Here's my simple advice. Open a Labatt Blue Light, sit back, relax & enjoy the last 4-7 games of NHL Hockey until October. Do not think about how The Sabres could have beaten Philadelphia, or how both Chicago & Philly have players we wish we still had. Those things will only make you angry.
When you’re watching The Stanley Cup Finals with a group of Sabres fans, conversation will inevitably turn towards the question, ‘Why aren’t we here?’ I seriously mean it, don’t think about it! If you spend these next two weeks thinking about Whether the Sabres could get Eric Staal for Tim Connolly and Toni Lydman, you’re ruining the experience. There is plenty of time between now and October to worry about our beloved Sabres.
There are two things I guarantee. The Sabres will not win the Cup this year, no matter how much you whine about Darcy Regier or Jason Pominville. #2, this series is going to be AWESOME. By awesome, I mean violent. There will also be some scoring. Wow, I’m such a fortune teller! No shit?, there’s going to be goals in a hockey game? Tell me something I don’t know.
Here’s something you may not know. If Chicago loses, Marian Hossa will watch the opposing team skate around the rink with the big silver cup for the 3rd year in a row. (2008 – Pittsburgh, 2009 – Detroit). Ouch!
My suggestion for enjoying the Cup Finals is to go one of two ways:
1) Pick a team and root for them. Whether it’s Philly or Chicago, I don’t care. Sports are more fun when you’re rooting for someone to win. If you can, forget about how much you hate Philadelphia. If you can’t, then root for Chicago.
2) Pick a few players to dissect. Watch every shift Patrick Kane takes. Notice his moves, study him, see how often he takes a hit, gives a hit, does he shoot more wristers, slappers, snappers? Become an expert. You can do this with a single player, one guy from each team, one player on each line, multiple players, goalies. The more players you choose, the less in depth you can go into about each guy.
My choice would be Pronger. If you watch Pronger you’re going to notice how much respect he gets from opposing players. Most forwards know they’re getting a one-way ticket on the pain-train if they mess with Pronger, so he actually has to do very little checking. Much of his success comes from reputation. I expect Dustin Byfuglien to give Pronger a good challenge ‘in the paint’, (in front of the net).
My next choice to watch is Jonathan Toews (Taves). He has a boat load of assists (19) in the playoffs so far to go along with 7 goals. I haven’t gotten to see too many Chicago games this playoffs and I intend on seeing every game of the finals, just to see how good Jonathan Toews does.
All right, Sabres fans. If you are completely over Briere and Campbell then I see no evil in rooting for them to succeed. The Sabres chose not to keep these players and they went to other teams. Not their fault. If you’re still bitter then simply ignore them and try to focus on the other players. It’s like not talking to your ex-girlfriend until you are COMPLETELY over her. If you contact her too soon, you’re just going to embarrass yourself. There will be one guy at your Stanley Cup Party who turns it into a “Briere, Campbell, whine-fest”. DON’T BE THAT GUY
For now, accept what we can’t change, put the Blue & Gold on the back burner for two weeks and Enjoy the Stanley Cup Finals. It’s going to be good. I promise.