Forewarning: If Don Cherry is nicknamed Grapes, for this article, you may nickname me Gripes.
Tonight, the Buffalo Sabres go against the Boston Bruins, a team that I utterly despise. I do not care if the Bruins used to be the NHL affiliate of my hometown Rochester Americans, that was a decade before my birth.
In the Adams Division days, the Bruins were the team that knocked the Sabres out of the playoffs 5 times in 10 years during my first decade of life, often in bitter and bloody bench-clearing contests.
Only 2 seasons ago, the Bruins were the team that cheaply knocked Thomas Vanek out of the playoffs in Game 2.
This season, the Bruins were the team that ultimately caused the derailing of the Sabres great start, and sent the team, fans, and all of Pegulaville into a downward spiral following the infamous Milan Lucic-Ryan Miller incident.
More recently, the Sabres have been back on track, not having lost a game in regulation for the past 4 games. Unfortunately, the Sabres can only afford to lose approximately 7 of the final 30 games in order to hold hopes of returning to the postseason this year, as Chris Elardo pointed out in his article yesterday. Including tonight’s matchup, 4 of these final 30 games are against those Bruins that I hate.
With their cheap, cheating, chippy, chirpy style of hockey, Sabres fans can only hope for the best and expect the worst. With attempt-to-injure artists like Lucic, Johnny Boychuk and Brad Marchand on the ice, you never know who might get slashed, steamrolled, or slammed headfirst into the boards. There are also lovely personalities like the middle-finger flicking Andrew Ference. Zdeno Chara might even be listening to ‘Break Ya Neck’ by Busta Rhymes prior to the game.
These are the same Bruins that skated around the ice with the Stanley Cup, celebrating AGAIN, at the BEGINNING of this season. Honestly, who does that? Oh thats right, Boston does.
Andrew’s Believe It Or Not: In the last 10 games, the Bruins are only one win better than the Sabres.
Despite the Sabres 4-game hot streak, it may be too little, too late. This was the type of run that fans were hoping for in December or January – instead, we were given a 12 road game losing streak. The Sabres good play of late, is kind of like giving your girlfriend roses and chocolates a month after you did something wrong. (Speaking of which, Valentines Day is coming up in 6 days fellas)
Amidst the muck, mire, and misery of this season is the TWC/MSG squabble. Having tonights game televised nationally, and the game this coming Saturday being televised regionally, does not quell my disdain for the dispute.
Certain players may have stepped their game up recently, but that should not spare some specific individuals from needing to be reassessed and re-evaluated. Get out your magnifying glasses and measuring sticks, because tonight’s game will determine exactly where the Sabres are talent-wise. It will show what the Sabres have, or lack, in their hearts. Tonight will be a preview of the chances the Sabres have of joining the postseason this year.
After all, it wasn’t Milan Lucic, nor the Bruins, who ruined our season.
It was the (non)reaction and (non)response of the Sabres that did.