With no sports being played due to the pandemic, certain proletariats obviously are struggling with this more than others. Some people are just fine viewing movies or binge watching TV shows. Others may read a book or surf the internet. Maybe some have exercise equipment at their place of quarantine. That all said, certain individuals have nothing of interest at home besides watching sports.
MSG playing retro Sabres games has been really chimerical. Watching the 2006 playoff run really is a reminder of how electric the arena was night after night. During the regular season games, the place was so loud you could not hear yourself speak. Playoffs? Forget about it. The parties in the plaza were intense. People were trying to get their hands on tickets like eager children at an Easter Egg Hunt. Stealing shamelessly from 80’s Iconic band A-ha, “There’s no end to the lengths I’ll go to, hunting high and low”.
The flashback of the excitement around the Sabres was eye opening. I find it hard to believe it is the same building based on the games I have attended over the past couple of years. The Pegulas should be embarrassed . I am grateful for them owning our teams which offers a security that was missing prior to the acquisitions. Seeing those classic games dating back to the Hasek days up to the Drury and Brierre seasons and hearing those crowds should make it obvious that the love for the team is struggling in recent years. The Sabres have never been Stanley Cup Champions. The passion the fans exhibit in this town for Sabres teams that simply compete either for a division title or a playoff berth is priceless. The Buffalo fans do not ask for much. Many teams that perform so poorly so often end up leaving certain markets due to lacking support. Atlanta comes to mind losing their team on two separate occasions. Sabres fans continue supporting the poor teams introducing new generations of young fans. Compete,Sabres, and you will be rewarded with some of the greatest fans known to man.
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No team in the NHL should go a decade without qualifying for the playoffs. That’s a generation of kids who basically know nothing but a quiet building with very little to celebrate. Hockey is a sport that one would think the Sabres would sneak in into the playoffs with the multiple head coaches that have rotated through. They have drafted high many times. They had brought in some big name players like Ryan O’Reilly and Evander Kane. Jeff Skinner would be the more recent example. I am not exaggerating which is obvious since the Sabres hold the NHL playoff drought record currently.
Things we know about the Buffalo Sabres this week:
- Gary Bettman had said for the first time that canceling the rest of the season is one of many options. Playing the playoffs in one neutral city could be the way they go because the coronavirus is hitting different regions at different times in both the U.S. and Canada. No real decisions can be made until the government makes plans on how and when to open the country back up. Playing in front of no audience will certainly be a likely scenario. The Sabres do not qualify for the playoffs no matter which way they sort things out. What a shame. The Buffalo boys would adjust to no crowd noise seamlessly.
- Jeff Skinner donated $159,000 to help with the pandemic. He split it equally between Markham, Kitchener and Buffalo. Well, done Skinner.
- Dylan Cozens was named a first team All-Star of the Eastern conference by the Western Hockey League. The Sabres selected Cozens seventh overall in last years NHL draft.
- Jack Eichel went about contributing a tad different from others. He purchased 5000 P.P.E. masks from hockey equipment manufacturer Bauer. These masks will be distributed to various local hospitals to aid with their efforts fighting the coronavirus. Wel done Captain Jack
- He is not here. He is risen. Have a safe and healthy Easter.