Bowing Down

by Ryan

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The uncanny uniformity of the Sabres’ schedule has its good and bad.

The stretch from Sunday to Wednesday can be trying, but the rhythm that November has created for the Sabres appears to be a positive. Last weekend was most certainly a positive, with two strong games against strong opponents; a sign that this team just might be as good as they’ve looked against bad teams.

This week, however, brought us right back to the questioning we’ve littered our Octobers with over the last few seasons. Is this team for real, or is it just another hot start that will fizzle. With a bad showing against Florida on Wednesday and another clunker last night, it’s hard not to wonder just what happened to the team we were satisfied with last weekend. We went to bed Saturday night thinking they were finally there, but a pair of bad games at home is certainly enough to pull me back out.

A point is a point, but last night’s game was yet another example of a winnable game the Sabres just couldn’t manage. The Panthers game is another good example, really, but in a different sense. Wednesday night was a game that looked under control but blew apart in the end. Friday was more of a “they’re going to blow this, aren’t they?” kind of affair.

What is most frustrating about these two games is that they were right there. They are the games you look back on during the playoff race and wonder what just happened. You remember them as completely winnable games that fell away, and when the points seem to matter so much more you can only get angry at what feels like a wasted effort. “A tip shot from the point off a faceoff in November is keeping us from an extra home game in April? Why can’t he win that faceoff?”

And so on. It’s something Those feelings are something I try to keep in mind now, and so maybe I’m a bit too upset about a few losses in a quick stretch. These are the type of games we expected after such a fast start, but I think it’s okay to be a bit upset despite its irrational nature.

The good thing, of course, is the schedule. As I sit here fuming, Ottawa looms. It will be a few short hours before the Sabres’ next performance, and the freshest memories help when judging a team. Let’s hope they can shake off the bad vibes and save the week, otherwise there are only more questions to answer before a trip to D.C.