BUFFALO (LGS) — In place of a preview for Saturday afternoon's Game 5 against the Ottawa Senators, I was all set to write an inspiring story Friday night about an impossible comeback that suddenly looked possible. A comeback that only three professional sports teams have been able to pull off in modern history.
But then I read the paper and found out the possible comeback didn’t happen. I was crushed.
That’s right: The Chicago Bulls lost Game 6 of their Eastern Conference playoff series to the Detroit Pistons.
Yeah this is a Sabres website, and I’ll be getting to them, but this Chicago-Detroit series was very interesting as it also featured a 3-0 series lead.
I hate basketball. But the parallels were drawn so smooth, water rolled right off.
Chicago quickly fell behind to a better Pistons team by that oh-so-insurmountable lead. Just like the Sabres.
Then the Bulls went on to win two games themselves. Just like the Sabres have a chance of doing Saturday afternoon at home.
But the story book closed on Chicago's hoops team Thursday night, leaving our Presidents’ trophy-winning team as the only one with a chance at the comeback of all comebacks.
I digress. The parallels better stop there.
However, Sabre fans need to learn a lesson from what has happened with the Bulls.
We need to relax now. I’m hearing an awful lot of talk after the victory in Game 4 of coming back. I agree with it. But we have to remain realistic and just enjoy the games for now.
Wait, I mean “GO SABRES! YOU GUYS ARE SO GOING TO WIN THIS SERIES. OTTAWA DOESN’T STAND A CHANCE. YOU PWN OTTAWA YOU ROXORZ.”
It has come to a point in this series where it might just be better to hold back on this kind of talking. I believe it to be counterproductive. And no, like I said, I haven’t given up hope.
I’m not here to tell you all that hope is lost. I won’t tell you to just give up now, so that when they lose, you won’t be so heartbroken.
I’m here to urge anyone who reads this to simply enjoy the game. You see, this team has energized the city of Buffalo, and the surrounding areas. But with one loss, all of the hopes and dreams of the most excitable fans will be dashed permanently.
So what could be better than simply enjoying the fact that they are playing one more game for you to watch?
Stop getting caught up in the comeback. They need to win one game, not three. They need to win one game to be able to play a second. Without that one game, there is no comeback.
So, wouldn’t it be better to cheer them on Saturday without dreams of Stanley dancing through your heads?
I don't want to dash your hopes and dreams; I want a championship as much as the next lifelong Buffalonian does. But with hope so bleak, maybe it is best to do as the players do: concentrate on the here and the now.
The team needs to play one game at a time because they need to win Saturday or their season is over. And just like them, we as fans need to concentrate on Saturday as well.
We have to rise up. We need to let all the stops out. We have to cheer like the season is over tomorrow. We have to let the Sabres know that we are there to support them in their quest. We need for HSBC Arena to set the decibel level to a new high.
Because the cold reality of the situation is that the Sabres are on the brink. With a loss, the season is over. And we go home empty handed again.
At least the fans will know they tried. And when they skate off the ice tomorrow afternoon, win or lose, the players will know too.
But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s win Saturday.
Because a comeback is impossible without it. The truth is that we don’t own Ottawa, we don’t rock and we likely won’t win the series. But enjoying one game at a time, and enjoying the fact that they are one of only four teams still playing right now, is energizing enough.
Here’s to a successful Game 5. And “Let’s Go Buffalo.”
Let the cards fall where they may.