Friday, June 02, 2006


Chateau du Buffalo Whine: Vintage 2006

Now that the Hurricanes won a hard-fought battle over the Buffalo Sabres (Now, that was some great hockey), the finals are set between the "small market hooligans" from Edmonton and the "team from the southern market everyone else hates" Hurricanes.

I can understand how some Sabres fans must feel a bit cheated that their best chance to win a cup in some time was ruined by the decimation of their defence corps. It can be somewhat hard to swallow a series defeat that was so narrow, knowing that a full defence corps MIGHT have been enough to push them over the edge.

Still, It's unfortunate that certain Sabres fans, like "MATT" at SabresReport, have to take a page out of the Daniel Briere school of petty whining and show their lack of class and honour in defeat. Klingons, they are not.

Well, Buffalo’s magic run is over. Not because they got outplayed, not because they ran into a better team, but because of bad breaks. Period. Everyone came into this series saying how “well matched” they were and how “close the teams” were. In the end? It wasn’t even close. Buffalo is the far better team. As a matter of fact, the best team left in the NHL is being sent home.

Which team finished higher in the standings? Which team won the series? It certainly wasn't Buffalo. The 'best' team was Carolina and they advanced.
Live with it.

If these teams were so close, this series wouldn’t have gone 7. If this was truly a pick’em matchup, it would have been over in 5 or 6. Once Numinen bit it in game 1 the series should have been over.
In any one game or any short series, ANYTHING can happen. The fact that the depleted Sabres kept the series close is a perfect example of teams overcoming their shortcomings and other obstacles in a short sample size. If this was an 82-game series and the Buffalo defence was just as depleted throughout, the season series would end up more like 55-27.

Give it up for Lindy Ruff and his ability to micromanage the defence so well that the Sabres had a fighting chance at all. Also give it up for Doug Janik and Rory Fitzpatrick, who played the best hockey of their careers.

Another thing that bothers me is the assumption that the Sabres would have automatically won the series if they could simply add Teppo Numminen and Henrik "Evil Swede" Tallinder to the mix.

Umm, welcome to the randomness of the universe, people.

If you change any ONE random variable in this whole equation, the entire result would be entirely different. If Numminen had been in the Sabres lineup for all games, the puck would have traveled different, the bounces would have been different, and only chaos would ensure in how the randomness of events would unfold. By changing one singular variable, the series could have ended up with a Carolina sweep over the Sabres. It's not a matter of simply adding X to increase Y. Get it?

Carolina does have some great players. They might have even been more skilled than Buffalo. But they aren’t half the team Buffalo is. They don’t have the heart, the determination, or the plain hustle that Buffalo has.
How did you come up with this conclusion? Do you have some super secret formula that can quantify 'heart', 'determination', and 'desire'? Refusing to give credit to Carolina for their work ethic and attributing their success merely to luck is the ultimate in self-delusion and disrespect. Keep telling yourself the Canes didn't work hard if that really makes you feel better. The rest of us could tell that both teams played their asses off and both teams fought just as hard to win this series.

How about Carolina's fourth line of Adams/Adams/LaRose working like mad to cycle the puck deep in Buffalo's zone in the 3rd period? Their hard work drew a penalty and

If Carolina does end up winning the cup, it’ll be more of a travesty than No Goal, Wide Right, and the foward Lateral combined
You have got to be kidding me *sigh*. Do you seriously believe that your team getting outplayed and outworked is akin to a screw job like the "No Goal"? How could you possibly say the Carolina Hurricanes don't deserve to win the Stanley Cup?

"Matt", our nominee for "Sore Loser of the Year". Hell, even my bitterness over the Oilers edging the Canucks to make the playoffs pales in comparison to his post, as does any one of Pat Quinn's press conferences.

Perhaps now that he's cooled off from last night, he can issue an apology for his ass-clownery. We shall see.

