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Sabres 'Underachieved', Fans 'Crushed'

Ouch. Buffalo News columnist Bucky Gleason calls it like he sees it. Good Sunday morning reading -- unless you're a Sabres fan.

The crowd's reaction was predictable after the Senators won, 3-2, in overtime and reached the Stanley Cup finals. At first [Buffalo] fans were confused. Within seconds, they were crushed. They started with a warm applause, an ovation that gained momentum before ultimately falling short, much like the very team in which they had invested their souls for two years.
You'll hear plenty from the organization about how the Sabres entertained their fans for two seasons and how the future looks bright. But there's no getting around the fact that this team ultimately underachieved. A good many fans should wake up today feeling cheated.

And ...

The sad reality is that the Sabres could already be a year removed from their best chance to win it all. This team is about to change, and chances are it's not going to be for the better. This was the year.
All things considered, the Sabres' exit from the postseason has to be the most disappointing ending in franchise history. They were a giant in the new and improved NHL, the best team in the league. Anything less than a parade down Delaware Avenue would be deemed a failure, by the Sabres, by management, by you.

I'm not so sure the Sabres underachieved. I think the Senators are just that good. When the playoffs began, lots of folks thought Ottawa was the most complete club in the league. I agreed with them. And now the Sens are proving it.

As for the NBC debacle, I'm glad I had other obligations and wasn't sitting in front of my TV. Because I'm not so sure I would still have a TV.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 20, 2007; 10:03 AM ET
 
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Comments

I think the Sabres played their hearts out. Ottawa proved to be the better team.
Sometimes it seems so obvious that some of the press is so mean-spirited to tear down others whether they be a team or an individual, just to further their career.
While I was not surprised to see Ottawa win, and I am glad to see Bryan Murray get a shot at the Cup, I also thought Buffalo had a great season as well. I can only hope that the Caps get in this same position as Buffalo was in the near future.
At least they got as far as they did, while the Caps didn't even get more than 70 points. Let's put it in perspective.

Posted by: kenhockey | May 20, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

In regards to NBC; I hope Bettman gets blamed for this.... Cause this was a travesty. Absolutly disrespectful and heads need to roll. They new the preakness has priority, the NHL should never have agreed to making it a mid day game. Don't put the hockey game that early. Make it a night game, keep it on Versus. This was a disgrace. I hope the entire NHL Front Office gets canned for this. Screw Bettman.

Posted by: Go Skins Go | May 20, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik, have you seen this rumor about the caps trading for Zinojev fom Boston.

Here is the link I saw: http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/view/3990

Anyone know how good he is?

Posted by: Go Skins Go | May 20, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

What NBC did was disgusting. They wouldn't have done that to any other sport. It was a slap in the face, made worse by not even telling the viewers that the game could be seen on VS and that NBC would not be showing it any longer so they could do an hour lead-in to a 45 second horse race. Clement should have had the cojones to tell viewers they could switch the channel. When is Bettman going to be let go? How could the owners keep faith in this utterly incompetent man? The NHL really is becoming a joke and beyond the rule changes and ref-ing, Saturdays game proved it. Except that none of the fans are laughing.

Posted by: MM | May 20, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

NBC is in the business of making money, so what they did makes sense to me and no one should blame them. Can you imagine all of the horse racing fans screaming if NBC continued to broadcast the game?

Die hard hockey fans switched to VS to watch the game and it was no big deal. Frankly, I think die hard hockey fans are the only people watching the playoffs anyway.

Posted by: Harry | May 20, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Harry -- you are right I did switch the game and not miss a beat. But i had stepped away from the TV and they were showing the Pre race report. No scrolling banner no nothing. Just horse racing like the game never happend. NBC should have said the game has been moved to Versus. That would have been 'classy'.

As for the NHL; Its like this, Bettman and his fearless crew decided that Hockey at 2pm on NBC, is more important and more 'meaningful' then a game starting at 730/8 on versus.

