Kukla's Korner

The Sabres Observer

We’re Sorry, Nathan Gerbe

On behalf of all Sabres followers, Mr. Gerbe, we apologize for doubting you.  Your performance in Buffalo’s 2-0 win last night in Montreal was the clincher.  All we can talk about today is your herculean effort that produced the empty net goal (1:10 of the video) that put the game away.

In our defense, not all of the pessimism surrounding the potential of your career was our fault.  Early on, you were given plenty of chances but things didn’t really seem to be working out.

In many ways, however, we’re equally to blame.

When you were drafted in 2005 in the 5th round, we charted your future to be of similar failure to most other late round draft picks.

When you pretty much guaranteed during training camp in 2009 that you were going to make the team, we didn’t really believe you but still admired your spirit.

When you dropped your gloves and tormented a forward 6 inches and 25 pounds bigger during the 2010 rookie camp, and when he was unwilling to fight you, we lamented that your feistiness would have been great for the Sabres if only you had the talent.

When you could only muster three goals in your first 45 NHL games, with a lot of that time being given a look on the top forward line, we became fed up to the point where we couldn’t run you out of town fast enough.

When all five-foot-five of you stood up and challenged six-foot-nine Zdeno Chara, the sight of the two of you in a shoving match (:20 of the video) looked like such an optical illusion that we thought there was something wrong with our televisions.

When you set a franchise record by scoring two goals in five seconds, we labeled you as nothing more than the answer to a trivia question.

Wow, how things have changed.

All you’ve done since then is score 11 goals over your past 27 games.  Daniel Sedin has been able to keep up with you and match this feat, but Steven Stamkos has fallen short of your pace.

The play of you and your smallish partner in crime, Tyler Ennis, has brought the speed game back to Buffalo and opened things up offensively.  It’s been a joy for Sabres fans to watch the development of two young players that have evolved into energetic and productive contributors to a team that really needed it.

Which reminds me, where is this faith the Sabres have in career three-goal scorer Mark Mancari coming from?  He’s been given plenty of chances but things don’t really seem to be working out…

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About The Sabres Observer

Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003.  He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene.  Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.

Davis originally garnered media attention in 2002 as leader of a lobbying campaign working in unison with potential buyer Mark Hamister attempting to secure state financing to keep the Sabres in Buffalo.  In 2004, Davis was briefly back on the airwaves - this time reaching the finals of the inaugural "WGR Rookie" sports talk competition.  After a few years of "syndicating" his articles on various sites, along with doing some internet radio work, Davis now devotes his new media efforts to bringing quality Sabres related opinions and content to Kukla's Korner.

Email: dd@kuklaskorner.com Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]