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Perspective on being a Sabres Fan


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#1 LTS

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 01:36 PM

Thought I would post a slightly different thread with some observations.  Given that every thread basically disintegrates into a they suck/they don't suck that bad debate I thought I would try a thread where we could encompass it all.

I pulled together the final conference standings since the 06-07 season.  I averaged those finishing positions out and ranked the teams.  I also then included today's standings as the finishing position for this season and did the same thing.  Finally, I looked at where each team is currently sitting and compared it to their average finishing position for a difference.  While there are not many surprises in doing this I think it provides a little bit if perspective on the Sabres.

The Maple Leafs have not made the playoffs in that entire time.  The Avalanche have Stastny, Duchesne, Landeskog, O'Reilly, and more and they are perpetual bottom dwellers.  The Islanders are the model of ineptitude.  The Oilers who have had near #1 picks for 4 years straight continue to stay at the bottom. How many of their fans are saying "Wait until next year when our prospects pan out?"  San Jose, the second best team over that time has not even made a Stanley Cup final.  There are really only a handful of teams that have succeeded over that time span.  Some have had nice breaks like Pittsburgh getting Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, Staal, Letang, and more.  Sure they've made some good moves too but getting top picks at the right time matters (right Edmonton?)

San Jose has made great moves and had nothing to show for it.  Would you want to be Washington right now?  They finished in the top 3 in the conference 4 times in this span and now the wheels have fallen off that team.  Tampa Bay, a team with Stamkos, Lecavalier, St. Louis, and more have not succeeded.  Would you rather have their roster?  You might.  

When I look at the breakdown below there are a few teams that are clearly doing it right (Detroit, New Jersey, Vancouver, Boston).  Buffalo has struggled lately and we are all getting tired of it but over the past 6 seasons DR is squarely responsible for the creation of this team and he has them in the upper half of average finishing position.  It's good to be bothered by the current state of the team to be certain but I guess rather than get all worked up over how bad they are today just remember it could be a lot worse.

Many of us are from Buffalo.  We lived through the Bills losing 4 straight championship games.  It was awful.  I couldn't stand being a San Jose fan.  All the promise in the world and nothing to show for it.  I couldn't stand being an Islanders, Avalanche, Oilers, Leafs fan... that has to be a horrible feeling.  Knowing you have talent and aren't succeeding, etc.

You can look around and get jealous of another team's roster but then you look at where they are and you wonder.. well.. maybe not.  Philadelphia, for all its success has averaged right along with the Sabres.  They are floundering this season, just like Buffalo but I think we'd all say they are a better team.  Unfortunately the numbers say otherwise.  If Buffalo, had made the Finals in 2006-2007 they would have been right on par with the Flyers.

Does it mean much?  I don't know.  I think we all take away from this team what we want.  Of course I want this team to be better but I just can't get myself to the point where I think all is lost and that no one on the team knows what they are doing.

The breakdown is below.  

From 06-07 through 11-12 season (team - average finishing position / bolded are teams in Stanley Cup Final):
  • Detroit - 2.83
  • San Jose - 3
  • Vancouver - 3.67
  • Pittsburgh - 3.83
  • New Jersey / Washington - 4.67
  • Boston - 5.5
  • Rangers - 6
  • Predators - 6.33
  • Buffalo / Philadelphia - 6.67
  • Anaheim - 7
  • Chicago - 7.17
  • Montreal / Ottawa - 8
  • Calgary - 8.17
  • St. Louis - 8.67
  • Phoenix - 8.83
  • Dallas - 9
  • Minnesota - 9.33
  • Carolina - 9.43
  • Colorado / Winnipeg / Tampa - 10.5
  • Florida / Los Angeles - 10.67
  • Toronto - 11.83
  • Columbus - 12.17
  • Edmonton - 12.67
  • Islanders - 12.83
Average Finishing Position of Teams in Each Division:

Atlantic - 6.94
Central - 7.26
Pacific - 7.66
Northeast - 7.69
Northwest - 9.09
Southeast - 9.37

#2 Meathead

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 02:02 PM

well i for one feel a lot better. wait no i dont

nice work btw

#3 dudacek

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 02:15 PM

That's all true and levelheaded, but the angst among the fans is not about our record relative to everyone else.
It's about buying in to the idea of Hockey Heaven and seeing it all come apart when it is supposed to be coming together.

