It’s been quite some time since the Sabres lost a hockey game. No games that they were simply outmatched. No losses resulting in being praised for a good effort. No shootout or overtime losses. None of those post-game messages that the Sabres played with tenacity for 40 minutes, but fell short because they couldn’t string together three full periods of solid hockey. Not a facet where your favorite Sabre registered as one of the Three Stars of the game being your consolation prize for a team loss. An accomplishment like this undefeated time-frame is rare in recent years. It has to be an advantageous feeling.
OK, unless you have been hiding under a pallet of toilet paper, you know the cause of this length of time without a loss. You are mindful that I was joking around. They still have 13 games remaining in the season. That is the exact quantity of games they had left on the schedule when the players were sent home in the effort to flatten the curve of the Coronavirus.
13 games left on the schedule of said disappointing season that has been put on an uncertain hold. In a perfect world, the NHL would prefer to finish the season in some shortened consolidated format. The New Jersey Devils won their first Stanley Cup after a playoff lock-out caused a shortened season in the mid-’90s. Another lock-out took place in 2004/05. Unfortunately, the dispute continued past the point of no return eventually resulting in the entire season being canceled. The major difference currently is the fact that the majority of the season has already been played. Conference calls are planned soon and talks are ongoing to decide if or when the remainder of the season plus the playoffs will take place. The league will also need to decide on how to handle free agency as well as the NHL draft.
Many Sabres fans just might be fine if the season were to be canceled and even better if it were to be removed from history books. That being said, they need to figure out a respectable resolution. The teams that were having great seasons or even a potential playoff year deserve some kind of closure. Yes, in a crisis many people’s lives are impacted immensely. People are getting ill. Some are dying. Businesses are struggling. Many people are struggling. The economy is scary.
Hockey is just a game. The NHL is a business. The NHL will do absolutely whatever they can in their power to have some resolution resembling fairness. If they need to play the adjusted schedule in an empty building with no fans, so be it. The Olympics are being bumped by a year which is impacting many. The Olympics were not almost complete when this pandemic erupted. The Olympics also do not have an already scheduled season next year. The 2020/21 NHL season has to be taken into consideration when making decisions on how to handle the uncertainty of the 2019/20 season. It is extremely difficult for decisions to be made about hockey when the future is unknown in all 50 states as well as Canada.
Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Practice social distancing. Don’t be a hoarder. Love thy neighbor. You know the drill.
Things we know about the Buffalo Sabres this week:
- The son of former NHL defenseman Kjell Samuelsson, Mattias Samuelssonwas drafted by the Sabres in 2018. The Sabres recently signed the defenseman to a three-year entry contract. He just completed his sophomore season at Western Michigan University. He has the size, leadership traits and plays well in his own end as well as being comfortable joining in at the other end.
- A recent conference call has changed the quarantine for all players and personnel from 14 days up to 24 days.
- Free Agent players Brandon Biro from Penn State and Dawson DiPietro of Western Michigan have been inked by Jason Botterill.
- The Pegulas have donated 1.2 million dollars to help fight the coronavirus in WNY. Very nice Terry and Kim. Thank You.
- Breaking News: The classic playoff game matching the Sabres and Devils, where Hasek made 70 saves, was aired earlier this week on MSG. The Sabres won that game 1-0 in the fourth overtime period. We did not put the game on at the Bryk House until regulation ended with the teams tied at 0-0. This just in; “WIFE” was complaining the game was far too long about halfway through the second overtime period. Keep in mind that we watched not one minute of regulation. Hello!