A rant and a rave

Sabres story changing, and what I'm watching, reading, and playing

Jeremy White
February 02, 2019 - 9:51 am

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

Categories: 

The Rant 

I got what I asked for this season… a good start.

I suppose I should have asked for something more specific though, because while that good start was fun, what has followed has completely undone it.

Remember the good feelings from the top of the standings? Remember that most of us thought it wouldn’t last, but we could probably count on them making the playoffs just on the sheer math of it?

I do. 

I remember feeling like banking points and stealing a game here and there was delightful. Finally Buffalo could be the team that had a bit of luck and rides it into the playoffs. They had a huge lead, and needed to be an average team just to make the playoffs. It was a great feeling. We even delighted in the idea that it was all a sign of things to come.

The Buffalo Sabres are now 8-14-4 in the last 26 games. Per a tweet from John Buccigross, prior to last night’s game, they were tied for third-worst record in the NHL since November 29.  

Third fewest points in the NHL since being in first place. First was somewhat of a fluke, and we knew that, but the thing that gets me is that nothing about this collapse seems to strike anyone with the Sabres as any sort of problem.  

Are they upset? Are they resigned to seeing how it all plays out, and then at the end of the season hanging their hats on finishing ninth or 10th?  

Any talk of having improved off last year’s team is just noise to me. Was the standard “Just not last”? Because it’s looking like the only thing keeping them out of that race for last is a 10-game stretch in which they won three games in regulation.

Instead of that streak artificially propping them up and getting them into the postseason, it’s looking like it’ll keep them out of the basement.

Regression is one thing, but this is a collapse.  

They have picked up 20 of the last 52 points.

They have a league-low six of their last 20 available points… 

It is actually getting worse.

Much like last night’s game, they are likely to have a little bounce back. Maybe they close a little better and still miss the playoffs, right? Would they hang their hat on 10th? Spare us the idea that your strong April is a sign of things to come. Ask Ron Rolston about that.

The story of this season, on its own, really can no longer be about the perceived strides they’ve taken. If they miss, it’ll be a year we won’t soon forget. It’ll fit in with those Buffalo Bills' 5-1 and 3-0 starts. It’ll be another year tossed on the pile… where just the fleeting possibility of surpassing expectations hits your bloodstream like I’d imagine actually winning does.

At least we get to keep Rasmus Dahlin.

*****

The Rave

Been thinking of posting about things that are less frustrating… shows, games, and the books I can pass along…
 

  • Currently watching - Season 6 of “The Americans”  

Have enjoyed this show throughout, with a tiny bit of a mark against Season 5, if I’m being honest. It just didn’t grip me the way the previous years have. The show has the same problem that Narcos has in that… if you’re on your phone or distracted in any way, you’re going to miss a lot. Reading subtitles is important, but I dig it just the same. I’m not sure that when it all ends, I’ll toss it on my list of best shows… but it does the job. Will check back in after Season 6.
 

  • Currently reading -  “The Club: How the English Premier League Became the Wildest, Richest, Most Disruptive Force in Sports”

I’m big on audiobooks because I can binge hours at a time while driving or doing things around the house. Just about six hours in and it is the perfect supplement to the new, budding, or ardent fan of the Premier League. Would recommend it to any sports fan that wants to hear all about the building of a super power league, too. Tells the story of the league as it forms, and the major players that have shaped it along the way. There's so much that they borrowed from the NFL, and I still have so much to get through.
 

  • Currently playing - Hollow Knight 

After spending most of my gaming hours with FIFA and Red Dead Redemption 2, it’s nice to drift into what is a bit of an old-school style. In reading about Hollow Knight, I learned of the term “Metroidvania”. The internet says “Metroidvania is a subgenre of action-adventure video games. The term is a portmanteau of the game series Metroid and Castlevania. Metroidvania games use game design and mechanics that are similar to games from these two series.” It’s a side-scroller… a quest game. There’s no immersion like you have in RDR2. You aren’t tending to your horses and shaving (or not shaving). You’re a bug in some bug world that fights other bug monsters. It’s really beautifully made, and just the right amount of challenging. It’s taken me back to the time when I’m a 12-year-old playing video games… you meet the boss and he destroys you. It takes a few times to learn the attack sequence and when you finally get by it there’s that rush of… just let me call it this… accomplishment. I’m no hard-core game reviewer, but Hollow Knight has been a nice reminder that the world of gaming has some great new content that brings back the root of why you started playing oh-so-long ago. Relatedly, Playstation sent me an email this week offering my year-in-review, which told me just how much FIFA I played last year. I stared that number square in the face and I can say I accept it.  

*****

I realize those are quick little blurbs and there's a lot more to say about each... maybe once I finish them each respectively. Please feel free to send along your recommendations, or requests even for reviews and such. Think there's a lot of fun to be had in all of that.

Cheers all!

Go Rams.

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