I would liken it to missing the playoffs in 86 and the dawning reality that Scotty Bowman was not the genius saviour we wanted him to be and that Housley, Barasso, Cyr, Lacombe, Creighton, Andreychuk and Tucker was not the foundation of the next dynasty.

#4 Potato

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 02:21 PM

It it is anything more than a paragraph, I ain't reading it.   :flirt:

...but I'm sure the original post was well thought through and all.

Edited by COSabre, 17 March 2013 - 03:02 PM.


#5 obstructedorangeseats

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 02:51 PM

The only problem with comparing the Oilers, Avs, Maple Leafs and Isles (the exception being San Jose) is that each of those teams has won the cup before. Not that past championships (some really, really long ago) necessarily make up for the situation today, but at least those teams have something to stand on.

For us, I think this season is the comeuppance of the decisions post-'06/'07.

Wide right and no goal. Harumph harumph harumph. #sharedsuffering

#6 IKnowPhysics

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 03:53 PM

View Postdudacek, on 17 March 2013 - 02:15 PM, said:

That's all true and levelheaded, but the angst among the fans is not about our record relative to everyone else.
It's about buying in to the idea of Hockey Heaven and seeing it all come apart when it is supposed to be coming together.

Nope.

My angst is only about the record relative to everyone else.  If we're sitting in 2nd place in the NE division, I don't have any angst.

Hockey Heaven's being built in the Weber block, over by the commercial slip, and exactly where cups should sit just above the urinals and all of that seems to be coming together just fine so far.  No angst.

#7 bunomatic

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 03:54 PM

Nice thread. True it could be worse but it could also be much better. And that is the crux of the problem and all that many complain about including myself. The fact that we are only ever considered average at best. Mediocre. so-so. Always the bridesmaid. Never the bride. This isn't only perception. You can take it to the bank. Its what we are. Its normal. And it has become a part of the belief system. Its what we expect and what others expect of us. And the fact that its accepted as good enough by management and its become ingrained in our souls as fans. The players accept it. Why wouldn't they ? For many of them its all they've ever known. Drafted by the Sabres and basically raised in disfunction. People here on this board accept it. They are happy with their lot in the hockey universe. Willing to accept the status quo and afraid of change. We hear it here all the time. But who would we replace him with ? Who else is out there ? Something has to change. I and many others have talked of changing the very culture of the club but T.P. in all his wisdom extended the very man who built this team. I don't have all the answers but I certainly know where to start. imo.

Edited by bunomatic, 17 March 2013 - 04:05 PM.


#8 Tondas

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 04:29 PM

Thanks buno, the truth doesn't set me free, it just depressed me.

#9 Ghost of Dwight Drane

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 04:36 PM

I'm sure the biological researchers here could shed some light......but when coming up with the antibody....it must be really neat to see the last few strains of infection, die under the microscope.....

#10 PASabreFan

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 05:13 PM

Not trying to pick on you LTS. I did read it all and I always appreciate a post that took some real time and thought to develop. But I just can't wade into this debate about whether it could be worse.

This may sound harsh, but this is the kind of material people in the front office develop and hand to Darcy and it ends up on his WGR appearances. One of the classics was Darcy claiming circa 2011 that the roster had completely turned over after 2007, in response to charges that there was a staleness at work in the franchise.

#11 LTS

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 11:35 AM

View PostPASabreFan, on 17 March 2013 - 05:13 PM, said:

Not trying to pick on you LTS. I did read it all and I always appreciate a post that took some real time and thought to develop. But I just can't wade into this debate about whether it could be worse.

This may sound harsh, but this is the kind of material people in the front office develop and hand to Darcy and it ends up on his WGR appearances. One of the classics was Darcy claiming circa 2011 that the roster had completely turned over after 2007, in response to charges that there was a staleness at work in the franchise.

I understand the point.  Look, I walk around now and say the Sabres suck.  Every day I say it.  They are terrible.  It is the natural tendency of human beings to focus on the short-term/recent past more than the bigger picture.  It often leads to decision making, attitudes, etc. that while perfectly viable in the "now" are not necessarily in the best interests of the long term goal.

I want the Sabres to be like Detroit or Pittsburgh.  I'd accept San Jose even I suppose.

