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?
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.
Many of you certainly remember the strides and stickwork that Connor put on display at the FNC not so long ago:
This whole experience was fantastic. The rides, the tastes, the smells – and it was all free.
Well, we did pony up three bucks for parking.
This was a glorious day.
It didn’t even have a sports feel (at least early, when we were there) – there are big games scheduled for tonight and especially for tomorrow – but this was game-free. Worry-free.
Just a bunch of kids, running from station to station, wondering when the fun will end. Followed in hand by a bunch of parents, wondering where this fun even came from, and please, let’s keep on rolling. Bounce houses, rides, you name it. All free.
Thank you HARBORCENTER, and the Pegulas, of course. The fun continues until Monday. Enjoy.
Get ready: the 2014-15 regular season is about to begin.
For the Sabres, the players have been selected, the captains have finally been named, and the playoffs are the goal. The Sabres’ playoff odds as seen from the rest of the hockey world? Well, c’mon.
We’re going to lose a lot of games.
Here’s the problem: while we will be joyous for the draft odds, at the same time, we will be miserable. We will want a losing team to secure one of McDavid or Eichel in the upcoming draft, but we’re going to want to have fun, to be loud, to get wins, at least at home. We’re going to want to be entertained.
And what is home these days, exactly? The Pegulas bought this team with a singular goal to win the Cup(s). A locker room was built. A Cup-board was built. Hope was established, and for the first time in perhaps the history of the franchise, it was real. HARBORCENTER began construction. Meanwhile, the team on ice failed, and it was painfully, piece by piece, dealt away. Doubt took its familiar root in our souls, and the FNC turned solemn and quiet.
Because losing sucks.
We’ve been focusing on that initial instant-Cup-delivery failure (if it’s truly fair to call it a failure, which it’s not), and then putting so much more focus on hope for yet another even more horrendous season in order to draft a generational savior. With all that on our minds, we may forget that it’s OK to root for the guys on the ice this year.
Don’t root against them. Don’t get ahead of yourselves, Buffalo. Don’t boo. Don’t stay quiet.
We’re going to lose – a lot – but it doesn’t have to suck. It’s time to get up and herald what we have, and what is coming.
Cheering is awesome.
Cheer for the guys who came here to help lead our youth. Cheer for those kids, trying not to make a mistake in front of you. Trying to win a game. Cheer for that win. You can chose instead to sit, cross-armed and silent, maybe a little belligerent about how former and/or current ownership put a stink in your arena beer. That’s a stubborn choice, but I get where you’re coming from, if you choose to stick with it. We’ve been stuck for a while. Blame the GM, the Rigases, the city, the Ruff Era, Danny and Chris, the “enigmas,” or even blame the fax machine. But after all that blaming, we’re still stuck in this together.
Eventually it’s going to be up to each and every one of you to unstick yourself from your seat, and give a cheer. Make as much noise as you dang well please. It won’t make a difference, really, in the final score. We’re going to lose – a lot – but it doesn’t have to suck. It’s time to get up and herald what we have, and what is coming.
Help me help you.
The Cup-board is empty, but the incoming prospects can very well change that. Let’s help give them a rousing start this season, through all the peaks (and mostly) valleys.
Let’s have some fun. Let’s get unstuck.
And, of course, a big ol’ get well soon to our beloved Buffalo legend, Rick Jeanneret – the man who always can find a way to make everything feel fantastic. As he has said many times: “PLENTY MORE COMIN’ UP IN A MOMENT!” Perfect advice, really, for fans of a young team just about ready to explode.
The Sabres have had discussions with the Avalanche to obtain the 1st overall pick.
But you know that already ( #HockeyIQ).
You also know that it’s going to take a lot to make this happen. So is it worth it? Here’s 5 reasons for, and 5 reasons against the Big Deal.
PICTURED: Well dressed intern hard at work sorting through all the trade offers flooding Denver right now.