Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Thank You Buffalo Sabres

The 2013 regular season is over for the Buffalo Sabres, and my initial reaction to the end of the season is, “Thank You Sabres.”

It has been a long year, with plenty of ups and downs; more downs than ups.

We saw records broken.  Ryan Miller is now the most winning goaltender in Buffalo Sabres history, and has 500 games in a blue and gold sweater.

We saw the core further dismantled, with no more Lindy Ruff and the population of Pominville receiving a new zip code.

We got tougher, forgot how to play defense and the locker room damn near imploded on itself.

If I had any sense of graphic design, this year’s Buffalo Sabres season would make for one hell of a funny Jib Jab video.

Have we seen the last of Ryan Miller or Thomas Vanek?  What exactly will the team look like come the start of next season?

The only thing that I know is, that I have written my fair share of unkind words about this team this year.  I had plenty to say about how awful they were- how things needed to change – and even at times how magical it could be if they could pull out a playoff bid.

I wrote more this year, this site reached 2,000 articles, and has a strong team of writers and a great following.  I never thought we would reach this point when we started in the late winter of 2009. Yet today we are exceeding all expectations and still growing strong.  There will be plenty more to come – so don’t stop visiting just because the season is over.  I even took a step back – regained some of my “fandom” that I had lost by engrossing myself so much in my writing.  Despite missing the playoffs – I had fun this year.

Thank you Sabres – for despite all your faults – there is no getting rid of you.  You could be the last place team in the league for years running- and I will still be here.  You could never win a Stanley Cup – but I will hold onto hope that this will be the year you surprise me with a victory.  I will miss you dearly as sixteen teams battle for the greatest trophy in the sporting world.  I will put aside my loyalties to root for even my most hated rivals in the playoffs, for there shall be times when some teams just need to win no matter how much we hate them – but I will forever bleed blue and gold, and look forward to next season.

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