It's not how many fans you have when you're winning, it's how many fans you have when you're losing that counts. I urge all Sabres fans to keep reminding themselves of this. That's about all I can do to help with the pain I know we've all been feeling. Last week I wrote that the team is unaccustomed to losing. Apparently, so are the fans.
So, what exactly are the boys doing wrong? I honestly don't know. They definitely skated much better than the week before and were still shut out twice. Thankfully, Ryan Miller has been back on his game and saving us from the kind of embarrassment that we caused Atlanta earlier this season. Still, three goals in four games is a problem, especially when we're consistently outshooting the other team. Some of it is due to good goaltending on the part of the opponents, but some of it must be just bad luck. Leafs goalie Andrew Raycroft was named the star of Friday night's game, but I think the goalposts saved about as many goals as he did. I have to admit I'm confused by these recent performances. After a Saturday night game outshooting the Bruins 46 to 22 and scoring a shorthanded goal, I was left wondering how we managed to lose.
Meanwhile, Buffalo has continued to take too many penalties, especially in the crucial third period and the injuries have kept coming. With Adam Mair and Tim Connolly both out and Clarke MacArthur called up from Rochester, I wouldn't be too surprised to wake up one morning and find out the Sabres have ceased to exist and the Amerks are the newest NHL team. No particularly interesting fighting, other than Jason Pominville whacking a Bruin in the face and giving him a nice nosebleed (which I honestly thought was an accident). Interestingly, Maple Leaf Bryan McCabe has scored the game-winning goal in both of our games against Toronto this season. Fortunately for him, his team won this time. (In case you missed the first Leafs game, yes, you heard me correctly.)
Watching the team lose like this makes me nervous, especially when we're playing our own division all month, but I'm still unsure what they're doing wrong. Still, after being so plagued with tough breaks and bad calls, I feel like their luck will have to turn around soon. Meanwhile, please don't give up hope. A fan rebellion is the last thing our boys need.
Hannah Hampton is a senior at Niagara Falls High School.