Every year there's a team that for some reason people resent their success.
This year it's the Sabs. I went to the first Sabres game ever in 1970, with my dad and fell in love with Gilbert Perrault and the team.
I've been in love ever since. We almost lost this team--where the Pen's are now we were just a few years ago. The '99 finals was a very bitter pill to swallow too---and the Sabres certainly could have won the Cup that year.
The Sabs are a very humble team, very caring, very fan centered. Many players go elsewhere but end up living in Buffalo, it's a warm and friendly town. The economy and weather aside, I wouldn't live anywhere else. (truth be told the weather isn't that bad, no hurricanes, tornadoes, mudslides, earthquakes)
I am so proud of this group of guys. Even with 7 or 8 guys out our farmers come up and find a way. We're not a cheap shot team, I honestly don't know why hockey fans don't embrace these guys. Last year we had NO D-men left in the semi's and still came very close, name another team that could have that many injuries and do as well.
The thing is, I think "real fans", fans that know the game do embrace them. They don't bad mouth the town or it's people. I have cheered every team in this league at one time or another, I've enjoyed every Cup celebration (Dallas '99 aside) and truly love the sport.
We may screw it up in the playoffs, but that won't change the accomplishments of this season or sour the fans. This is true love, maybe that's the part you don't understand.
Go Sabs, we love you no matter what!