In all honesty, I'm not going to apologize for my post because its how I feel. With the injuries that Buffalo had sustained after game 3, the series should have been a laugher. 3 of the top 4 d-men out? It should have been over in 6. And in convincing fashion. IF this was an evenly matched series. Instead, it took a hot goalie and lucky bounces for the Hurricanes to eliminate Buffalo. Kudos to Ward for his strong play, making big saves. Buffalo had a 2-1 lead going into game 4. If Buffalo has one of Numminen or Tallinder, it certainly isn't a pipe dream to say Buffalo would have split the next two games and won game 6. But they didn't. So Buffalo fans are forced to play "what if", again. Buffalo put on a heart and determination clinic in forcing this to 7 games with an AHL blueline against one of the best forechecking teams in the NHL. The final straw that broke the sabres back was losing McKee for game 7. You do have one good point, however, nothing is certain as to what would have happened. A healthy Buffalo blueline doesn't guarantee a Buffalo victory. But its not hard to figure out what probably would have happened. Game 5 doesn't go into OT, and Buffalo seals the deal in game 6. The fact of this series is that it was supposed to be so close it would have been impossible to predict, could have gone either way. But when you see the bounces, injuries, and breaks all racking up in favor of one team AND the series STILL goes down to the last minute, you can only conclude the series wasn't nearly as close as everyone thought and the best team lost, despite their best efforts. I may have gone a little over the top on a few points in my emotion last night, but nothing that warrants an attack of a personal nature on someone you have never bothered to talk to. If you would like to continue talking about this, I would appreciate you coming to me instead of wasting both our times attacking me via your blog. There is a wonderful comment box on which you are encouraged to use and my contact information is in my profile.
Jes Gőlbez is not about to get in a blog war of any sorts, but I felt you had to be called out on your post.

While I can understand how gypped you feel in regards to the injuries (Imagine how us Canucks fans feel. Our team got decimated on the blue-line and the Canucks wilted), you basically state

1. The Canes were undeserving winners and were simply luck- which isn't true

2. The Canes didn't work hard while the Sabres did - which is also not true. The Canes certainly didn't coast and take the Sabres lightly like the Senators did. Both teams worked extremely hard and battled hard right to the end.

3. The Sabres are the 'better' team - The results from this series and the regular season suggest otherwise.

4. Canes fans are poor fans and are cheap bastards - While you may enjoy paying 300% more for playoff tickets, not everyone can afford such a luxury. If the Canucks were somehow still in the playoffs and seats were available, I certainly would not shell out $200+ bucks for a seat. Mortgages have to be paid, ya know.

I don't understand why you are so bitter towards the Hurricanes and their fans. The Hurricanes played an honest series and the Sabres were never gypped by any "No goal" type of screw-job. Canes fans were causing damage to public property in Buffalo nor were they telling Buffalonians how pathetic their fanbase is.
That should read "Canes fans were NOT causing damage to public property in Buffalo"
Jes did you just refer to yourself in the third person?

For what it's worth (which is precisely nothing) the Ducks outshot the Oilers by 62 and lost in 5. Sucks for me, but that's the way it is.

Hockey is a cruel mistress.
1,2. When did i ever state the Canes didn't work hard? The canes effort was never called into question. Ever. The point of my post is that this series proved one thing, that Buffalo was the better team and the real turning point of the series wasn't buffalo being outplayed, it was the staggering injuries to the Buffalo blueline. Buffalo had been down 3 d-men since the 2nd period of game 3, and it still took Carolina the full compliment of 7 games to beat them. Alot of credit goes to Ruff and Buffalo CHANGING how they played to accomodate the AHL blue line. Even then, Carolina still needed bounces to put Buffalo away. Thats not a mark of a close series, Jes. Thats the mark of one team getting fortunate to run into a better team with a devestated blueline.

3. Buffalo and Carolina were seperated by 2 points in the regular season standings, and if you sat down and watched any of the Carolina/Buffalo games during the regular season, it could have just as easily been 3-1 in Buffalo's favor instead of Carolina's.

