Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 04/04/10 at 07:03 PM ET
Carolina’s hopes for playoff hockey dates came to an end on Saturday with a listless 4-0 loss against the New Jersey Devils. There really wasn’t anything worth being happy about as a Canes fan watching that game. They were already done a long time ago, and were needing a miracle. In the end, Carolina’s efforts may have been for naught anyway because they still needed A LOT of outside help. It’s inappropriate, I think, to point fingers at this game and say “this is the one that kept us out of the playoffs”. Sure, it was the final nail in the coffin, but it’s not a one-nail coffin. If fans want to point fingers, they can do it not at any one game in particular, but the fourteen game winless streak early in the season.
While the Canes players will be arranging tee times for this spring, Canes fans will have to follow the Albany River Rats in the Calder Cup playoffs. We’ll also have to choose NHL teams to root for in the Stanley Cup playoffs. My selection isn’t a popular one amongst my Caniac brethren, but I’m not ashamed of it.
I’ve chosen the Buffalo Sabres. Some Hurricanes fans senselessly hate the Sabres because of the beautiful playoff series we played back in 2006. Most people who have this hatred heard stories about some rude visiting Sabres fans. Instead of letting the series win and the Stanley Cup rings take care of that, they’ve held on to it. Instead of having an understanding that for every rude Sabres fan there was an equally rude Hurricanes fan, they’ve held on to this ridiculous hate.
I’ll admit that for a short time, I participated in some of this Sabres-hate, but that was for some reason that was completely apart from anything to do with hockey. I was being a brat about a feud I was having with a wonderful friend, and my way of dealing with it was to take it out on her Sabres. I’ve gotten over that, thankfully. Indeed, my choice to support the Sabres is partly for her. Partly for the handful of friends and acquaintances I have who are Sabres fans. Partly because I genuinely like them. Obviously not as much as the Hurricanes, but I like them, and I’ll stand by that.
About those stories about rude Sabres visitors: during that 2006 Eastern Conference Championship series, I had the pleasure of meeting some really nice folks who drove down. I had nothing but good interactions that spring, and I’ve never run across anyone who deserves the hate that’s blindly piled upon that fanbase.
Anyway, I’ve made my choice, and when the second season starts, I will become a Sabres fan for one or two months. In the fall, it’ll be back to normal.
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.