Sabres fans, we know this year is going to be rough. We knew this going in, and it’s only October. We’re gonna have to make the best of this.
The Sabres don’t exactly go out of their way to do anything special game-to-game, and a Monday night against Dallas might not pop out on the calendar, but this one does. It’s going to be memorable. We can make it more memorable.
Former coach Lindy Ruff makes his first return visit to the rink he coached our team for 16 years. They apparently are going to honor him (unlike a certain former captain) but this might be the best excuse to do something ourselves.
Ruff stepped behind our bench in 1997, with the Sabres wearing sharp black and red uniforms unveiled a year earlier. He coached all but one season of the decade the Sabres wore those colors, including 3 trips to the conference finals and a trip to the Stanley Cup in 1999. If we ever wanted to pick a night to break our black and red out again, this is it.
So let’s do it.
On Monday, October 28, wear black and red Sabres gear to the game against Dallas.
The Sabres don’t do throwback nights like the Ducks did recently, and even Kings fans do a Burger King jersey appreciation night on their own. We can do it ourselves. Not everyone loved the black and red or the “goat head” logo, but it’s still what our team wore. Even if the Sabres wear blue and gold now, black and red will always be a part of Sabres history.
Key disclaimer: WE ARE NOT PROTESTING ANYTHING. This isn’t about Ruff, or Regier, or the terrible new third jersey or anything else. This is just a fun way to pay tribute to ten years of the team’s history that no matter what colors or logo they wore before or after, were some of the best years we’ve seen. The Sabres’ organization doesn’t need to organize this. We all have jerseys that sit in the closet and don’t get pulled out enough. So let’s dust them off together. If you don’t want to, don’t. But honestly, why not?
Going to the game? Wear your black and red. It’ll be fun. Don’t have tickets? Well, they’re probably cheap on StubHub, so go for it.
WHAT: Wear your old black and red colored Sabres gear
WHERE: First Niagara Center
WHEN: Monday, October 28 at 7:00pm
WHY: Why not?
The maligned center, who had spent his entire career in Buffalo, was sent to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Steve Ott and defenseman Adam Pardy.
Roy, 29, had been with the Sabres since being drafted in 2001. A pending unrestricted free agent next season, the team’s desire to move him was evident.
While saying he “can’t wait to get started” with his new team, Roy admitted during a conference call that he was shocked when learned of the deal.
“It’s weird because I’ve never been traded before,” he said. “It was a weird situation, very emotional. I’ve been playing here my whole career. It was an emotional day for me.”
In return, Buffalo added even more toughness in Steve Ott.
Ott, 29, is entering his 10th season in the NHL after spending his entire career in Dallas. Known for a physical presence and as more of an agitator than an offensive threat, the former 1st round pick has 1,170 penalty minutes in 566 career games. His career high in goals was 22 in 2009-2010. With two years remaining on his contract, Ott will be looked to for some edge.
“I think more than anything else we needed to move the balance of skill versus the physical nature of our game, and become a tougher team to play against,” said Regier, who made the deal one day after signing 6-foot-8 forward John Scott as a free agent. “Steve can play and complement the higher-skilled guys and contribute in a lot of different ways. I think that he will be very valuable for us.”
“You need a blend of skill and grit and we were heavy on the skill side. The adjustment we wanted to make was to add to the grit side.”
Ott was fourth in the NHL last season with 278 hits in 74 games.
Also included in the deal was Pardy, 28, who spent parts of three seasons with the Calgary Flames before playing for the Stars last season. He added three assists in 36 games for Dallas.
The fact that the Sabres were able to part with Roy and yield a significant return right now was somewhat surprising. I had written off the idea of a move being possible thanks to two numbers: 4 and 5.5. Read the rest of this entry
All over Buffalo, fans had to walk away from Friday night’s game happy. Maybe they’re happy from the win. Maybe they’re happy with how it happened. Maybe they’re just rubbing this one in Gary’s face.
