In 1992, I traveled to Minneapolis in a 1987 black Ford EXP two-seater with three people from school in Marquette, MI to see my Buffalo Bills lose a Superbowl to the Redskins. I voyaged to London to watch them lose against the Jags a few years ago. Different sport, I know. A fan’s perspective, not a professional athlete’s, but the emotions remain. The old Pontiac Silver Dome. Hello?
I am a fan with only time and money invested. Heartbreaking at times, but not my career. Not my lively-hood.
I’ve experienced many Toronto and Cleveland disappointments over the years. You know, the ones that result in somber rides back to the Queen City. However, I have very few extended NHL road trip experiences. Toronto and Pittsburgh were regular-season Sabres victories years ago.
I could not imagine going to Sweden to watch the Sabres lose back-to-back games to a division rival. At least in London, I got to go to a U2 concert, went on a Paris day-trip, and see David Gahan performing with his solo project. That softened the blow. With that said, the thought of flying to Europe, a long and arduous journey for players and coaches, to only play two hockey games (and lose) makes me nauseous. As a fan.
After such a strong start, the Sabres looked more well rounded and not like the 2018-19 version. They looked better coached, more talented and figured out special teams. Stealing the title of the SE Hinton novel shamelessly, “That was then, This is now.”
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Well, they have managed to find their way into yet another losing streak. Once again sliding in the standings. “Negative Stanley” and “Captain Obvious” agreed this morning that they wish the Sabres could just be consistent. Win a couple in regulation. Perhaps even in overtime or a shootout. However, stay clear of the back-to-back losses in regulation. Enough of the Jekyll and Hyde play on the ice.
It has been tough being a Buffalo fan of late. The Bills lost in Cleveland and Sabres dropped a pair in Sweden on network television. It was hard to stomach, to say. the least. A far cry from just a few weeks ago when neither team looked capable of losing. I prefer the latter. However, consistency instead of a mix of high ‘highs’ and low “lows” would certainly suffice.
Make a trade Mr. Botterill before it becomes too late again. Get a forward. Let us not consider calling up Tage Thompson or adding someone from the press box. Be aggressive. It is time now. We have seen a lack of aggression stall other good teams in the past. Sometimes you just need a talented player who needs a new start to get over the hump. Much like Jeff Skinner a year ago.
One more SE Hinton quote. “Let’s do it for Johnny”. Johnn, in this case, are the Sabres fans and not Ralph Macchio. Clever? Nah. Just trying not to be a “Negative Scotty.”