I didn’t watch the Sabres get embarrassed on Monday night in Detroit.
I didn’t have to. You could feel this game coming. In fact, I drove to work in my black Ferrari Daytona Spyder 365 GTS/4 with Phil Collins blasting out of the speakers. (Why yes, I did wear sockless loafers and an Armani jacket to work on Monday. Why do you ask?)
The Sabres, floundering for weeks now, were due for a game where they just got flat beat. Detroit is a pretty good candidate to administer the beating. They make really, really pretty passes and have players that signed lengthy contracts and can still hit the net. It’s all really cool and stuff. We should try that sometime.
Look, the Sabres aren’t in a good place right now. Things haven’t been right for weeks. I covered the game against Winnipeg two weeks ago and came away from the whole scene wondering what the hell was going on. I still don’t know. No one seems to like what’s happening and fans are losing interest. Or the ability to watch altogether.
Listen, I don’t have any answers. I certainly don’t think anyone else has an answer, either. Trading players? Firing a coach or general manager? Should we buy a new rug to not step on? There are plenty of ideas out there.
I happen to like a lot of what this says, but mostly because I think 1) Pegula’s opinion of media’s role in sports is silly and 2) the overwhelming feeling is that something has to change.
Ryan Miller, as usual more smart than angry, may be right in his analysis that nothing external is going to change for this team. He’s probably nailed it. Ruff and Regier are safe. The love letters are composed and the ink is dry on their secret contracts.
Maybe a player or two moves in the coming weeks, but things aren’t going to get blown up. The change, as those awful movie plots go, must come from within. Excuse me for not being optimistic about all that.
This season has been weird, sure, but it’s been far from interesting. I think over the last few weeks a lot of fans have realized that the weirdness of Miller’s injury and battles with the media and the “core” conundrum isn’t all that entertaining. Weird doesn’t have to be anything more than boring, and that’s what we’re dealing with right now.
The worst part about this team is how familiar it all feels. The apathy crept in so quickly because it’s oddly familiar. A lack of excitement quickly turns bitter and dark. It’s not a good place to be, and we know the territory well. Last November, with things looking bleak, Corey and I laughed our way through a curb-stomping from the Bruins on home ice. It was brutal, and afterwards and I wrote a post entitled Hope is Irrational.
Then, apparently, everything changed.
Pegula bought the team. A playoff run and fan enthusiasm swept through and we were off and running. Now it seems like that well is already dry. The arena is dead, the locker room is just as dour and no one knows where the answers are coming from. That familiar helplessness is starting to come back.
We’re nearing a full year of the Pegula Era in Buffalo. Other than the huge expectations and a nice coat of paint, what’s all that different about the way this team feels these days? Isn’t that the worst part of all of this? Ownership change isn’t going to save this team from mediocrity this season.
So, what will?
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