With the fat lady waiting in the wings early in the 3rd period of last night’s game against Florida, the Sabres introduced a new kind of controversy.
I just love clichés, and for anyone who spends any time at all writing on sports, there are an endless abundance of them to chose from. However, for me there are only two weighing on my mind this morning; “Too little, too late” and “Better late than never.” Depending on which one you subscribe to more readily, there are significant arguments to be made for both.
Regardless of which you chose to argue for though, there’s no doubt that one unified question has been resonating throughout all of Buffalo this morning. “Where the hell has that been?”
This is the same team we watched sleepwalk through games against Atlanta, Ottawa (on more than one occasion) and the Islanders. Yet somehow, with the opportunity last night to simply cash it in and put an end to it all, down 3-1 with more than a quarter of the final frame in the books, this same group of players manned up, and suddenly turned into the hard-working, scoring machine that they’ve shown flashes of over the course of the past 2-seasons. And like the Philly and Rangers’ game, they actually showed some passion, life, and most notably, the desire to hang on to the thread that separates their playoff aspirations from an early exit out of the 2008-09 season.
Most of the sentiment I’m sure is that it is too little, too late, and while rationally I subscribe to that mentality, as you may have noticed from my recent discussion on last weekend’s contests, I’m more than willing to spout the “better late than never” battle cry, and look forward to next season with a wider smile on my face. Again, I sound as though this season has come and gone, and for all intents and purposes, it has. That said, I’m hanging my hat on the fact that with every opportunity for this team to lie down and die, putting themselves (and quite frankly their fans) out of their misery in the process, they instead chose to live on for one more day, in hopes that another team will crumble down the stretch as they did through much of March.
I said it to close my last blog, and I’ll say it again. If the type of effort we saw for the last half of the game last night is on display for the remaining 9-contests, I’m more willing to listen to the glass half-full speculation that this team could pull an ’06 New York Islanders, or an ’07 Washington Capitals. And for those of you interested in a little hopeful musing, if Tampa Bay could pull the upset tonight, the Ryan Miller backstopped Sabres will have a chance to pull to within 1-point of the final playoff spot should they win out this weekend. Which is why I say…
Better Late Than Never!
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Written by Tim Anderson