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New York, NY • United States • 2013 Years Old • Male
It's Sunday morning and you spent all of last night basking in drink after drink. You were the life of the party, from what you remember anyway, and even that's a blur - almost seems like a lifetime ago. You're still gaining your senses this morning and you have a horrible feeling in the gut of your stomach. You don't want to do a THING today.

Now you know what the Sabres felt like after their ecstasy-driven, almost-too-good-to-be-true ascension to the top of the National Hockey League in 2006-2007. They were awarded the President's Trophy. They were the best of the best, on top. They wobbled/stumbled/(enter your own synonym) through the playoffs, still high on their tremendous regular season accomplishments, and they were dealt an untimely ending to a glorious ride by the Ottawa Senators. Yep, that's when they passed out.

Thing is....it all seemed like a blur, a lifetime ago, when Drury-Briere were on their merry way and suddenly the Sabres weren't the "cool thing" in the NHL anymore. That's how 07-08 started. They stumbled out of the gate, losing 6-2 in their home opener to the Islanders, who they dispatched of 4 games to the 1 in the playoffs just a few months earlier.

Then there was a new distraction thrown into the mix. No longer the life of the party, the cream of the crop in the NHL, this Buffalo team turned to drugs. Hey, just try to follow me a second, will you? Haha. I have a point here. The Brian Campbell distraction. Talk about a cancer for a team. It lingered with them all season long. Their drug problem and continued drinking addiction let to problems on and off the ice, injuries, and let's just say a looong year. Even when they rid themselves of Soupy, finally removing that huge elephant in the locker room that the media flocked to after every game, and began purging themselves of the demons of the past, it was too late. They were too far behind in the hunt. And a valiant effort in the final weeks of the season fell 3 points short of a playoff berth.

Guess what? No more excuses. The core of the team has been signed, sealed and delivered for the next 4-5-6 years thanks to Sabres management over the offseason. This Buffalo team has been working out all summer, and best of all, they've been sober. No more problems, no more addictions. Just a TEAM again. A TEAM.

The Drury/Briere hangover is finally over with. It's 08-09 now. The Sabres can get back on their rightful footing, with sky-high morale, and march into the season in better condition, and with better feelings, than have been felt for a long, long time. It's all about picking up where they left off because they finished last year great. Teppo Numminen, in his one game, helped the Sabres turn aside the playoff-bound Bruins in Beantown. He made a world of a difference to the team because he was gone all year to that point. He's the type of guy, and veteran leader, that keeps the team OUT OF DRUGS, AWAY FROM THE BOOZE, and focused on the prize...that ultimate prize: The Stanley Cup.

This team is ready. Vanek finally started to play his game at the end of last year and is turning into a real fine leader; Pommer brought the team to new heights as Captain (I hope he's Captain again this year, he makes a great one); et al. Enter Rivet, enter Numminen, enter Lalime, and let's fast forward to a new year.

The Drury/Briere days are FINALLY OVER. It's a new team now, with a new storyline. A new core, a new era, a new age. Back to what we've loved all along, Sabres nation. Buffalo Sabres hockey.
Filed Under:   vanek   pominville   briere   drury   sabres   buffalo   miller  
September 20, 2008 8:15 AM ET | Delete
How dare you speak those names. ;) Honestly, those 2 were not something new to the historical past of the Sabres. It has happened, and will happen, many times again in the future. So I agree we are ready, last year was a growth year - this year they've got to prove they are ready for the fight.
September 20, 2008 11:28 AM ET | Delete
VANEK - ROY - POMINVILLEHECHT - CONNOLLY - KOTALIKPAILLE - GAUSTAD - STAFFORDPETERS - MAIR - AFINOGENOVGERBE - KALETASPACEK - RIVETLYDMAN - TALLINDERNUMMINEN - SEKERAWEBER - PAETSCHMILLERLALIMEThat's my take on the Buffalo Sabres line combinations. Feel free to critique my work! They look like a pretty decent team on paper! Good luck Sabres!
September 20, 2008 1:01 PM ET | Delete
blueshirts, you're pretty much right on with these lines. I think it's most likely though that Stafford will start with Vanek and Roy because they've been successful in the past, and maybe you'd see Hecht-Connolly-Pominville, and Paille-Gaustad-Kotalik. I think Gerbe COULD crack the team, but we'll see. Thanks for the post.
September 20, 2008 4:01 PM ET | Delete
Afinogenov on the 4th line? really? If he doesn't repair his game this season and move up to one of the top two lines he might as well go play in the KHL next year. I think he'll bounce back though.
September 20, 2008 5:07 PM ET | Delete
It maybe over but i'll never forget it!!
September 20, 2008 10:12 PM ET | Delete
Now that the Sabres have finally purged Drury and Biere, they can achieve the heights that they could not have achieved if those two had remained. I think Max is next to go. He just doesn't seem to be able to settle into an athletic rapport with his line mates. He is superbly talented but undisciplined. He really belongs in a run and gun league.What is most encouraging is that the core players have been playing together now for several years. They have demonstrated that they have the cohesiveness of well disciplined unit. I think they may be ready to push it over the top.
September 21, 2008 12:28 AM ET | Delete
agreed geolover, agreed 100%. those two guys who i wont be mentioning anymore (not saying their names anymore!) couldn't lead us to the Cup, but this core - i believe - can. I'm not sure it's this year though, I'm thinking two years from now we'll be serious contenders. Though if we get in the playoffs this year - and I believe we will - we will be dangerous and can't be taken lightly.
September 21, 2008 2:12 AM ET | Delete
Can we please stop talking about Drury/Briere? It has been over a year since they left, it is time for us to MOVE ON. I get so pissed everytime someone mentions Drury/Briere. It was sweet while they were here, but they arnt here any more, so lets please stop talking about them.
September 21, 2008 2:13 AM ET | Delete
note: I know i have a flames logo, but im also a really big sabre fan
September 21, 2008 10:03 AM ET | Delete
Briere is going to have a big year folks. He'll have Gags back and perhaps Richie on his line as well. Lookout.
September 21, 2008 12:39 PM ET | Delete
Good luck with your overpriced midget Phillyfan12
September 21, 2008 2:23 PM ET | Delete
I thought you were talking about my saturday night until you brought up the sabres
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