4. Have you ever been to Raleigh, NC and the research triangle area of NC? Its a beautiful city with very reasonable living expenses and alot of jobs. Carolina fans are not "poor" by any stretch, if anything they are much better off than most residents of WNY. And tickets were not $200 a pop to see the games. The majority of the seats were $70-$120. While Buffalo's owner chose to give generous discounts to season ticket holders on playoff tickets and the money grubbing Carolina owner did not doesn't change a thing. When you get into bed with a jackass like Peter Karmanos, you reap what you sow.

To be honest, I'm not all that bitter. I realize that Buffalo has a great young team, and they are only going to be better. But if you want me to pat the Canes on the back for barely sneaking past a team without 3 regular defensemen the bulk of the series, and the 4th for the final and deciding game. The fact that they couldn't blow this Buffalo blue line out of the water has alot more to do with Buffalo being a better overall team than Carolina.
Every team has bad breaks.

The bottom line is Buffalo lost. How they got to that result is now totally irrelevant.

You can believe that Buffalo is a better team overall. It makes no difference. What does matter is that in this series they weren't.
As a Dallas Stars fan, Matt's post is pretty much par for the course for what I'd expect from Buffalo fans, regardless of which Buffalo team they're rooting for.

It's never because the other team played better. It's all because Buffalo got screwed somehow.

P.S. Hull's goal was legit.
Wow. Nothing like bringing up an event 7 years old to prove your point and take shots at an entire fanbase. Fans in Buffalo are honest, hard working folk who deserve a championship as much as any fanbase in pro sports. If you have a problem with what I said, fine, but don't go into generalizing an entire fanbase based on one persons opinion.
They must sell a ton of Prozac and Pepto in Buffalo. Dwell on their noble Alamo like stand, not on the agony of defeat. I've been a Bengals fan all my life. For 90 percent of my life they have sucked beyond reconition...but they were this close in two Superbowls. I don't look back blame some perfect storm of bad luck and bad rules, or advocate the deservedness of Cincy over San Francisco as a football town. The Bungles lost because when it counted most, they didn't answer the bell. The Sabers had a pp late in the third period. They had the same chance the Canes got with the over-the-glass attempted clear. The Canes rolled up on them and shut them down.

The "if only's" could go back to the trade deadline. The Sabers could have gone out and gotten deeper on the blueline. What did they get for Mika Noronen? A second rounder?
In the history of the sport, no hockey team deserved anything more than what they earned. The Sabres earned respect with their play but the Canes earned the right to advance to the SCF. Period.

I had grown weary of making the point that the Stars earned the Cup seven years ago, even if Hull's goal hadn't counted. Everyone - from Sabres fans to Stars haters - chose to ignore the fact that the Stars had dominated play in that series, even in the games they lost. At least the 2006 Sabres were a more balanced and far more enjoyable team to root for than the 1998-99 version.
(For the record: I'm not a Canes fan, though Eric Staal was on my fantasy hockey team, where I drafted him in the last they're my favorite team left)

Since we're talking about bad breaks in Buff-Carolina, why don't we go all the way back to the regular season...

When the Canes lost arguably their second best forward, Erik Cole?

As great as Staal has been in the playoffs, I think he'd be untouchable with Cole's speed and skills.

In fact, I think the Canes would have gladly pressed the reset button on the Sabres' injuries to get Cole back.

As people have said: every team gets bad breaks here and there. Furthermore, Ryan Miller was amazing in most of that series.

The Canes not scoring 1,000 goals against the depleted blue line is a result of Miller's dynamic play, gutsy Sabres defense and a lack of Cole, not them being out-worked.

And just because I'm a prick:

Scott Norwood.

