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Bulldog's Blog



BULLDOG: Looking ahead in Sabreland

I don't even know who I am anymore.  That's not a bad thing.  Just takes some getting used to is all.  As I sit down to write this I just finished eating some yogurt.  I was hungry after my morning 6 mile run.  I know.  I want to punch that sentence right in the face too.  Don't be ridiculous though.  We all know sentences don't even have faces.

Look man, I'm in a really good mood.  As I trotted around Delaware Park this morning it didn't even bother me that it's almost April and I still needed thermal underwear.  It'll be warm soon enough.

There are a variety of reasons for the sunny disposition that has overtaken me.  Hope springs eternal, I guess.  And hope is something the Sabres have given their fans and the prospects of playoff hockey do play a part in my good mood.  This is due largely to the fact that this season seemed dead to me at Christmas time.  I worked the post game show the night of December 23rd.  The Sabres lost to Florida at home that night and Derek Roy suffered a season ending injury.  I remember walking out of the arena that night thinking how brutal the next three months would be waiting for the season to be over.  It wasn't even 2011 yet and here I was thinking about the Sabres being in a position to make some noise in the spring of 2012.

That's what makes these past 3 months so much fun and the Sabres prospects for the playoffs so exciting.  It is totally unexpected.  As recently as the trade deadline, I was still skeptical about the Sabres chances of doing much damage in the playoffs.  Since then their game has really started to get into shape, especially in their own end of the ice.  Players like Mike Grier and Rob Niedermayer have gone from looking like used up veterans to being the sort of guys you're glad to have on your team come playoff time.  Nathan Gerbe was at or near the top of the list of things that were driving me crazy about the Sabres in the first half of the season.  Now he's my favorite player.  Maybe for you that player is Sekera.  Maybe it's Butler, or Weber, or Ennis.

Surely there are lessons to be learned from this about patience with young players.  For me it's yet another reminder that the best things are often the one's we never see coming.  This is something I first thought about after the Sabres lost to Ottawa in the '07 Conference Finals.  When that run ended I realized that I hadn't really enjoyed it at all.  The '06 run had felt like playing with house money.  '07 felt like I was gambling with my mortgage payments.  Obsessing about how they matched up with Anaheim and winning the Cup had ruined that Spring for me.  

The most I can muster right now is hoping for a first round upset and then we'll see.  And frankly that feels plenty good for now. 



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Locations : AnaheimFloridaOttawa
People : Derek RoyMike Grier




 
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