Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sabres with a must win

by Steve

Rightfully so it has been all Bills and football free agency the last week but, the Sabres did play arguably their most important game of the season tonight, and won. True, Danny Briere was out, along with Hatcher and Gagne and a few others, but the Flyers suck, they're ahead of the Sabres by 3 points and this was a 4 point swing.

As per Sabres fashion, they came out swinging then gave the lead back nearly as quick as it was achieved. However, at least, not in recent Sabres history, they fought back, came out rip roaring in the third period, took a three goal lead, AND never gave it back. Yes, Biron played like shit and Max played outta his mind, but the Sabres won a big game and deserve some props.

It may not matter if they lose two of their next three while Philly gains the two points back that they lost, but for now, the Sabres are very much alive in the playoff race. They have the Capitals Wednesday and the Hurricanes Saturday. Both teams are very beatable, and quite frankly the Sabres need to get at least 3 points out of their next two teams.

I say that mostly because they have the Rangers after that, a team they can't beat, at least recently, then @ Pittsburgh later in the week. Furthermore they have 2 games against Ottawa, a game against Boston and Montreal before March is up. Mediocre teams like Toronto, Tampa Bay and Carolina do appear more than once throughout the month, but I am already counting points in those games. It will be tough to guarantee victories in those games, and beat some of the good teams while picking up points on the Flyers, Rangers, or Bruins.

Lets face it, if this team doesn't make the playoffs it is a complete travesty. An uber meltdown if you will. The front office, the ownership, the managing partner, everything and everybody was a complete disaster, disappointment and failure. Whether it was Ruff, Miller, Goli/quinny/Darc or Roy or $10 million man Vanek, they will all deserve blame resentment and a pay cut. And more than likely will.

If this team fails to make the playoffs not only will it hurt them in not earning about $1 million per home game, it will hurt in season ticket sales in 2008/09 but also merch sales and bandwagon fans. Going from first to not making the playoffs the following year could go a long way in returning this franchise to the dark days, just before the lockout. Ya know, when salaries were high and attendance and goal scoring throughout the league were low. And we would all hate to see that again.

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