Sabres Move from the Basement, to the Bubble, to… 7th? That, and the Death of Memes.1
But the 2011-12 NHL regular season is winding down, and there is no time left for silly memes.
As the schedules wind down in this league, everything else gets cranked up. Season slumps, lulls, injury bug woes, and trade rumors all get tossed aside as teams fight tooth and nail to scrape their way into the Stanley Cup playoffs. For teams out of the playoff picture, the fight is just as rabid: players that aren’t fighting for their playoff lives are fighting for their lives on the roster.
There ain’t no meme that can downplay the desperation of what is at stake here now.
Indeed, with less than 10 games left to go, there isn’t much time for teams and players to make an impact statement. The Sabres have made a huge statement lately – going 16-5-5 since January 24, reminiscent of the 16-4-4 run that they went on after February 2nd of last season. That February “Pegula Day” surge got them into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Here on BSN I’ve been talking up the #SeedsOfGreatness and the #Crapshoot memes a great deal since the mid-season doldrums pulled our wayward Blue and Gold hopes to the basement of the Eastern Conference. All looked certainly lost, so I resorted to these memes for the sake of countering all that misery with a little levity. After all, watching the team lose player after player, and game after game, had become a little unbearable to watch. Nothing like a little meme (or a Sabres BINGO) to lighten the nerves.
Meanwhile, the Sabres started winning.
They crawled up out from the cellar, and now sit on the precipice of a playoff berth. The roster is healthy. Players like Tyler Ennis, Marcus Foligno, Drew Stafford, Derek Roy, and Ryan Miller have found their A-games again. The newly-acquired Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer are thriving. The lines are rolling.
#SeedsOfGreatness has been fun, but it’s over now. The long since planted seeds have bloomed, and now the hustling Sabres just have to keep pace with themselves.
The #Crapshoot was fun, but that’s done too. No matter how terrible Washington, Winnipeg, or Buffalo have been this season, each is in position to snag 8th – or even 7th place – before the final whistle is blown on the regular season.
7th place? Absolutely. The Senators have been rolling after a head-scratcher start to their season, but have sputtered and stalled down the stretch. They, and their hold on 7th place, have become vulnerable. They’ve dropped their last 2, and are just 4-4-2 in their last 10. With just 84 points, they are ripe for the picking for Washington and Buffalo (who sit at 80), and could even be threatened by Winnipeg.
Teams have just a bit less than 1/8 of the season left – really, just 7 or 8 games – to settle who is going in and who is going to be left out. It’s going to be one hell of a ride. There is no need for levity, no need for memes anymore. The entire conversation from here on out is Lord Stanley, and who earns the right to fight for it.
On behalf of all Washington, Winnipeg, and Buffalo blogs, I’m proud to welcome Ottawa to that conversation.
The Sabres have dragged us to the basement. They’ve brought us to the bubble. There is no way to say where we go from here. Heck, it’s an amazing feeling actually being here. A month ago, none of us saw this coming. Now, anything is possible.
(And don’t worry BINGO fans – I’ll be sure to sneak in a board or two before this is all over.)
next post: Sabres Win Game, Confidence, Quote War