So for those of you who don’t know, each club in the National Hockey League has an affiliated team in the American Hockey League. The Buffalo Sabres have had the luxury of having their AHL affiliate just an hour away for a few years now. The Rochester Americans serve as the farm team for the Buffalo Sabres. Being a Rochester native myself, I remember the “Dark Ages” when our Amerks were affiliated with the Florida Panthers and the Sabres had the Portland Pirates. Those days were rough and attendance to the games was abysmal to say the least. Luckily all is right in the world now and Terry Pegula has acquired ownership of both the Rochester Americans and the Buffalo Sabres making them together once more.
The first month of NHL hockey is now officially all wrapped up and although the Sabres are not dominating their opposition on a level that is screaming “Stanley Cup Championship here we come!” the team has improved tremendously from last season. This is something that has not gone unnoticed by fans either, there is more of an overall sense that we can win any game we are heading into (except for maybe Montreal). More fans are looking forward to the next game, which is something that was not happening last season unless you were tuning in to make sure the Sabres didn’t screw up guaranteeing themselves the #2 pick in the draft.
Where do we go from here? Our current goalie situation is well… Different. We have several options to choose from going forward but which basket do we put our eggs in? Since the departure of Ryan Miller we haven’t had a stable goaltending situation. We have gone through so many goalies in such a short time and still, we are uncertain of who our number one will be.
When Rex Ryan was hired by the Bills he was in charge of ending the playoff drought. It’s been 15 years, 240 games, 14 starting quarterbacks, and 4 Tom Brady Superbowls since the Bills last tasted the playoffs. Now I guess you can say that the franchise is desperate to win. It’s no secret that they are. What’s funny is, Rex Ryan who was considered the best coach available, picked Buffalo.
With the NHL Draft Lottery just a few days away, the anticipation is building for the next “once in a generation” player to be taken number one overall in this year’s NHL draft. The Sabres are sitting pretty with the best odds to win the lottery and likely take Connor McDavid. Although last season the Sabres finished 30th and didn’t get the number one pick but still ended up with a good player in Sam Reinhart.
Alright, so the Sabres lost to Columbus Friday night to secure 30th place in the NHL, in a year where last place guarantees either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel, two superstars in making. For almost this whole season Sabres fans around the world have been watching the games with clenched fist as they pray that our goalie tears his ACL on a 2 on 1.
So, the Bills are getting ready to set a season ticket sales record, they have a new coach and a boatload of new few agents. The NFL network is proclaiming that “nobody has more talent than the Buffalo Bills” and the coach rode into town driving a Molly Hatchet sized pick-up with a Bills logo streaking down the side. What does it all mean?
There has been quite a bit of talk about the tank for “McEichel”, as I’m sure most of you know what’s going on at the F’N Center. For those of you who don’t know, the Sabres have been tanking for TWO full years now, in order to rack up picks & great players. They have a chance to acquire a generational player if they can lock up the 30th spot. The 30th spot GUARANTEES either Connor McDavid (the next Crosby) or Jack Eichel (a Day 1 starter on this team and someone to build your franchise around).
So I had an idea for a new segment through this already long and boring season without a first round draft pick and a losing hockey team; focus on the amazing fan base our sports teams have!
You know, it seems that just about every year the league is suspending or fining the Buffalo Sabres for incidents that cause me to shout out loud “Are you serious!!!”. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer in holding players accountable for their actions and punishing them appropriately, if Sabres players are acting like a menace then by all means they should be punished. The problem is that the punishments the league hands out always seem to come across as biased in some way shape or form.
If you are a true fan of the Sabres who has been following the team heavily for the past 20 years then you undoubtedly understand that our best chance at becoming a team worthy of coming anywhere close to a stanely cup is to completely ass-out this season for the opportunity to draft the best talent available in this years draft.
When we first started Buffalo Bruises the Bills had just concluded their 14th straight season without making the playoffs and the Sabres finished their season dead last in the NHL. Little did we know that the fans of this great area were so passionate that none of that even mattered. Mike Guittar and myself were writing for another Bills related website when we got fed up with both the rules they wanted us to follow and the fact that they ultimately seeing the reader as a number.