The Sabres have reclaimed their fans

The arena is a fun place to be again

Paul Hamilton
November 21, 2018 - 9:33 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - I can’t remember the last time I felt a period in this building like the first on Wednesday. The fans were ready and so was the team.

Jeff Skinner converted a Jason Pominville rebound just 3:38 in and the fans blew the roof off the place. Just after the goal was scored they started a loud. “Let’s go Buffalo” chant. The noise actually started when the team took the ice to start.

It’s been a long time since a Sabres fan has had anything to cheer about, but the team wasn’t done. Just 1:42 later, it was 2-0 when Tage Thompson used his good speed to blow around the defense and deke out Alex Lyon in goal.

The Flyers were crumbling and after Jordan Weal took a penalty, the power play units were on fire. The second unit put all sorts of pressure on, but just missed numerous times. The first unit came on and three Sabres crashed the net with Evan Rodrigues picking up a loose puck for his first of the season.

Rodrigues made a great move and then pass to put Johan Larsson in through the left circle, Lyon was shell-shocked and left the short-side open and Larsson found it for his first of the season.

Just three seconds after the goal, Scott Laughton challenged Larsson and the Swede caught him with a left that put him down.

You should’ve seen the Buffalo bench. They were cheering as briskly for Larsson as they were for the goal, the fans were deafening and the bench was electric.

Jason Pominville told me in pre-game that the younger players are just starting to see what Buffalo fans are like when you’re winning.

In the first intermission, Rodrigues told me that he had never seen the arena like this and it was absolutely electric for the players.

When the Flyers were here last season, the crowd was littered with Flyers sweaters. This season, they were few and far between in the packed house. Montreal and Toronto fans will always be here, be the Buffalo fans have re-claimed their building.

It should be fun to see how this season unfolds, especially if the good play continues and the fans keep showing up.

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