EDIT: So if you're reading this you already know. The season's been boarded up. The doors, the locker rooms, everything. We're staying in the Comfort Inn, room 112. I love you.
Or, alternatively you can read what I wrote before the news Eichel will be out 4-6 weeks (say 8 to be safe) because really, truly, it changes little about the enthusiasm or really what your expectations should be.
In every article, book, quote, post I’ve ever read about writing, the one piece of advice that is nearly universal is this: keep writing. Write every day, write something. For many years I did; I wrote in college classrooms during lectures, wrote during work hours in Vermont and Buffalo, wrote at home with the sound of a game in the background. If I wasn’t working on some story (which, from age 12-26 I almost always was), I was working on papers, about the death penalty, the Dred Scott decision, Vatican II, the influence of the frontier on early American Literature (gleamed almost entirely from SparkNotes), or the impact personality had on the Good Friday Agreement.
Point is I can tell you that when it comes to getting words to flow onto the paper/screen, nothing can replace the simple act of beginning to write. You can think about your post while in the car, search your tweets for a coherent #narrative, smoke a blunt and watch a Ken Burns series; nothing is going to help as much as sucking it up, closing the door and starting to type shit out until it clicks.
I say this because for the last few months I’ve had absolutely NO idea what I wanted to say about the upcoming Sabres season. There’s no longer a goal that’s bigger than the game; with the first year of development behind Eichel and Reinhart, and the first year of playing together behind nearly everyone, the shift as gone from “let’s just hope they’re fun and we see improvement” to “okay well now let’s try to make the playoffs.”
The fact that this takes some getting used to is by itself a testament to how shitty the past three seasons have been. The fact I can barely remember what it’s like to be a fan of a team that had expectations and potential makes me want to open my window and scream “what the fuck have we been doing!?”
Then I watch Jack Eichel (EDIT: in 4-8 weeks), Sam Reinhart and Ryan O’Reilly and I’m like, “oh yeah.”