Toronto - March 12, 2015 - Following every Sabres game, we’ll be taking a little look at the previous night’s action with a little segment called “good, bad and ugly”. Expect a loooooooot of ugly.
No, you fools! Lose in regulation, don’t gain any more points! Let’s get into the Sabres’ frustrating 4-3 shootout loss to the Maple Leafs.
A lot of people don’t seem to be following me on this, but I think Tyler Ennis is not only a very legitimate building block for this team going forward, but I think that on a good team he could a good second-line scoring option. Ennis was very good last night, picking up a goal and a pair of assists in the most competitive game the Sabres have had in ages.
Speaking of Ennis, that top line of he, Matt Moulson and Johan Larsson looked very good on the night and was basically the only offense the Sabres generated. They each had a goal and two assists on the night and generally looked like the most competent offensive unit the Sabres have had in a long time. Caveat is that this is the Leafs we’re talking about, so I’m sure the trio will go right back to being ineffective as soon as they hit the ice for the next game, but it’s nice to see flashes here and there, isn’t it?
You know where this is going.
Edmonton has not been making the tank effort easy. Every game feels like a playoff game, but in that inverse sense where every loss is really important. It’s hard to understand unless you’re in this position, I guess.
It sucks having to root for your team to lose, but it sucks infinitely more to be openly upset when your team gains a point in the standings. Do you realize how ass-backwards that feels? I fully understand why some people are so anti-tank: this feeling sucks and I can’t wait for it to go away as soon as possible. The only reason I’m rooting for it is because it is so obviously the shot a franchise like the Sabres needs, that it’d be stupid for them to be anything close to this bad and not land one of those two picks. It’s like suffering through awful, uncomfortable workouts with the knowledge that you’ll be shredded soon enough. It sucks getting there, but the payoff will be worth it.
At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
I haven’t cared about NHL hockey all year and that bothers me. This is what happens when your favorite franchise is hot garbage on a platter. And yes, I know that I asked for all of this and I’ll obviously be glad when the draft rolls around.
Having said that, thank god this tank thing is almost done. I want to enjoy games again. I want to have an interest in who wins and who loses and actually be interested in my team winning. I want to not cringe every time my team scores or wonder what some other awful team is doing in their game. Most of all, I hate telling myself that this will totally be worth it and not knowing if I really mean that or if I’m just convincing myself that it will be.
I keep joking about how it would be the most Buffalo thing ever for the Sabres to tank this hard and not land one of the two big prizes in the draft, but as a sports fan, I’ve never been more afraid of anything ever. Not that the franchise would be crippled if they didn’t land Eicehl or McDavid, but they’ve banked so hard on this – WE’VE banked so hard on this – that it would be crushing to not land either. There has been too much suffering on a fandom level to not land one of those two and it scares me to think of how it’ll feel if that comes to fruition.
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