On the street: Sabres talk
blog by Dan Ludwig • September 28, 2011 @ 2:21pm
The end of September usually means a couple of things for Buffalonians: complaining about the lowly Bills, grumbling about the upcoming cold weather, and lamenting the fact that the Sabres’ front office neglected the team needs in the off season.
Well, it must be a cold day in Hell because the Bills are 3-0 and atop the AFC East, the weather in Buffalo has shown no signs of Old Man Winter (knock on wood…now…please) and the Buffalo Sabres decided to open the purse strings this off season.
With this thought in mind, Buffalo.com’s Britney B. joined me on the streets of downtown Buffalo to get some feedback and predictions about the prospects for the 2011-2012 version of our beloved Sabres. With Terry Pegula spending money like a drunken sailor and the Sabres steamrolling the competition this preseason (4-1-0 entering the week), the Buffalo.com staff figured that hockey fans would be busting at the seems to talk about their beloved Sabres.
Much to our chagrin, many working-class Buffalonians had other things on their mind besides the blue and gold sweaters—like, well, getting back to work.
But not everyone! Pat Cannon and Steve Hnat, both from Buffalo, reflected the thoughts of hopeful Sabres fans throughout the the city. Cannon touted the confidence that comes naturally to more optimistic fans—he prognosticated that the Sabres would hoist the Cup on a warm June day in 2012. Hnat took a slightly more realistic approach, but was nonetheless confident about the season and quick to point out the changing atmosphere around the team.
However, conversations like the one we recorded between Cannon and Hnat had were hard to come by. Maybe it was the time of day. Maybe Britney and I legitimately frightened people with our youthful enthusiasm and propensity to jam a video camera in their unsuspecting mugs. Regardless, we were hard-pressed to find people willing to share their thoughts on this year’s team.
That said, we did meet some kind people who were eager to share their opinion. Jason Hurley of Buffalo and Meg McGready of Lancaster took a break from their lunch to inform us that they both look forward to seeing the Sabres beat our neighbors to the North.
“We are gonna beat Toronto every time we play them,” said Hurley. “Gerbe is gonna lead the team in scoring.”
McGready shared Hurley’s distaste of Canadian hockey clubs, despite her self-admitted ignorance. “I don’t know anything about the Sabres” she conceded. “I just hope we beat Montreal.”
Brad Devore of Tonawanda had a specific prediction that caught our ear. Devore postulated that before the end of the preseason, the Sabres’ leading scorer from last year, Thomas Vanek, would be named team captain. In seasons past, the “C” has floated from jersey to jersey within the Sabres’ locker room, so Devore’s prediction may be bold indeed.
The Sabres are in action this Friday, Sept. 30 against the Washington Capitals at 7 p.m., their final game of the preseason. The regular season starts on Friday, Oct. 7 when Buffalo travels to Helsinki to face the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.