The preseason is over, rosters are set, and there is, for lack of a better term, a fresh sheet of ice to be skated on. The Sabres stand idle on the first night of action as three of the five Northeast division teams take to the ice tonight.
These young Sabres still have much to prove, and many are hoping that the growing pains are over, and that the young leaders, with the help of a few seasoned veterans can propel this team into the post season.
As the first puck drop of the season opens up, only one real question remains,
“Is this the year?”
I highly doubt this is the year the Sabres contend for a Stanley Cup, but weirder things have happened. What is a better fit for this years squad are the following Is this the year questions:
Is this the year that Tim Connolly skates an entire season without an injury? Heading into his seventh year as a Buffalo Sabre, he has one full 82 game season (his first, the second season he played 80 games). He has never been higher than 63 games since.
Is this the year that Darcy Regier pulls the trigger on a trade that will bring more than a rented has been or has never been player to help his team reach the playoffs? The Sabres general manager has been at the help for an unprecedented tenure with very little to show for it. With a pretty decent talent pool of prospects, is this the year he can find a team willing to take some of his dead weight?
Is this the year the Sabres can finally overcome the curse of the Senator and beat the Sens in a regular season game? Since the lockout season the Sens have pretty much owned the Buffalo Sabres in the regular season.
Is this the year that Lindy Ruff learns to manage his goaltenders? I can’t blame him for not learning. When you have Dominik Hasek in net for as long as he did, who needed a backup goaltender. Good he is, but Ryan Miller is no Dominik Hasek, and crease management is going to be even more important to be Buffalo Sabres given this is an Olympic year and Miller will probably get a call for Vancouver.
All I can say is, I am glad its here, and what a ride it will be.