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...