“This is your moment. You're meant to be here.”
And so it looks like the ride is over for our Buffalo Sabres. Time and time again this season it had looked like the Sabres were out of it but they made a habit of coming from behind in games, scoring multiple third period goals and seizing victory from the hands of defeat with seconds left on the game clock. This team knew how to fight all season long. Even last series, when it looked like the Rangers had all the momentum in the world, when it looked like solving Henrik Lundqvist was more impossible than an 80 degree day in the middle of a Buffalo December, they found a way to score 5 goals and win the series, despite "experts" like Barry Melrose counting the Sabres out. We easily forget that this is that same Sabres team that rallied all season long. It's the same team that almost broke the record for the longest winning streak to start an NHL season. It's the same team that finished the season with the best record in the NHL. It's the same team that taught us to believe in them when commentators and the game clock would have more rational minds thinking otherwise. But we're not rational, we're Buffalo sports fans. After years and years of being let down by the Bills and Sabres we still believe. And this year's Sabres team finally gave us something real to believe in again. They never let us down. So what is stopping them from continuing to do what they did all season? Only two teams in NHL history have won 4 playoff games in a row to win a series. What makes anyone think that this Sabres team, a team that has Chris “Captain Clutch” Drury, a born winner, as its captain and the recently spectacular Ryan Miller in goal couldn't do the same? They didn't let us down all year. Let's stop the Jerry Sullivan, Mike Schopp negativity and do what sports fans in any other city would never think of doing at this point...let's continue to believe.
Can anyone think of a more perfect plot line? The Buffalo Sabres, a team many think is plagued by William McKinley's Buffalo Sports Curse is down 3 games to none in the Eastern Conference Finals. Everyone around the sports world has counted them out. Everyone around the country has counted Buffalo out. Ottawa players and fans have already moved their thoughts to the Stanley Cup finals and Anaheim and Detroit. Yet 9,000 fans show up at HSBC arena to see the away game, Game 4, televised and Buffalo somehow pulls it out. Then a raucous home crowd sees the Sabres bring the team to within a game of Ottawa in a thrilling game 5, reducing the series deficit to 3 games to 2. With a possible Game 7 on the line Buffalo does the miraculous, they pull out a victory in Ottawa and bring a Game 7 to Buffalo in HSBC arena. The crowd is frenzied. And they do it...the Sabres win the series in 7 games and bring themselves to the Stanley Cup Finals to face their former goalie and star Dominik Hasek. Only the third team in NHL history to accomplish this unbelievable feat. Why not this Sabres team? The team has been pulling similar stunts all season long. Maybe it was meant to be this way...Maybe this is our moment...maybe we were meant to be here.