1. I’m really sad that the season is over. I’m going to desperately miss Sabres hockey during this long offseason. The Sabres in their current incarnation are….not that good, but I’m still going to miss them.
2. I was pretty stunned by how depressing it was to see the Sabres lose last night. I mean, we’ve spent the entire season on the outside of the playoff picture, and yet, there was a large part of me that was genuinely shocked to see the season come to an official end. I didn’t even realize how much I still believed that a miracle was on the way. My capacity for hope, enthusiasm, and optimism took me by surprise this year.
3. I believe the Sabres will be better next year, I really do, but over the last few days it has come into sharp focus how we as fans have no control over any of this, and it has left me questioning the whole enterprise. I’ve read a lot of analysis of the Sabres in the last two days. Some of it is angry, some of it is hopeful, some of it is “the sky has fallen” some of it is “just wait until next year”. For a gal who writes a hockey blog, I have remarkably little interest in dissecting the season. How odd that I’m willing to place so much emotion and energy into a team, but when it comes time to take a look at what happened, my entire attitude is “Meh. It is what it is.” What it “is” SUCKS ASS, but so does a lot of stuff. I’ve spent more time fretting about the Sabres this year than I ever thought possible, but it’s sort of a relief to discover I still have the ability to shrug my shoulders and say, “What are ya going to do? It’s just a game.” (Except for when I think about Crunchy’s upcoming free-agency. When I think too hard about Crunchy’s contract I can’t sleep….or breathe. Hee.)
4. Everyone keeps saying, “It’s good they will miss the playoffs. Squeaking in would have given them a false sense of accomplishment. This failure will be good for them in the long run,” and “They would have been demolished in the first round.” I absolutely agree with both of those statements…..and yet. I fell in love with hockey during the playoffs last year. I’m incredibly disappointed that I don’t get to see my first hockey team play in the playoffs. I know, I know, they would have been destroyed by either Montreal or Pittsburgh in the first round. I don’t care. I refuse to budge on this one. I feel personally cheated by the short season.
5. This team, for all of their faults and inadequacies is my first team, and no matter what, I will always remember them fondly. Several times this season I have tried to express my odd gratitude about the current state of the Sabres, and I’ve never felt I was able to make myself clear. I’ll try again: I jumped on board with this sport as a bandwagoner last spring, but this gnarly season has afforded me the opportunity to earn some baby stripes as a real fan. This was no kind of season for the bandwagon fan, and I’m proud to say that my love of hockey and of the Sabres only grew as the season progressed. Furthermore, I’m not sorry that due to this lost season, history will separate this Sabres team from the teams that came before. I like that any future Sabres success will be a result of something that happens in the future. I’ve missed a lot of Sabres hockey, but I guarantee, from now on, I’ll be there. Hopefully, the best is yet to come.
Let Go Buff-a-lo!