How to Hate the Atlantic: Buffalo Sabres
As we prepare for the Wings' second season in the new Eastern Conference, we take a closer look at the teams with whom they share their division, the Atlantic. Join us as we guide you through the hate.
It's hard to remember that the Sabres have won a President's trophy in the last decade and made two straight Conference Finals appearances in that time as well, but they actually were good at one time. Unfortunately, the chase for the ultimate trophy in hockey has always been a thorn in their side and a foot in their crease. They were purchased in 2011 by Terry Pegula, who seems to be the best kind of owner in sports: the multi-billionaire who wants to win.
Unfortunately, the new era of Buffalo competing for a cup got off to a bit of a rocky start and they're already rebuilding their rebuild. Buffalo is a basement team who will probably be there another couple years or so. Good; we've got time.
What to Like About them
Terry Pegula is adorable. He's like a mad Uncle Pennybags trying to snap up the dark purple spaces made up of the Sabres and Bills so he can build a few houses and take half of what you earn just for passing Go. He also plays as the thimble because he once asked Ottawa's Bryan Murray what an avatar is. Also, Zemgus Girgensons is a baller name.
What to Hate Most About Them
The worst part about the rebuild cycle in the NHL is that, as long as you're not the Edmonton Oilers, there isn't a long enough period to really get your kicks in while a team is down. Buffalo fans are busy remembering every mean thing we say about their team being an awful embarrassment to the sport of hockey and will still be around when the Sabres get good again. It's not exactly that this is such a terrible unmanageable shitstorm looming over the horizon which saps the fun, it's just that "just wait until we're good, asshole" is what Blues fans have been saying for years and anything that makes fans act like Blues fans is demonstrably terrible.
How to Take the High Road
When it comes to flipping shit at an opposing team or its fanbase, it's important that you act with a bit of grace and dignity. We should strive to keep the topic to hockey itself. It's even better if we have an opportunity to grab a position from the moral high ground while we're at it.
This is a bad hockey team and they seem to be committed to remaining bad on purpose until after next year's draft, where they hope to see if they can grab what they believe it a shortcut back to NHL relevance via taking a kid in Conor McDavid whose only crime in hockey is being really really good. Teams that tank on purpose don't deserve the players who give their very best year after year to place themselves atop draft rankings.
How to Deliver the Low-Blow
While I never ever EVER support taking cheap shots at your opponents' expense first. Sometimes they ask for it. You can pretend to cast your eyes down at them from your ivory tower or you can jump in the muck with them. Here's how to do the more-fun version.
Buffalo made the smart decision to place themselves on the side of Niagara Falls with a beautiful view of the other side. The poor visitors who see the falls from Ontario are also forced to look into north Buffalo, New York. It's still a beautiful and majestic sight, but let's face it, the Mona Lisa wouldn't be where it is today if she were painted to look like she's in the alley behind a tattoo parlor.