I'm not sure there's a debate about whether it could be worse.  I think we know it could be worse.  We could not have a team to complain about.  We could be in Florida.. sure the sunshine might make us happier but a failing hockey team would still depress us and the constant talk about them leaving the market wouldn't help at all.  We don't have that, at least.

I want it to be better too, I'm just not in total despair I guess.

As I said in other threads, I'm fairly confident a house cleaning is coming right through to DR.  I believe the team, even with Rolston, still exhibits certain levels of style that are not working in the NHL.  I think Pegula left it alone just long enough to see what he had.

#12 That Aud Smell

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 11:51 AM

this is genuinely good content, LTS. thanks for it.

Quote

View PostPASabreFan, on 17 March 2013 - 05:13 PM, said:


This may sound harsh, but this is the kind of material people in the front office develop and hand to Darcy and it ends up on his WGR appearances. One of the classics was Darcy claiming circa 2011 that the roster had completely turned over after 2007, in response to charges that there was a staleness at work in the franchise.

View PostLTS, on 17 March 2013 - 01:36 PM, said:

I think we all take away from this team what we want.


to riff off of LTS's idea above, i think PA took from this post what he wanted. PA's critique is not unfair, but, from where i sit, this is the kind of material that a reflective, level-headed, diehard sabres fan might come up with at a time when he felt himself losing all hope and all perspective.

#13 carpandean

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 11:59 AM

I've been meaning to develop a fan enjoyment score for NHL teams.  There would be points for regular-season performance, post-season performance and draft position.  Clearly, the largest points would be for winning the Cup, but there should ould be some value in the others, too.  The main driver for this is that, deep down, I know that finishing 9th in the conference is the worst thing a team can do; at least, when looking at a single season.  I might modify it for runs to reflect some of what LTS has seen (a run of bottom finishes without the corresponding improvement that you'd expect from the high draft picks.)  However, finishing 14-16th for a few years, stocking up on better players, followed by a period of finishing near the top should feel far better than finishing in the middle the whole time, despite the same average on the LTS scale.  I suspect that the Sabres would be much lower on my scale.

#14 Aud Fellow

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:24 PM

Stop using facts, preventing us from being miserable! Fire everyone!

#15 PASabreFan

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:36 PM

View PostAud Fellow, on 18 March 2013 - 12:24 PM, said:

Stop using facts, preventing us from being miserable! Fire everyone!

Another great handle I wish I had thought of. Note to self: new handle for next season.

View PostLTS, on 18 March 2013 - 11:35 AM, said:

As I said in other threads, I'm fairly confident a house cleaning is coming right through to DR.  I believe the team, even with Rolston, still exhibits certain levels of style that are not working in the NHL.  I think Pegula left it alone just long enough to see what he had.
I would feel better if I had the confidence that not only is this true, but that Terry knows what to do next. My fear is that Terry, Ted, Ken and Cliff sit down and we end up with another Regier. Another weak GM who has to hold the owner's hand and get "input" from all corners of the organization on every move, work within this flat management structure where "no one has a monopoly" on hockey intelligence. I would feel better if I thought Terry would assemble a panel of hockey people to advise on the hire (Buffalo is allegedly full of such people; Scotty anyone?), then take two huge steps back. I'm not encouraged to learn from Ted Black that Terry "camped out" in the arena last summer, or that Ted accidentally walked into the conference room where Darcy was interviewing Ron, looking for a snack, but ended up sitting down for the rest of the interview. Amateur. Hour.

#16 Claude_Verret

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 01:28 PM

Interesting topic, but for me it all boils down to Cups.  When I look at that list I see more teams that have won cups during my personal fan lifespan than those that have not.  I imagine having those to look back on as part of your fan experience will temper some of disappointment that comes with a bad four or five season stretch.  Of course I can't know that since we've yet to enjoy a cup celebration in Niagara Square, but my gut tells me that we'd all be freaking out just a bit less around here with some Lord Stanley in our back pocket.

#17 That Aud Smell

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 02:10 PM

View PostPASabreFan, on 18 March 2013 - 12:36 PM, said:

I'm not encouraged to learn from Ted Black that Terry "camped out" in the arena last summer, or that Ted accidentally walked into the conference room where Darcy was interviewing Ron, looking for a snack, but ended up sitting down for the rest of the interview. Amateur. Hour.