Why is hockey loosing fans? Cause of crap like this. If there was a Commish with a spine and some business sense the NHL would be in much better shape. They would not have been in this situation if they had a REAL commish

Posted by: Go Skins Go | May 20, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Harry -- you are right I did switch the game and not miss a beat. But i had stepped away from the TV and they were showing the Pre race report. No scrolling banner no nothing. Just horse racing like the game never happend. NBC should have said the game has been moved to Versus. That would have been 'classy'.

As for the NHL; Its like this, Bettman and his fearless crew decided that Hockey at 2pm on NBC, is more important and more 'meaningful' then a game starting at 730/8 on versus.

Why is hockey loosing fans? Cause of crap like this. If there was a Commish with a spine and some business sense the NHL would be in much better shape. They would not have been in this situation if they had a REAL commish

Posted by: Go Skins Go | May 20, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Harry -- you are right I did switch the game and not miss a beat. But i had stepped away from the TV and they were showing the Pre race report. No scrolling banner no nothing. Just horse racing like the game never happend. NBC should have said the game has been moved to Versus. That would have been 'classy'.

As for the NHL; Its like this, Bettman and his fearless crew decided that Hockey at 2pm on NBC, is more important and more 'meaningful' then a game starting at 730/8 on versus.

Why is hockey loosing fans? Cause of crap like this. If there was a Commish with a spine and some business sense the NHL would be in much better shape. They would not have been in this situation if they had a REAL commish

Posted by: Go Skins Go | May 20, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

i have a question when can we see the new uniforms?

Posted by: mahlail | May 20, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

june 22

Posted by: Anonymous | May 20, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The game was completely unavailable in Baltimore due to all-afternoon Preakness coverage on the local NBC affiliate. This would have been understandable (the Preakness is, after all, local news here) if they had anything of interest to discuss for four hours before the race, but instead of the deciding game of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals I was subjected to stuff like watching people do paintings of horses which I could then, if my art tastes were kitsch enough, purchase on e-Bay. In case anyone was wondering, bad horse painting is no consolation for missing a hockey match.

Posted by: alex | May 20, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I thought that little move by NBC was horrible b/c I don't even have VS to be able to see the end of the game!!! Luckily I was able to log onto the internet and hear the end of the game! This is all so frustrating!

Posted by: kate | May 20, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Buffalo's loss is Washington's gain. The Caps now move up a few spots in the draft order thanks to them owning the Sabres' 1st round pick. Now Zubrus, it's time for you to come home. And be realistic 4 years and $13 million is more than a generous offer.

Capital Fanatic
http://www.capitalfanatic.com

Posted by: Capital Fanatic | May 20, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I was travelling this weekend and at a hotel in North Carolina where they didn't get VS. I agree that NBC is in the business of making money, but what they were showing while the OT was being played was a bunch of rich guys talking about their very expensive pets, not broadcasting the action in another sports event. That respect for the game has slipped so far that NBC would even consider treating NHL fans the way it did is ridiculous; and frankly, whether it's Bettman's fault or not, as commissioner the fans ought to hold him accountable and see what he ultimately does.

Posted by: Fred | May 20, 2007 9:30 PM | Report abuse

I hated the Sabres and all their bandwagon fans anyway. Now their pick given to the Caps is slightly higher.

Posted by: Graham | May 21, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you Go Skins Go, a scrolling banner would have taken little thought and effort on NBC's part. If switching to VS wasn't enough, they lost a greater proportion of the casual audience by not making more anouncements of the switch.

What a debacle.

Posted by: slappy | May 21, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Uh, isn't playoff finish irrelevant to draft pick order. Won't Buffalo's first round pick still be the last one of the round?

Posted by: alpca3877 | May 22, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

No, the Cup winning team always has the 30th pick. Before this year the rest of the 29 teams were determined by regular season standings (I think). This year the format was changed so that the farther you go in the playoffs, the lower in the round your draft pick would be. This is why I was cheering for Buffalo to go out as early as possible (damn you Islanders).

The pick is still in the twenties. But there will still be some decent prospects up for grabs. This draft is allegedly a good one to have a lot of picks in the 15 to 45 range.

Posted by: Graham | May 22, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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