“Must” Win

The expression “must win” always cracks me up.  It’s so overly dramatic.  I have a difficult time determining when exactly a win becomes a “must”.  I mean, sure, game 7 of a playoff series is a must win, but other than that, I think it’s a tough call to make.

Even when a particular game is obviously super-duper, mega-important, I’m still uncomfortable with the expression “must win”.  The phrase seems to imply an “or else”.  It’s a must win….or else….what?  We miss the playoffs?  Kate cries?  Buffalo is swallowed into a sink hole?  Or else what?

In spite of myself, I started thinking in terms of “must wins” about ten games ago.  Games would come along, and I’d think, “Dude, the Sabres MUST beat the Senators.  This is a MUST WIN,” but then the Sabres would inevitably lose and the next morning I’d wake up to discover I had somehow survived the experience.

I’m shy about declaring a game a “must win,” because I want to preserve my right to be all gung-ho and hopeful about the Sabres tomorrow.  If tonight is a “must win” and they lose, well, that’s the end, right?  That’s lame.  So, I’ll add a qualifier for tonight-  This game against the Flyers is a “kind of must win”.

The Sabres kind of must win this game so that they kind of makes the playoffs, and Buffalo kind of doesn’t get swallowed by a sink hole, and I kind of don’t cry.

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13 Responses to ““Must” Win”


  1. 1 Jonathan March 10, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Instead of “must win” lets go with “important game”

    It gives the same significance, but less do or die, backs against the wall type attitude “must win” gives off.

    Who knows, they lose tonight, Lindy is fired and The LQ takes the reins till the end of the year.

  2. 2 Schnookie March 10, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Ugh! The overuse of “Must Win” is the worst “boy who cried wolf” offense in sports. I actually emailed Jon Buccigross about this during the playoffs the year before the lockout, because he was hosting all the intermissions on the games on ESPN and spent every single one of them going on about how teams trailing 1-0 in their series were all facing “must wins”. He was very rude in his response, but I think I was doing him a favor trying to point out that if every game is a “must win”, then what’s the value of a game that actually is one? Sigh. I was so underappreciated by the hockey media back then. As opposed to now.

  3. 3 Meg March 10, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    He was very rude in his response

    There’s a shock, huh? Did he also provide must win songs and otherwise make it all about him?

  4. 4 Katebits March 10, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    I wish Jon Buccigross could just admit he’s in love with you, Schnookie. It would be so much easier that way. Instead we just have to watch him argue with you all the time. It’s terribly sad when people can’t admit their true feelings. :D

  5. 5 Schnookie March 10, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Instead we just have to watch him argue with you all the time. It’s terribly sad when people can’t admit their true feelings. :D

    I KNOW! I’m like, “Bucci, you’re only hurting yourself by acting this way.” Oh well. (And no, he did NOT give me any must-win song recommendations. That’s how I knew he was being rude.)

  6. 6 Porky March 10, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    It’s a freakin’ hockey game. Like Marv Levy says, “World War II was a must-win.”

  7. 7 Erin March 10, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Did anyone check out Kevin Sylvester’s blog on Sabre.com today? It was…………..depressing. I so didn’t want to be in this position again this year.

  8. 8 Katebits March 10, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Ha! That’s an awesome quote, Porky.

    Erin, I just glanced at it. I think he was trying to be create hope but it came off as pretty brutal in my opinion. I don’t particularly want to see the situation so starkly.

  9. 9 Erin March 10, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    exactly! Let us just be like, well, we’re 3 points out of it, or whatever it is. Breaking it down game by game makes it look impossible.

  10. 10 Gambler March 10, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    (And no, he did NOT give me any must-win song recommendations. That’s how I knew he was being rude.)

    Schnookie, at least he didn’t try to council you to name your baby “Must Win”?

  11. 11 Schnookie March 10, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Schnookie, at least he didn’t try to council you to name your baby “Must Win”?

    Oh, he included that. :P

  12. 12 Shelby Rose March 10, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Instead of ‘Must Win’ games against the Senators, I think ‘Must Win But Will Lose’ against the Senators.

  13. 13 radoran March 10, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Sabres need to kick into gear to make the playoffs. They’ve still got a shot, but they have to make it happen.

    Two bas losses in a row. They needed points at least from these game.

    I bleed orange and black, but i can wear blue and gold….


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