Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Beginning of the end

Tomorrow marks the first day of the Stanley Cup Finals, and in a few weeks there will be a new Stanley Cup Champion. For the first time in a while, I am really not looking forward to the series. I don't like Boston or Vancouver. It's easy for me to come up with reasons why I don't like the Bruins, but when it comes to the Canucks it's hard to put my finger on it. Maybe it's kind of like a sibling rivalry...the Canucks are our "sister" team as they were the other team that was founded in 1970. I'm not sure if that has something to do with it, but it probably does. Either way, I don't want to see either team hoisting the Cup. So that puts me in quite the conundrum, doesn't it? I suppose I will just have to see how the series plays out until I can decisively figure out which team I dislike the least.

Meanwhile, the Sabres are still well into the offseason and I really haven't missed them... After the elimination, I think every fan goes through a depression where they think, "What am I supposed to do now?! What is my purpose in life?!" And believe me, I felt like that. I couldn't imagine going through months with no Sabres hockey, especially considering how much fun that season was. But the depression comes and goes, and eventually I realize that I sort of embrace the offseaon because it's time to put the Sabres on the back burner and enjoy other things that I like to do. And that's what I've been doing. Enjoying not having to go to class and complete assignments, enjoying going out with my friends, planning little getaways, going to concerts and festivals, and everything else that the summer brings.

And then Sabres.com posted a story about the locker room renovations. I thought to myself, "Hey, that's pretty cool. Everything sounds like it's going to be a kickass facility for the players." And then I saw this picture on the team's official Facebook page. And my heart did a little back flip.

It's Ryan Miller!!! Going over the locker room plans with Terry Pegula!! When the season ends, the players all disperse and go their seperate ways, and I know that it will be months until I get to see their faces again. So when I get a picture of Ryan Miller right in the thick of the offseason going over the locker room plans with Terry Pegula, it's just like a little bonus for me! And it may or may not have made my day when I saw it. If I had more shame I would probably be a little embarrassed admitting that, but...I don't.

So even when I think that I don't really miss the Sabres, I do. And me getting excited over this picture just proves that there's no way that I can stop liking this team, even if I wanted to.

And I'm not going to lie, the picture of Darcy Regier and Ted Black breaking the locker room wall was pretty awesome too:

I will be sure to update as soon as I figure which team I hate less in the Finals, as I'm sure you're all eager to find out.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A little entertainment in the offseason...

Considering it's mid-May and the Sabres were eliminated last month, there is not much to say regarding the team...and to be honest with you I thought the second round of the playoffs was pretty lackluster, so things have been pretty quiet around here to say the least.

So I thought I'd just leave you with this, incase you haven't seen it already.

Here is Pasi Nurminen, goalie coach for team Finland, exiting the plane as the team celebrates their IIHF World Championship victory:

An even better view...

Hope everyone is enjoying the offseason!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Reflecting: Onward & Upward

Well another season is in the books, and a lot of fans are feeling an array of emotions. A lot of us are sad, upset, disappointed, but on the flip side we are also proud, optimistic, and eager to see what happens in the offseason.

I truly believed that the Sabres were going to win the series and that they would take Game 7, but they just weren't ready to advance. I think the way the Sabres lost Game 7 is what stings, they just weren't skating and it honestly just looked like a regular season game. It was disappointing because the rest of the series was full of great, tight games and I expected Game 7 would be the same way. I had that horrible feeling in my stomach as soon as the Flyers went up 1-0 and it didn't go away until a few days later. It was bad, and I was longing to experience the satisfaction a fan gets when their team advances deeper into the playoffs. We haven't had that feeling in a while...

But enough of being depressed, you can only move forward after that. In Pegula's words, this team is definitely moving "onward and upward", so to see what unfolds in the upcoming months and leading into next season will be exciting and fun.

When Pegula took over, everyone was excited that a man who is passionate about the Sabres would be taking the reigns. But I don't think anyone could have expected how much his presence make such a positive impact on the team. The Sabres really turned it around and the attitude just seemed really different. I think what the Sabres did was pretty great and even though they didn't advance out of the first round, the fact that they made the playoffs and proved that they can be a great team after such a rough first half was so much fun to watch. Pegula has revitalized the franchise and I think the players are probably more excited about the future than the fans are.

I'm happy about Lindy Ruff's contract extension. I think it's special that Lindy has been with the organization for so long, especially in today's world of sports as big business. I like that Lindy truly wants to win a Cup here and the Sabres organization believes in Lindy and believes that he is the best coach to have to get the job done. I like how the Sabres are also commited to their own players and that many of the players have echoed that they would like to win a Cup in Buffalo, with the teammates that they've been playing with for several years. But that's not to say that outside help isn't an option and shouldn't be considered, so it will be interesting to see what gets done in the offseason now that Pegula is the owner.

All in all, I'm still pretty bummed that we won't be seeing any Sabres hockey any time soon, but life goes on. One day it will be "our day" and we'll see the Sabres win the Cup. I'm sure of it. And with Pegula in control, I believe that day will come sooner rather than later. I'm still not completely over the elimination, and I'm going to miss the boys dearly, but eventually we'll know what it feels like to go all the way.

But right now, I'm just trying to figure out who I want to win the Cup this year...