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Highs and lows in WNY sports

The year has been eventful, to say the least, in Buffalo sports. Let's take a look back as we observe the good, the bad and the oh so ugly.

>Top 5

1. "Why so serious?" The emergence of Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson. After being a late-round draft pick out of Kentucky, he rises above the rest with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in a 2010 season that was more like a Cedar Point roller coaster. Steve Johnson's breakout game against the Cincinnati Bengals established him as a Pro Bowl candidate and playmaker in the Buffalo Bills rebuilding future.

2. Myers, Miller take home hardware. After an early exit playoff run, Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller and defenseman Tyler Myers bring home Vezina Trophy (best goaltender) and Calder Trophy (best rookie), respectively.

3. Ruff reaches 1,000 games in Buffalo. A feat achieved by none, well, one. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff becomes the first head coach to achieve 1,000 games on the bench for a single team and 18th coach to reach 1,000 games coached in general. This is one of the most impressive feats in hockey today with the constant coach movement in the league.

4. World Junior Championships come to Buffalo. The biggest tournament in junior hockey is happening in Western New York right now, featuring the best up-and-coming talent.

5. Sabres go old school. The fans No. 1 favor they asked the organization was to kill the "slug." It finally came to be, and for the Buffalo Sabres 40th anniversary, it was a beautiful sight to see the old design return to the team uniforms. Also, the intriguing new third jersey cannot be forgotten, dipping into Buffalo hockey's past.


>Bottom 5

1. Bills fire entire coaching staff. I don't think a bigger headline made Buffalo sports fans think. At least, it took a while for it to sink in. Was it a team giving up or was it the start of a winning rebuilding process? Either way, this was the worst moment of 2010 as the Buffalo Bills left many unemployed and many wondering, what just happened?

2. Bills start season 0-8. A rebuilding team and a new staff certainly will lead to a rough start. In the process they part with their starting quarterback Trent Edwards and running back Marshawn Lynch and decide to move forward, which is what happened as the team starts to spark in confidence thereafter.

3. Kennedy leaves; Kane returns. After contract talks got ugly and unfortunately public, young forward and Buffalo native Tim Kennedy and the Buffalo Sabres part ways, as he signs with the New York Rangers and goes back to the AHL. In the meantime, Buffalo-born Patrick Kane brings the Stanley Cup back to Buffalo after scoring the game-winning goal in the Cup Finals with the Chicago Blackhawks in June.

4. Sabres young squad bounced by Boston. High hopes in the playoffs eventually end in disappointment as Northeast Division champion Buffalo Sabres are eliminated after strong showing by Tyler Ennis and the team in Game One.

5. Sabres and captain have equally slow start. The Sabres were quick for all the wrong reasons. After failing to advance in the 2010 playoffs, they were quick to worry fans and the organization at the start of the season after a below .500 start. High expectations eventually led to the temporary benching of injury-prone captain Craig Rivet in what could be his last season.

Alex Kaluzny is a senior at Lockport High School.

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