The end has come for the Buffalo Sabres. The Philadelphia Flyers were too much for the surging Sabres as the recent losses to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Toronto were crucial points that could have saved the Buffalo Sabres season. Instead – the Sabres will skate for the last time on foreign ice – without giving their home fans another glimpse of 2011-2012. The next time we see the team in Buffalo, it will be locker cleanout day, and potentially the last day for some to see their name on a blue and gold sweater.
Today’s game went from having potentially serious playoff implications – there was a very short time ago that the Buffalo Sabres could have hoped to be playing for the division today; but instead Boston has clinched the Northeast Division for the second straight year; and the Buffalo Sabres find themselves preparing for next year already.
Rookies who have made impacts this season have been sent to Rochester, with the hopes of winning in their final five games of the season. The outlook is bleak there as well, they sit two points behind the Charlotte Checkers for the final spot in the West, and like their parent club, will need a lot of help from the out of town scoreboard in the final days leading up to the end of the AHL season.
You wanted to make the playoffs, even if it meant a first round out for the players. Even if it were just four games – you give guys that have never felt the rush of an NHL playoff game, you gain that experience in not great years; so that when the chance to strike is there – the iron is still hot. With Easter tomorrow, many will use the seasonable nice weather to make final preparations for the holiday, or many will move on to their post season rituals which involve anything but hockey. I will watch the game; but only if the opportunity for the free time is available. If I forget, I won’t loose any sleep over it.
With that in mind, the Buffalo Sabres have one last professional hockey game to play in the NHL as part of the final day of the 2011-2012 regular season. The Stanley Cup Playoffs start on April 11, and this organization has its eyes on April 16th now, the start of the Calder Trophy playoffs. Disappointing for a fan base and an ownership who were looking for so much more, but this is still only the first full season of Pegula’s reign as the kingpin of the franchise, we’ve waiting 41 years for the raising of the most prized trophy in all of sports, whats one more off season.
Try not to miss today’s game. With nothing to play for, the interesting match-up between long time division rivals could end up being a very exciting game.