Buffalo Sabres Show Their Fan Appreciation With Another Home Loss
How appropriate that the long and miserable Buffalo Sabres season performance on home ice would end with a loss. If you're counting, that's 29 losses at KeyBank Center and this one came on Fan Appreciation Night.
To be fair, the Sabres organization did a nice job of trying to make amends for the team's abysmal play with giveaways, reduced concession prices and recognition of their season ticket holders. One fan got to drop the puck in the ceremonial opening faceoff. Another won $5000.00 in a drawing announced by former Sabre Rene Robert. And at the end of the game players presented their game worn jerseys to fans whose seat numbers were selected throughout the game.
The team's performance on the ice was another story. Things got off to a promising start when Ryan O'Reilly scored on a breakaway just 30 seconds into the game, but two and a half minutes later the Ottawa Senators tied it, then took the lead for good a short time after that.
I thought it was interesting that when the horn sounded at the end of the first period with the Sabres trailing 2-1 there was complete silence in the building. No cheers, no boos, just silence. The fans have become so numb to such awful play that they just don't seem to care. And you can't help but think that the players just don't care either.
Kyle Okposo scored the other Buffalo goal to make it 3-2 at the time to give the fans a glimmer of hope, but the Sabres just couldn't generate enough offense to make a difference until the Senators scored into an empty net for a 4-2 final.
With the loss the Sabres "clinch" last place overall in the NHL for the third time in five seasons and the best draft lottery odds. When the draft lottery is held on April 28th the Sabres will have an 18.5 percent chance of winning the number one draft pick. The last two times they finished last in the standings - their so-called tank seasons, they failed to win the number one overall pick.
The Sabres have two more games to go thru the motions - Friday at Tampa and Saturday at Florida.