The Sabres’ past season and the final episode of the Sopranos have a few things in common. The Sabres built up the hopes and dreams of the City of Buffalo for its first ever significant national championship. We, Sabres fans, have seen this team develop over the years with big wins, strong efforts and winning streaks that led to the best record in the NHL’s regular season this year. The President’s Trophy was meant to be the hor d'oeurve to something bigger and better. Most Sabres fans felt that if the Stanley Cup was not won this year, then free agency would take a vicious toll on this team and the window for winning Lord Stanley’s Cup would be slammed shut. There is a paranoid feeling among some fans that the best hope was yesterday; and will be whacked on July 1st in a vicious action by another hungry team who will steal the heart, and soul of the Sabres if/when they sign and take Chris Drury and/or Daniel Briere away from them.
The last episode of The Soprano’s was viewed by many to be a limp finale after a monstrous buildup that few shows have enjoyed or, perhaps, felt the burden of. Like the Sabres season where a Stanley Cup would only satisfy it’s starving fans, a fierce and complete ending would only satisfy the fans of The Sopranos who have seen more people taken out over its eight year existence then showed up at the Anaheim Stanley Cup celebration this past weekend. The bloodier the more complete many believed.
Just as the Sabres went down to Ottawa in a wilted, lame, five game series, The Sopranos ended with the screen going blank. As Sabres fans wonder what happened and what needs to occur to end our starvation for a championship, Soprano fans are scratching their heads today, asking why there was such a weak effort at the end by the show’s writers. The subtle ending was a distinct paradox to the bloody, loud and boorish actions that were part of most Soprano episodes.
Just as the Sabres scored early and often and still came up with nothing to show for it, the Soprano’s entertained in a frantic sort of way, but in conclusion, ended with nothing more than a dark and mysterious screen to perplex and disappoint its stanch supporters.