It’s time to get excited about the Sabres again. Well, OK, not exactly, but I’m more excited for the future than I have been in years, even though the team is 1-8-1. To be more accurate, I’m more excited for the future than I have been in years because the team is 1-8-1.
For most of the Lindy Ruff era, I would’ve been happy with a scrappy team that consistently got the 6th or 7th seed. Playoffs are the best, after all, and the Bills sure as hell weren’t getting there, so just a chance at a first round upset felt thrilling. But after nearly winning the Cup in 2006 and 2007, I saw how much better it is to be great than good. After two honestly lousy chases for 8th in 2011 and 2012 (even division-winning 2010 was more bummer than joyride), I became totally disillusioned with the idea of being just good enough to get in.
And let’s be honest, the 2013-2014 Sabres just plain suck, and the absolute worst thing you can do when you suck is win too many games. That’s been a chronic mistake for this city’s teams.
It’s too early to say, but this year’s Sabres looks different to me. I think they could lose forever. And the sooner they rack up a hopeless record, the better. It may not get the GM fired in this town, but it’ll get a top 5 pick. Have you noticed how few players on this team seem capable of just handling the puck at the NHL level? Although this is a very basic, non-analytical, totally fan-b(i)ased opinion, I think this team simply lacks talent at forward. I don’t think I’m being controversial here.
Imagine a June with no Miller, no Vanek, but a top 3 pick and another first rounder. Hell, treat yourself a little and imagine that Stafford’s gone too. Don’t worry too much about how it happened. It’s a better place, isn’t it?
I want to love the Sabres so badly, but it just isn’t going to happen again with the same faces that have failed so long and so badly. How many times have these guys just been completely flat and lifeless in the first period of an important Friday or Saturday home game? It kills me to see how quickly the energy drains out of FNC after the puck drops.
The only way to fix it is to get a new team, and that means tanking, trading players for picks and prospects (Joe’s favorite), and for the love of god redesign the sweaters to not have gray armpits. What the hell are those about? Anyone figured that out yet? It’s been years, the team must know it’s awful. Are we being trolled? I want the media to start grilling them on that. No one needs to know how Mike Weber played in the 2nd period of our latest 3-1 loss. Let’s fix what we can.
In the meantime, as long as the Sabres continue to lose, they will give themselves a real chance to get better again soon. If they start winning, they’re in trouble. So live the paradox, and root for utter failure. Say goodbye to the veterans, laugh at the turnovers, don’t take anything too seriously, and maybe watch a different team some nights. In short, tank!