The thing about the Buffalo Sabres, who the Canadiens play Friday night in their season opener, is that for the most part, they’ve been fun to watch over the years, with the French Connection, Scotty Bowman, Punch Imlach, Tim Horton, and that little pipsqueak Daniel Briere, all doing their thing, many of them, or most of them, at the old Memorial Auditorium.
And did I mention the French Connection?
But then there’s the Sabre sweater, which looks like it came from George Jetson’s closet.
Certain teams must sometimes ask themselves the question – what was so wrong with the original sweater?
I’d probably like the Sabres slightly more if they were in the west instead of the east. But because they’re in the east, they’re going to be trying their best to be right up there in the Eastern Conference standings, which means they’re gonna try and beat the Habs.
And I have no time for such attitude.
The city of Buffalo itself might as well be in Canada. It’s close to the Canadian border, just down the road from Niagara Falls, and their snowstorms are as good or better than ours. I don’t know if folks there say “eh” but it wouldn’t surprise me. And they have a rich sporting history, with major and minor league baseball teams over the years, and of course the Buffalo Bills of the NFL.
And Buffalo had the Buffalo Bisons, a great American Hockey League team for years (1940-1970) but got bumped aside when the Sabres came into being. So Buffalo is a good, solid hockey town. How can it not be, with all those snowbanks, ice, and chicken (Buffalo) wings?
Like I said, it might as well be Canadian.
Montreal needs this opening game. A nice jump out of the gate would be good, get the ball rolling, grab a quick two points, and then head up to Toronto to play the Leafs, a team which needs no introducton. They don’t deserve it.
So the Canadiens season begins on Friday, and it’s about time. Summers are nice and all that, but the road to the Stanley Cup trumps all the beaches, canoes, and frisbee-throwing out there.
And they have to start by beating those Sabres, eh?