Okay here’s the deal: the Sabres need to start losing soon so my expectations of them can be properly adjusted.
There is no way that game should have ended with that huddle. No way. Four minutes to go and play is winding down. You start to rationalize it to yourself. It’s okay, first real loss to a good team. Miller made a mistake but things will happen. They just didn’t have it.
Before you know it Mair tips that little shot, Vanek does his Atlas thing again, and it’s all tied up.
What? Seriously? How does this team have an uncanny ability to flip a switch and start playing hockey? For years it seems that trigger has been there, and here it is again. Three straight games overcoming a two goal deficit. Twice coming through in the extra session/skills challenge.
It is going to be said by a lot of people, but last year’s Sabres team doesn’t do that. Once, maybe twice with Atlas going off, but not three games in a row. Not this early, and certainly not this convincing.
I can’t help but look at this team and appreciate how good things are going so far. Last season was such a struggle for everyone involved. It was evident in the players, the coaches, and certainly in the fans. This year has brought us back many of the same players, but the mood is completely different. They are saying the right things, they are doing the right things, and they are playing good hockey.
Most importantly, they are winning hockey games even when they don’t bring their best game. Tonight was sloppy, erratic, and at times disheartening. All that aside it was a win, and getting two points on the road with three of your best players missing is a pretty big deal.
The more I watch this team the more I think we are in a really good place as sports fans here. The Bills are good, and we’re slowly seeing that this Sabres team may be, too. Year after year we hear about how each team takes away ticket sales from each other because one is good and one, well, isn’t. This year it doesn’t seem like that will be a problem.
Things just seem better when your teams are winning, especially here in Buffalo. It’s not a sad statement on the situation here, it just shows how much sports matter in this area. Mondays are always happier when the Bills win the day before, and everyone remembers what a playoff run in hockey feels like. If you are reading this you are like me: no matter what is going on in your life, watching your team do well makes it feel a little better.
Today isn’t going to be the best of days. It’s going to be cold and maybe there will be some sun. Still, it’s a Friday, and another Friday means another big sports weekend for this city. Colorado on Saturday, Dolphins on Sunday, and Ottawa on Monday. If you can’t get excited about that lineup, this town isn’t for you.
Forget what’s going on in the news, with your job, or whatever else you worry about. Remember this: it’s October 24th and both your teams have you thinking about the playoffs. Asking for much more than that seems pretty unfair, doesn’t it?