Is This SH@! Over Yet?

Bernier scores on Linback which has happened a lot this season. - Photo via www.miamiherald.com

Bernier scores on Linback which has happened a lot this season. – Photo via http://www.miamiherald.com

“I haven’t watched a Sabres game all season,” said the gentleman next to me, as he took a healthy pull from his Labatt’s bottle. “I’m waiting until they have a real team.”  Waiting. Ultimately, that’s what we’re all doing, isn’t it? Whether you’re sitting on a self-imposed blackout or you’ve watched every game with a mixture of love and loathing, we’re all just waiting for that FINAL horn to sound – the one that marks the end of our suffering. Night to night, every gut is wrenched, every heart is pounding. Every spectacular save by a Sabres goalie elicits as many groans as it does cheers; every point earned elicits the same.

It seems we have some company.... Photo via www.foxsports.com

It seems we have some company…. Photo via http://www.foxsports.com

The race to the bottom is a tight one right now. At the time of writing, the three tanking teams all have eleven games left and are separated by no more than four points. Buffalo sits in 30th (47 points,) but their standing is far from comfortable; Arizona hovers closely with only a three point margin (50 points,) and Edmonton just barely in 28th with 51 points. By the end of the month, the picture should be a bit clearer, as the Sabres will have played five games, with two against Arizona.

It truly is a nailbiter. Of the three teams, Buffalo’s strength of schedule is weakest here in the home stretch. Both Arizona and Edmonton face several Western Conference playoff teams, whereas Buffalo will face only a few such contenders. One key stat to watch for is first goal scored. 16 of Buffalo’s wins have come when they’ve scored the first goal. When the opposition scores first, your fists can unclench and you can let out a sigh of relief.

There have been some bright spots for the Sabres. They must not have gotten the memo.... Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images

There have been some bright spots for the Sabres. They must not have gotten the memo…. Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images

Zadorov is another key factor. He’s been solid for the team; it would be difficult to argue that he and Ristolainen have been the best D-pair for the Sabres, especially with the departure of Tyler Myers, but Zadorov has spent some time in the press box for his tardiness. Perhaps someone *cough*Time Murray*cough* could snag Zadorov in the hallway on his way to a meeting, making him late for another and drawing further ire from coach Nolan. Breaking up this key pairing would be ideal as we head to the inevitable end.

Who the hell is Johan Larsson? All of a sudden, we find that Rochester’s been holding onto this powerhouse player the whole season. WHY DIDN’T THEY KEEP HIM?!?!?! Of any of the factors that could lead to a couple of wins down the stretch, it would be the play of the Amerks who’ve been called up. Maybe we can send them back down? Rochester might need them for their own playoff push…

Here's hoping! - Photo via 716sportspodcast.com

Here’s hoping! – Photo via 716sportspodcast.com

As Obi-Wan famously says, “Patience. Use the Force. Think.” We can follow these all-important instructions, Buffalo. We can exercise some patience; we can think. Watch for that first goal, and then let that tension go. If you don’t think you’re going to make it – if you can feel the tension building, hire yourself a cardiologist, and get your appointment in early on. Better safe than sorry. I promise, though; soon enough the echoes of perhaps the most unified cheer will resound through the First Niagara Center soon enough: “IT’S ALL OVER! (clap clap clapclapclap) IT’S ALL OVER (clap clap clapclapclap)”

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3 Comments on “Is This SH@! Over Yet?”

  1. kevcolman March 29, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

    I think you’re spot on with fans feelings towards this era of “suffering” that seems to be never-ending. I also wrote about this topic on my blog! Check it out if you get the chance.

    Consider me a follower!

    Cheers,
    Kevin

    • erikwollschlager March 29, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

      Thanks, Kevin! We really have been through hell, but we’re so close to the other side. It’s great to know we’re not alone!

  2. erikwollschlager March 30, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    Reblogged this on ewollschlager and commented:

    So close…so far

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