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Rebuilding The Conversation

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With their 14th regulation loss in a row, the Buffalo Sabres are in danger of matching one of the most embarrassing of all NHL team records – 17 L’s in a row was achieved by the Caps (1974-75) and Sharks (1992-93). Fans and media have been driven into mobs, and the discourse happening right now is mob-ugly. Meanwhile, much has been done by the team to try to stave off relieving the Caps and Sharks of their infamous listing. Well, as much as can be done.

The players have tried closed door meetings. They’ve run out of things to say.

SadWeber Rebuilding The Conversation

Play your guts out, get gutted. That can’t be a good feeling.

The coach stands behind his podium after each loss, repeating mostly the same things about the same mistakes that have earned the same results. He’s got no insight left on a team that has competed to its capacity against the other NHL clubs that were put together to win this season. He’s coaching up a team that’s not supposed to win for another year or more.

Fans on social media are desperate for anything to talk about aside from the losing, and in such cases, the expected stink of rumors, trade proposals, buyout wishes, and firings is pervasive in the feed. Arguments are turning spiteful, especially between those that have labeled themselves as “tankers” or “purists.” This dissention in the ranks comes off often as septic and cruel, but it’s a symptom of the mental/social disease of being somehow obligated to support an historically bad team in one logical way or another.

So what’s the cure? What is a fan base to do, to feel less lousy?

This is a season like no other in modern team history, so the best advice I can offer is to take a step off of each other’s throats.

Really, the only thing you can do is embrace the pain, and be happy that you still care. If it hurts, it means you’re still invested. You’re here to see this through – to get to the end of the rebuild and enjoy the payoff. If you’ve reached the point where you’ve lost interest, or become completely indifferent, you may have a hard time coming back next season when the increments of improvement may not happen as quickly as you may want. (Trades can certainly accelerate the transition back to winning, but a team with centers like Grigorenko, Reinhart, and McEichel – as talented as they may be – is far too young down the middle to be successful for a while.)

Most importantly, and plausibly the most overlooked point about this trying season, is to try to remember that it’s not a “tank.” It’s a rebuild, and it didn’t begin this season.

We all came into this together, and we’ll come out of it together. The best thing we can do in the interim is to ditch the virulent “tank” talk and remember that a rebuild is a process. It’s a huge body of work that isn’t accomplished quickly.

Feel like cracking a joke about tanks? Feel free. It’s cathartic.

Feel like professing your dedication to the team, and finding yourself unable to accept a loss? Go ahead. Wear your heart on your sleeve. Ain’t no shame there.  

Just lay off with the bickering. Just as the coach and players are trying to find ways to win, we’re all just trying to find ways to cope.

No one ever said the rebuild would be easy. Just wait. Don’t give up your season tickets. Stay with the pain – stay invested.

This team, when all of this is over, is going to be a marvel to watch.

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Sad Sabres Fan Unifies Region With Message of Hopelessness

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First, the Bills lost to the then 2-12 Raiders, and were eliminated from playoff contention.

Later in the day, the hapless 2014-15 Sabres blew a 3-2 lead late in the 3rd, and lost in OT. Cameras found this poor guy in the stands of TD Garden after the final horn blew:

It must really be something else to have your own Buffalo sports gutting broadcast at the end of a day like that. But we feel your pain, Sad Sabres Fan. Today, we are all #SadSabresFan.

 

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Video: The “Anglicisation” Of The French Connection

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Ah, vintage Sabres videos are always a lot of fun.

In this case, we get to see some clips and quotes from a very young looking French Connection. Also, pay special attention to the pronunciation of the names – particularly “Richard Martin.”

 

 

Got to love the Looney Tunes soundtrack, too.

Go Sabres.

 

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What Are We Rooting For, Really?

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The Buffalo Sabres have won six out of their last seven and the fanbase has been whipped up into a frenzy.

There’s two sides in the frenzy, and they’ve dug their trenches. On one side of the battlefield are the “tankites” (not sure who minted that term, but it’s so cutesy that it is loathsome, which was probably the point). On the other side, we’ve got the contingent of fans that like to toss around novelty phrases such as “Real fans don’t choose to root against the team.”

Then, there’s a third group of fans kind of caught up in the middle. I count myself of one of these fans getting whipped up by the crossfire, because I am not cheering against the team, and I’m not rooting for a tank. What I want, and what I think all fans want, is long term sustainable success. I want, like all of you, for the team to play well.

Are wins fun? Heck yea. Is 6 wins in the last 7 games something to cheer about? Sure. It’s been fun. Is the team really playing well?

No.

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Sabres Rebuild “Making Strides”

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The comparisons between Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are going to keep going all season long, and the debate over who should go first (McDavid) will also continue to be out there in its own lesser extent.

So far, the comparisons have brought nothing but great news to Sabres fans. And if you’ve been banking on tanking, the fun has really begun, as Eichel has now joined the McEichel Highlight Reel.

mcdavid eichel 300x185 Sabres Rebuild Making Strides

Many of you certainly remember the strides and stickwork that Connor put on display at the FNC not so long ago:

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