Hockey Purgatory

Like many fans of the Buffalo Sabres, 2006 represents the good old days, a healthy defenseman or two away from erasing the bad memories of 1999.  In the current issue of Buffalo Spree, Christopher Schobert asks that the home squad show that they are doing something other than treading the proverbial water.  I can’t blame him.

You want your home team to be interesting for the whole season, not to be the place where Florida Panthers come to get healthy. I think I’ve got a few more miles on than my friend, I remember the Sabres selling out the 1970s. The passion among the fans has never wavered. We’re just getting tired of the heroic push for 8th place to get buried in the first round of the playoffs.

The talk of rebuilding seven years (seven after the last deep run) was a little insulting, along with the g.m.’s talk of suffering. Dude, what do you think we’ve been doing?

I’ve been following this team since I was six, don’t talk down to me. The home rink has been tattooed in recent years as atmosphere challenged. Some of that is to blame with the corporate seats in the meet of the arena, some of it has been from watching some players skate with the passion of bubble hockey men.

I’ve been there when the team is giving its all and the place will vibrate, have its own pulse. The place will be full nightly with folks who work hard for the considerable funds it takes to get to a game these days. You hope that isn’t taken for granted. Are these guys a cup team? I don’t think so. They had a good preseason, and a dandy of a brawl, but I don’t think that is indicative of anything.

I’m hoping for a fun, promising season, that one bad game (it will happen) doesn’t mean the end of the word or long slumps where everybody seemed to forget, well, everything.

You just want a sign that we are interested in getting better, not just taking our money.

A winning team solves a lot of game presentation woes, and sells a lot of ugly third jerseys.

Work on that, then, maybe I’ll give a damn about who gets the c.