Last night I was on a date in the Fells Point area of Baltimore, my favorite spot for food and drink nightlife in the city- well, definitely drink nightlife, Canton has some great food places to offer as well. Anyway, I was relieved about this not simply because the beer list at Max’s Taphouse is the most exquisite of anywhere I’ve ever been, but because I wouldn’t be sitting on my ass feeling obligated to watch the Sabres and Leafs. Perhaps I could have requested it be put on but I’m not a sick individual; no, I would just check the score periodically during the night. My first two checks had the Sabres down 2-1 and 3-2 respectively; all was in order, everyone could back the fuck off the ledge and suddenly the 2-4 stretch would be down to 2-3.
Next check they were suddenly ahead and then the game was over. It was disappointing and I was eminently thankful I was not subjected to watch that hand-wringing farce let alone the tire fire that was sure to be my twitter feed, which has devolved in some deranged game of whack-a-mole, where every completely unhinged formally sane individual I have to mute simply results in finding two more who have come down with some sort of space dementia like Buscemi’s character in Armageddon.
The question at the base of everything is one I find at the end of the day no one disagrees with. Having the opportunity to draft first or second in this draft will make the team better than not doing so will. The degree is something we can only speculate on but it certainly appears- and everyone with the intelligence to speak on such things seems to agree- that it will be a significant one. The drop off from McDavid/Eichel to say, Strome is noticeable to say the least. For a team that was putrid last year and is pitiful this year, it logically follows that that significant difference may ultimately mean the difference between the next relevant appearance for the team is the 2nd round in '16-'17 with McEichel or getting bounced in the first round in 17-18 with random third pick. It’s a reasonable assumption, just as people who point at the Red Wings or the Ducks as examples that there are more ways to do it are reasonable when they do so.
I think what bothers people the most at the prospect of losing a top-two pick is the McEichel way is almost certainly the most fun way to build a team. At the end of the day they are fun players, great players, and the insecurity under the very thin skin of the fans that have stuck around for every insufferable second of the eight-year elevator free-fall from Alfredsson’s wrister to cheering Phoenix’s winning goal aren’t wrong for wanting that. We’ve watched the other hometown team get its shot in the arm, get fun players, a fun coach, make following them exciting, interesting. We want something similar at First Niagara Center and I can’t blame anyone; it’s a lot easier to go through the slow climb back into daylight when whoever is leading it can make your jaw drop every single game.
So if we all can agree that we want the same thing, why is everything so awful? Well, as someone who has felt the heat wave of the hydrogen bomb takes emanating from Western New York all the way here between Baltimore and Washington, I have more than a few things to say. I really, REALLY wanted to let this season go by without a related post, so I could then pop up after 30th was clinched, giving the double middle fingers and we could all have a laugh. I’m also not one to tell people how to be a fan- outside of bandwagoning and/or carpetbagging- but this isn’t that; personally I think you can go to FNC and root your little hearts out for the opposing team, just as you can yell from the 300’s that Weber sucks in the non-bizarro world.