As the Sabres limp into Wednesday’s home finale, they recognize fun times have been lacking in the Buffalo sports world.
They’re sorry for contributing to it.
“They’re very supportive fans,” goaltender Robin Lehner said Tuesday. “They deserve better. They deserve better than what they’ve got.”
The Sabres will head into the game against Montreal with the 23rd-best home record in the NHL. They’re 19-15-6 with 105 goals for and 110 goals against. Last season, they went 16-19-6.
“It’s been a mediocre two years,” center Jack Eichel said in KeyBank Center. “For them to continue to support us and be behind us, selling games out – the Islanders game Sunday at 3, people are still here. There’s 19,000 people here. I’m sure if we were in other cities it wouldn’t be the same case. You’ve got to appreciate that as a player. It’s a lot better than coming here to any empty building.
“More than anything, it’s a bit disappointing, a bit embarrassing for us as players that we can’t be better for them. You want to please the fans because of all they’ve been through and all they continue to put up with. You just want to be better.”
The Sabres had one of the worst periods in who knows how long Monday. They fell into a 3-0 hole while getting outshot, 18-2, during the first period of a 4-2 loss to Toronto. They don’t want to send fans into the offseason with a similar outing against the Canadiens.
“Final thought,” Eichel said, “is thanks to all of them for supporting us throughout the year. We’ve got one left, and we’ll just put it all out there for them and try to win a hockey game and try to bring some excitement to the building.”