With the recent departures of Co-Captains Daniel Breire & Chris Drury a lot of people have written off the 2007-2008 Buffalo Sabres. Not this fan! Well not anymore atleast.
Let’s take a minute to look back at this time in 2005. Many experts and fans around the league didn’t expect the Sabres to make the playoffs yet reach the ECF. The Sabres fought numerous injuries to key players through out the season and playoffs, only to come within 20 minutes of the team’s goal: to play for Lord Stanley’s Cup.
That brings us to the 2006-2007 campaign. With high expectations, Buffalo stormed out of the gate to a 10-0-0 start. They also obtained points in 17 of the first 20 games of the year. They had their tough spots. Like a 6-8 January. Followed by 8-3 in February. Then 11-8 in March & April combined. Due to Buffalo’s amazing hot start they secured home ice advantage through out the NHL Playoffs. The high flying Sabres put together an impressive Presidents trophy winning season. But Buffalo’s inconsistent play in the second half of the season led to their demise. Was it a lack of desperation in their game? Problems in the locker room? Or did they just get uninterested? Who knows except for the 22 guys in the locker room? Change was coming; the writing was on the wall.
One has to wonder if the Sabres thought it was coming to easy. Let’s face it. How many of you were ever worried in the first half of the season if they got down by 2 or 3. We just sat back and wondered when Lindy was going to flip the switch? Or was it that this team didn’t do as well when they were the favorite to take it all?
I honestly think that Lindy’s Sabres do better as the underdog. In 05-06 no one expected them to do anything let alone make the playoffs. What did they do? Make the ECF for the third time under Ruff’s watch. A lot of fans were probably ready to burn down the arena after July, 1st, myself included. But after the smoke has thinned, I have come to this conclusion: Watch out NHL!!!!! Don’t take the 07-08 Sabres squad for granted. They WILL use the loss of Drury, Briere & Zubrus as motivation. A motivated club is a Dangerous club. Lindy knows how Motivate, and to use his teams strengths & weaknesses to his advantage. They will once again gain a new identity on & off the ice. New leaders will emerge and new stars will be born. Will Campbell come out of his shell and lead this team as we all expect? Can Connolly stay healthy? Are Adam Mair & Paul Gaustad ready for added responsibilities? Will Regier & Co. learn from their mistakes? Only time will tell what’s in store for this year’s squad. I think the NHL will once again be suprised
Now I’m not predicting them to go to the cup finals and win it all but, stranger things have happened.