Well, that was interesting.
With just a little over 2 minutes left in the 3rd period, and with the Sabres holding a 3-1 lead over a worn-out Nashville squad, Sabres Game Chat on Twitter was a lovefest.
The game was so much fun, and the win for Buffalo seemed so certain, that I found myself sharing this brilliant Rebecca Black parody by Matt Mulholland with fellow fans as time began to wore down in the 3rd:
…which has nothing to do with hockey – I know. But we were all just having a blast, and oh, I also posted this as well – an actual hockey video featuring a Randy Wood goal and Pat LaFontaine’s Robocop helmet (a truly awesome find on Youtube, and yes, you’re welcome):
Goodtimes, goodtimes. Then, 3 minutes of bad hockey happened. The predators scored two freakish goals to tie the game, and quickly followed that up by scoring the winner on the 1st shift of overtime.
The twitter feed went ballistic. And not just in sheer volume of angry/disappointed tweets, but for the shots fans and media folk were taking at each other. Oh my, things got very personal, as fans quickly split into two angry tweeting mobs and fired off the nastiest little sentences they could think of as quickly as possible. (I am certainly not going to name names here, rather, I would like to remain professional.)
The seething factions totally ignored my pleas for peace. “I think everyone needs to eat a dang cupcake and relax,” was lost on the raging masses.
While everyone was trying to ruin each other’s weekends with poorly-informed insults, Rob Ray was on TV talking about the loss, and I think he made a very good point. His well-informed angle, after talking to the Sabres, (in person, and not on Twitter), was that this is exactly the kind of horrific loss that can actually galvanize a team. It can bring the players closer together, and push them harder for these last 10 games of the playoff run.
No one looked up long enough from the cat fight to notice that and tweet about Ray’s point, but one person arose from the madness with some actual research, and made a very incisive point on his own. From out of the maelstrom arose @ntrider825 from the mobs, and this is what he said:
Right now, the argument is likely still streaming at 100 tweets a minute, but the dude nailed the argument dead right there – and look – he didn’t include a single word of malice. Very smart, very prepared, and very effective. I wonder if he is a lawyer?
What those links contain is two box scores from the Chicago Blackhawks of last season – they detail two games where the Hawks had a generous lead, and suffered a 3rd period meltdown and lost. Then, as we all remember, they marched on and won the Stanley Cup.
Thank you, @ntrider825, for doing my work for me. No research needed tonight.
Anyway, what does this all mean? Nothing.
Yes, the Sabres suffered their most shocking loss of the season. As Ray noted, it might make them stronger. It might not. We know the Hawks suffered two games like this last season and went on to win the whole dang thing. The Sabres could do that. They might not.
All that really matters here is the following:
- There are now ten games left.
- The Sabres did earn a point, and are up 3 points on Carolina now for the final playoff seed.
- The Sabres play Montreal on Tuesday, continuing their playoff push.
That’s it. Oh, that, and people – eat some cupcakes.