[OK, that was uncalled for. Sorry.]
Lets not compare Buffalo's injury woes with Carolina losing Cole. First off, Carolina had the oppurtunity to replace him with Weight. Second, lets not forget Buffalo losts Connolly as well as a decimated blueline. Buffalo fans would gladly trade a healthy roster with Carolina and replay this series. In a heartbeat.
And I'd take one Erik Cole for any three missing Sabers.
I'd trade tax dollars for spelling lessons in North Carolina high schools :rimshot:
you would think buffalo has lost so often that matt should be good at losing gracefully

i am sure the flyers would have wiped out buffalo out in 4 games had they had all their key guys healthy and blah blah blah

the players decided this on the ice and that was that, everything else is irrelevant. excuses are only for the losers
you would think buffalo has lost so often that matt should be good at losing gracefully

i am sure the flyers would have wiped out buffalo out in 4 games had they had all their key guys healthy and blah blah blah

the players decided this on the ice and that was that, everything else is irrelevant. excuses are only for the losers
It was Ohio schools and I've always ben a meserabel spellar. Lost my chance at the elementary school spelling bee championship on the word, "kennel."
How come nobody from Buffalo realizes that injuries are part of the game and good teams adapt. Buffalo, in fact, adapted well. Instead, all they can do is wonder what might have happened if they had defensemen who could withstand a clean hit from our smallest forward without breaking an arm. Or who weren't so old that battling Eric Staal for position behind the net would cause a groin rupture.

I'm just sayin'.
Give us Erik Cole and I'll let you have all of your injured players.

We win in 5.
one more thing - we had Weight before we lost Cole.

We picked up Weight before the Olympics. We lost Cole two weeks later. Then we got Recchi.

And Recchi is many things, but he is not Erik Cole.
So Sabres lose because of injuries, but they won the first round over the Flyers because the Flyers were just slow?

Lose your Captain for the season along with a couple D, have 80% of the team play 50%-80% healthy then talk to me about injuries.
It was nice of Jes to give Matt a forum to vent his arguements. I feel for ya Matt, but you might as well argue who should have won the Cold War.
I've enjoyed this debate- by way of comparision, I watched Meet the Press from beginning to end this morning as I knew Tim Russert was a Sabres fan.

He ended his broadcast by thanking the Sabres for a great season, and gave a small salute.

Then he tore off his shirt, put his foot through his desk, unfurled a Carolina Hurricanes banner and urinated on it before he dissolved into a heap and clawed at his eyes as he rolled around on the floor in a puddle of his own piss and tears.

As Buffalo fans go, I thought it was a very tasteful display.
Ah, the joys of a good old fashion Buffalo fan bash. For those "well, da flyers were injured" and "we lost COLE!!"

These were all REGULAR season injuries. Not injuries DURING a series. There is a marked difference between the two. The flyers and Carolina had chances to replace the injured players. And they did (Gauthier and Recchi). There's no way you can "makeup" for 2/3 of your blueline going down. You just can't.
With all due respect, how many of you Buffalo Bashers out there have actually ever BEEN to Buffalo or talked to any Sabres fans? We don't sit around lamenting No Goal or Norwood or how much snow is on the ground- these are just the issues that everyone writes and talks about when they know nothing else about our city. In regards to this series, of course injuries are a part of the game and the vast majority of Sabres and Sabre fans aren't interested in using them as an excuse or a crutch. It was a wonderful series filled with outstanding speed, skill and passion and while its always fun to sit around and think about the 'what if's', at the end of the day the team with the better players on the ice in Game 7 won the series. But this is not the end of this team nor of their fans. Oilers in 6.
The Sabers could have gone out and gotten deeper on the blueline.

I think that's probably the best point made in this whole mess. Granted, the Sabres lost a ton of defencemen, but some insurance other than Rory Fitzpatrick could have done wonders.
how many of you Buffalo Bashers out there have actually ever BEEN to Buffalo or talked to any Sabres fans?

The same could be said of a lot of the Carolina-bashers.

But please, don't let me stop you from playing the martyr.
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