I've watched the last two Bills games from a bar. For the first of them, the Thursday night game in Miami, the place was very busy. A friend of mine is a bartender there, and at halftime, with the Bills leading 6-3, he had a minute to chat.
"What do you think so far?", he asked me.
"I think whatever we're going to care about from this game hasn't happened
In three nights the Sabres will draft Jack Eichel. Then, presumably, they will fly him to Buffalo and sign him, formally ending his Boston University career. I might suggest that next would come a celebratory beer, but because Eichel is only 18 it will only be everyone else in Buffalo that's drinking.
It is the 2015 draft, so you might see Eichel himself, right after being chosen, holding
In 2007, the Blackhawks were a joke. In 2010, this happened.
So it's June 2015, and the Chicago Blackhawks Monday night won their third Stanley Cup in six years. They are the National Hockey League franchise all others aspire to be: iconic, full of tradition, great.
They stand atop the league's 30 clubs. At the bottom, by performance anyway, are the Buffalo Sabres.
You all read and heard it the last few months just like I did: despite the
Look closely and you'll see Mike Babcock over there paying $7 for a bagel.
As I write to you today the sun is shining on my back. Outside to my right, some fruit trees. To my left, the Upper Niagara River. It's a pleasant 56 degrees, climbing toward a predicted 70. A woman behind me leaving the bank this morning complained that it wasn't warmer out. "It's summer!", she exclaimed.
If cigars didn't turn my stomach I'd be up for one. It's time to light a smoke, squint, and sit with what the Sabres have accomplished.
Despite the incessant ink-stained protestations that have hassled them for months, the Sabres greet this day in prime position for a rise to power. It wasn't easy, and it wasn't popular, but they did exactly what they should have: take it
The winner and contender for the next 10-15 years is ...
Here, skies are bright and it's just not the weather. Not everything in life is hockey, no, but for the last couple of months I've felt like it is. I stepped, willingly, into the cauldron that was the controversial 2014-15 Sabres season, and when the race for last place tightened in recent weeks, because of my job I had no way out. I lost sleep. I was
Wasn't it fun being on ESPN last week? Who knew they still had our address?
Last Thursday's overtime Sabres loss to Arizona provided good fodder for national sports talk, with fans openly rooting for the opponent. Kornheiser and Wilbon discussed our emotions on "PTI", and Van Pelt and Russillo did the same on their ESPN Radio show. So did Mike Greenberg on his, which
None of those hockey players on my childhood pajamas was a Top-2 pick.
Monday night in sports the Edmonton Oilers poured in four goals on the time it took me to drive from downtown Buffalo to Grand Island and, by winning their game, moved five points ahead of the Sabres at the very bottom of the NHL standings.
A chance to breathe.
Arizona, meanwhile, fell 1-0 in Los Angeles and is now tied with Edmonton for 28th. The Coyotes and Oilers have tonight off while
Twenty-two Sabres games to go and the quest for last place and Captain Generational McEichel is far from over. The gap was eight points but now it's five and Edmonton and Arizona still can't (won't?) pull away. The NHL trade deadline is in six days, a last chance of sorts for teams to spin off expiring veterans for future maybes.
The Sabres are the worst National Hockey League team imaginable. They are last in almost every category -- goals, goals allowed, power play, Corsi, Fenwick, you name it. The fact that they are 29th out of 30 in penalty killing gets rewarded here with its own sentence.
The one thing we were sure of after last year's 52-point effort -- 21 wins in 82 tries -- is that this season's team
We like how they sound but they don't mean much. That's how I'd sum up the words Rex Ryan's been using to describe his feelings on the Bills team he just inherited. Everyone can tell he's got a lot of confidence, and experience, but a peek at his Jets record doesn't make him out to be too different than other recent Bills hires. (Dick Jauron was 36-49 upon being hired
I love Steve Martin but I hated \"Planes, Trains and Automobiles\".
So he wanted all season to leave, or he didn't. So they wanted him to stay, or they didn't. So he restricted Sammy Watkins' productivitiy to spite Doug Whaley, or Doug Marrone didn't. So they want people of their choosing in the organization's biggest jobs, or Terry and Kim Pegula don't.
However it all went down, here we are: the Bills' new owners are out in the