:huh:

:cry:

#18 Robviously

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 02:12 PM

View PostPASabreFan, on 18 March 2013 - 12:36 PM, said:

I would feel better if I had the confidence that not only is this true, but that Terry knows what to do next. My fear is that Terry, Ted, Ken and Cliff sit down and we end up with another Regier. Another weak GM who has to hold the owner's hand and get "input" from all corners of the organization on every move, work within this flat management structure where "no one has a monopoly" on hockey intelligence. I would feel better if I thought Terry would assemble a panel of hockey people to advise on the hire (Buffalo is allegedly full of such people; Scotty anyone?), then take two huge steps back. I'm not encouraged to learn from Ted Black that Terry "camped out" in the arena last summer, or that Ted accidentally walked into the conference room where Darcy was interviewing Ron, looking for a snack, but ended up sitting down for the rest of the interview. Amateur. Hour.
What?

#19 LTS

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:20 PM

View PostPASabreFan, on 18 March 2013 - 12:36 PM, said:

Another great handle I wish I had thought of. Note to self: new handle for next season.


I would feel better if I had the confidence that not only is this true, but that Terry knows what to do next. My fear is that Terry, Ted, Ken and Cliff sit down and we end up with another Regier. Another weak GM who has to hold the owner's hand and get "input" from all corners of the organization on every move, work within this flat management structure where "no one has a monopoly" on hockey intelligence. I would feel better if I thought Terry would assemble a panel of hockey people to advise on the hire (Buffalo is allegedly full of such people; Scotty anyone?), then take two huge steps back. I'm not encouraged to learn from Ted Black that Terry "camped out" in the arena last summer, or that Ted accidentally walked into the conference room where Darcy was interviewing Ron, looking for a snack, but ended up sitting down for the rest of the interview. Amateur. Hour.

The great thing about being a pessimist is that you are either right or pleasantly surprised.  I understand your point of view.  I just have more faith, strange too, because I don't go to church.


View PostClaude_Verret, on 18 March 2013 - 01:28 PM, said:

Interesting topic, but for me it all boils down to Cups.  When I look at that list I see more teams that have won cups during my personal fan lifespan than those that have not.  I imagine having those to look back on as part of your fan experience will temper some of disappointment that comes with a bad four or five season stretch.  Of course I can't know that since we've yet to enjoy a cup celebration in Niagara Square, but my gut tells me that we'd all be freaking out just a bit less around here with some Lord Stanley in our back pocket.

I agree with you 100%.  At this point in time I think anyone from Buffalo would feel so much better about themselves if any sports team could win a Championship.  I'm actually frightened what might happen should it occur.  Buffalo may cease to be what we know it is and become something we all despise.  It could be horrible.. everyone walking around drinking cosmo's and eating finger sandwiches.  Scary. Joking aside of course, I do think that final season standings don't tell it all.

The truth about the Sabres is out there.  It can be encapsulated in many factors.  We are all also influenced by the shades of truth we receive as well.  Take the situation with Kaleta and Miller yesterday.  If you heard all the comments including the question that was asked you might come up with different viewpoints.  The truth is in the words Kaleta spoke.  Miller was asked a question that incorrectly stated what Kaleta had said and he responded to it.  How many ways to interpret that?

A) Miller is pissed off because he just lost.. again and was just lashing out in anger.  
B) Miller actually has a problem with this team anyway and his willingness to sound off at that time is indicative of the underlying problem.
C) Miller does not like Kaleta much.
D) Miller heard what Kaleta had said earlier and knew the question was asked incorrectly but decided to answer it anyway to try and cause problems encouraging his trade as a locker room cancer.

Any number of things there could be true..

Oh well.. another game tomorrow.  The good news is that I still don't act like i do when watching/listening to the Bills play.  I actually don't even watch them much anymore but it really got the point where I would laugh when they screwed up and then gain enjoyment from the fact that I would be entertained by how many people would call WGR or talk about it at work as though they actually still believed the team was relevant or capable of anything good.

If that happens to me with the Sabres then I am in trouble.

#20 PASabreFan

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:36 PM

View PostRobviously, on 18 March 2013 - 02:12 PM, said:

What?

S'More?