two Western Conference teams in the Euro-trip. We’re punch drunk on Pegula power and all the improvements he’s brought, while also used to winning pretty much every game.
Yep. These early losses are going to be hard to digest. But we’re going to have to get used to losing some games, folks.
It’s been a fun, awesome ride into the fore-front of the NHL in terms of legitimacy, but now that the actual season is upon us, all of that needs to be backed up. That’s a lot of pressure, but it’s the kind of pressure contenders, real contenders, must learn to deal with – be it the players or the fans.
So, it’s gut check time. Let’s regroup with our boys for game 4 of 82 against Pittsburgh today. Let’s take it one game at a time. Let’s remember that it’s a long road to the playoffs. Let’s sweat playoff type sweat when it comes down to those final 16 games.
And please, let’s ensure we don’t barrage the Pegula daughters on Twitter with angry drunken tweets after every loss.
Keep your heads level, (get a Scream Vase if you need to), and breathe with me. After all, we’re supposed to be enjoying this grand new era, aren’t we?
It just may take a little getting used to.
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