Brad's Final ENTRY Before we Pick Our NEXT GREAT SABRES BLOGGER!
Sabres (13-31-7) vs. Bruins (29-14-6), May 1st 2021 – 1:00 ET, TD Garden Boston
May Day (April 24, 1993)
There has been a pain in my side about this team for as long as I can remember. Simply put, the Black and Gold makes me sweat anytime I analyze the history. It is like the Dolphins and the Bills, for my generation it just does not go away. I want the readers and the fans to reconnect with the fact that anytime Buffalo lands at Logan it is to be taken seriously. “The Big Dig” is that we are not worthy, that we as a community are a joke, that we don’t add up because we are buried in a quadratic equation of snow. But we don’t ever subject ourselves to this notion in any way, shape, or form. I think both our professional organizations are turning the corner. We just might be getting their number; how do you like them apples?
I am not going to lick my opponent like the other Brad, or inadvertently throw out a knee on knee. I might make it look like I am going for the puck however, and position myself for a good shot, to the ribs… The digital referees will definitely make the call though, and I am ready to own who I am unlike the coward on the Bruins that I just referenced.
Hank the tank. You might have a lot of friends, but possibly I am streaking?
Let’s be completely honest. Does anybody really care about the records and or statistics at this point in the season? Before the internet the box score helped me with my computer, my brain. Just like now, as it was back then, I knew how my team was doing by observance and the information that was available. I would wait for my favorite upper classman to be finished with the Globe and grab the sports section. My hometown soul was always disturbed by the articles that were biasly written. It is just the nature of demographics, and the way sports gives one a preconceived portrait of their enemy. I am not going to lie, back then I hated NESN, Will McDonough, and if I saw Derek Sanderson choking on a quahog, I might pat him on the back. If only Robb Stauber would have used that glove properly in game seven… If Rick Vaive could have taken one more pounding in front of the net across that enormous neck brace he borrowed from Steve Grogan. Those Hobey Baker Award winners seem to gravitate to our team... Stauber, Holzinger, Drury, Miller, Leopold, Porter, Vesey, and of course number 9…
The game preview folks? The ironic thing about this global crisis is that we are watching competitive hockey in May for the first time in a long period, instead of turning our heads as we look at the scene of an accident that could have been easily avoided. We have a coach who has changed the dynamics of this team in record fashion. With the schedule and repetitive common opponents, teams have learned what Granato and our band of misfits are trying to do and have reacted accordingly to combat the freshness. Its pretty apparent that we have been able to adjust with a counter attack as well. We have someone who is thriving behind the bench and showing capability to learn on the fly. Whatever happens, this is not going to be lost on me or the hockey world. The record is average at best, but what we were enduring before was unacceptable. The staff and the players are to be commended.
There was a young man who worked for a printing company as a graphic designer / digital copy guy straight out of college. One day a woman came in as he was manning the front counter and told him to make copies of a will, bind them, and to make sure that it was completely confidential. When done, please come to the Delaware North building and ask for me she said. Thinking nothing of it, the enthusiastic employee got to work and finished the task in a timely fashion. Looking at the cover title of the document a smirk came across his face as he realized it represented the wishes of the owner of a franchise that has been nothing but a nemesis. A despised rivalry that in his mind would never be extinguished. As he rode the elevator carrying the thirty-pound package in both hands, he secretly thought of slipping a profound message in between the pages at the cost of his job. As the doors opened, there in front of his eyes was something more to the torture he was enduring. Encased in glass was a stuffed bear, a Bruin. It was like a beacon or an antenna in one of our taller buildings, bringing a bad web of energy unknown to so many of us faithful fans.
A Buffalonian is in charge of the purse strings, a Buffalonian is the proprietor of something that causes us anguish.
Devoted disciples of our beloved Sabres, there is a family that lives among us and has celebrated an NHL championship while smiling behind closed doors.
Cashman vs. Shoenfeld…
So many more to mention that we all have no fondness for.
Sabres fans. Apparently, Adam Creighton is one of their pro scouts now. Ugh. Perhaps 10th overall pick Normand Lacombe is waiting in the wings while kissing his Edmonton Oilers Stanley Cup Ring.
Beam me up Scotty...
Don Granato, you inspire me. “I would rather have a player try to make a play and have a turnover than have him aimlessly dump the puck into a spot where there is no possibility of retrieval”. Man crush anybody?
Oh yeah, five more games to go and no numeric proposal for the tilt that is going to memorize us all before the jockeys’ mount for the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Seriously though, you have read my analysis in my previous three blogs and we all have said what is transpiring before us. Reinhart has complete consistency despite the tribulations of his supporting cast, and has shown he is worthy of being the leader of the group. Dahlin, Cozens, Asplund, and Mittelstadt are proving themselves to be up to the task, as well as many other players who have been given the opportunity. As the season winds down, getting a look at Mattias Samuelsson and Luukkonen is encouraging and enjoyable. In a peculiar way we are sitting at home again with hope. With a few healthy veterans back in the lineup the whole dynamic changes for the better. Unfortunate result on Thursday night but if you have the time to sit back and relax on Saturday to watch your hometown team there is finally a silver lining. Focus on a shift of one of these revitalized and or rookie players. They are putting in the effort and carrying the sword with pride. The Bruins are just currently on another level but we are not as far behind as many think.
Everyone remembers Brad May’s goal of that sweep that erased some demons. What some people don’t conceptualize about that game however, is that the moment the puck was dropped he made it his mission to terrorize and disrupt a hall of famer named Ray Bourque. He frequently made him taste the boards with energized hits and controlled the physical tone of the game. When it was time to receive the pass from LaFontaine who was basically playing on one leg, he was ready. He made two dekes of a lifetime that were uncharacteristic. His number one target was the first to over commit and the frozen Moog was statuesque. One could only dream of this new congregation of athletes harnessing that type of wave. I believe the tide is changing. We are no longer watching a Tsunami. Live in the moment and play the game for fun. For each other, for your family, for the fans of the city you represent. Make your own historical highlight that nobody will ever forget. We all are ready to embrace you.
Thanks to everyone who has read what I have had to say during this competition. It has been a pleasure putting myself out there against worthy candidates who have knowledge and passion.
It’s pretty great to participate in a community that voices their opinions.
This has all been pretty exhausting but I can’t wait for the new season.
Save the tissues, I could carve your eye out with a flick of the wrist.
The only Mike I think we should all drop is Milbury…
Together we stand, we are all part of the Buffalo herd.