The hand-wringing, the blaming Villie Leino, the anger towards the offense and coach Lindy Ruff as Buffalo had the nerve to drop their second game of the season on Saturday night in Tampa Bay has been pretty comical in the days leading up to tonight's rematch with the Lightning.
It's not even worth it to address the "honeymoon is over" crowd. The same people who yell "SHOOT THE PUCK" when four guys are in front of Tyler Myers on the powerplay. The same guys that think Jhonas Enroth is the next Patrick Roy. You know the type.
But, it does go to show that there is a bit of a bubble around "Hockey Heaven" these days. Face facts, the Tampa Bay Lightning were a better team than the Sabres last year, and they're a better team than the Sabres this year. Christian Ehrhoff, Villie Leino and Robyn Regher do not change that fact.
The Lightning took the eventual Stanley Cup Champions to a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals. Remember that one? Probably the best game of the entire 2011 postseason.
While Buffalo's top line of Thomas Vanek, Luke Adam and Jason Pominville have gotten off to a blistering start, give me Martin St. Louis, Vinny Lecavalier and whoever they feel like throwing on the right win over Vanek, Pommer and Adam any day of the week.
That's not a slight to our top line, but, the Lightning are good! They have a pretty good chance of making a deep playoff run again this spring. Relax. The Sabres were incredibly road weary. The Sabres played one home game in three-and-a-half weeks, with a trip to Europe jammed in there.
Breathe. Relax. It's October.