Facing a two-goal third period deficit and another nail in the coffin containing the team’s playoff hopes, the Sabres fought back to tie the game and took home the win, defeating Dallas 3-2 in a shootout.
After Thomas Vanek’s powerplay goal made it 2-1 early in the third, it was Derek Roy‘s tying goal with Ryan Miller on the bench and just under 39 seconds left on the clock that sent it to overtime.
Brad Boyes and Nathan Gerbe scored in the shootout for Buffalo. Miller stopped three of four shooters before Michael Ryder missed the net to seal the win. The Sabres netminder stopped 24 shots through 65 minutes.
Buffalo moves into 11th place in the East with the win, eight points behind 8th place Toronto with a game in hand. The Sabres have won five of six and will next face 13th place Tampa Bay on Saturday night.
- Not sure how Kari Lehtonen wasn’t one of the three stars. He was outstanding for Dallas, making some ridiculous stops. The save on Vanek in the waning seconds of overtime is highlight reel material.
- Vanek started out playing with Matt Ellis and Cody McCormick. That didn’t last. It shouldn’t have even been a line to start.
- Can’t believe what possesses so many to leave early in a one-goal game. That’s “hockey IQ” right there.
- Still not sure how there hasn’t been an overwhelming appreciation of what Tyler Ennis’ return has done for the Sabres. The kid is the most dynamic skater on the roster. Even without being on the scoresheet, he generated many of their best chances, including the pretty between the legs pass to Drew Stafford in the second that was denied by Lehtonen. Adding him down the middle has been key. Read the rest of this entry
Possibly the biggest burning issue in the NHL, other than concussions, taking advantage of the NBA lockout, avoiding a lockout of their own next year, players getting attention for their Halloween costumes and whether Sidney Crosby will ever play again, is realignment.
The abduction of the Atlanta Thrashers to balmy Winnipeg threw a wrench in the league’s alignment. With the Thrashers franchise, or Jets as they are referred to now, still in the Southeast Division, something needs to change.
And it will.
The NHL’s Board of Governors will meet this winter and figure it all out. The funny part is, it’s already figured out. There’s a great way to do this, and I’ve got it all figured out.
Some teams will be really happy about this proposal, such as:
- Columbus. The franchise is getting close to the ICU due to horrible play on the ice. No one wants to pay to see a loser, and that’s all the Blue Jackets have been for over a decade. They play too many games out west and not enough in primetime to gain a television audience or attention. Getting them east will improve the franchise’s future.
- Dallas. Finally, a majority of games inside their own time zone, as they move to a group closer to the mid-west.
Teams that will probably be pissed at this include:
- Detroit. They claim they were promised dibs on moving back East the first chance they got. Well, they’re gonna have to suck it up, because there’s already too many teams further east than they are. Thinking they would get to move East and Columbus wouldn’t is delusional. They complain about too many games against western teams at late hours, in this scenario, the number of those games is extremely limited. The concept they’d leave Chicago as the only Original Six team in the West is selfish on their part.
- Nashville. They’d like to go east to try to get more early games and limit travel. They’ll be fine where they are.
- Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. You boys are going to have to split up.
- Winnipeg. Stranded from the rest of the western Canadian teams. They may complain about that, but they don’t have to worry about selling tickets because they’re a true hockey market, right?
So without further adieu, here is how you split up the teams, and how it’ll all work:
Hello, children. Do you know what today is?
If you’re a Sabres fan, this date should be etched in the depths of your emotionally tortured heart.
It’s been nine years.
“I believe everybody will remember this as the Stanley Cup that was never won in 1999.”
— Joe Juneau, Buffalo Sabres
Nine years later, and it’s still bullshit.
Yes, fans, nine years ago tonight was the sixth game of the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals. It’s been nine years since the Sabres got hosed out of their chance at a Stanley Cup. Nine years since the Sabres were as close as they have ever been to being champions. Nine years since the worst officiating/public relations job in professional sports history. Read the rest of this entry