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NHL

The Sabres Are Winners

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 26: Jeff Skinner #53 of the Buffalo Sabres congratulates Linus Ullmark #35 after beating the New York Rangers at KeyBank Center on January 26 , 2021 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

This is a website for winners only. Our readers? Winners. Our commenters? Double winners. And this blog is a winners’ blog—winners only past this point. Not so fast, Flyers.

You know who are winners? The Buffalo Sabres are motherfucking winners. Winners of one straight, after their dominant 6-1 victory over the Flyers Wednesday night, ending an 18-game losing streak that dated back to February. But that’s the thing about winning: It can make anyone a winner. “Tonight just kind of was a full 60 minutes,” said defenseman Brandon Montour, “where everybody was moving, everybody was feeling good.” That’s winner talk.

Here’s Sam Reinhart—undeniably a winner—getting the world-beating Sabres on the board by banking in a shot off a Flyer in front. That sort of puck luck is the true sign of a winner.

Just a couple minutes later Riley Sheahan blocked a shot and led a one-man rush, but, like a true winner, renounced an inferior scoring opportunity to hand it off to Curtis Lazar for a better one. Lazar, also a winner, potted it.

The Sabres allowed the Flyers to halve the deficit, but winners don’t panic. Winners know that nobody’s perfect. Winners get right back on that horse.

I don’t know who Steven Fogarty is, but I know he’s a winner.

Winners are selfless, because they know that you can’t win on your own. Winners move the puck, waiting for the right moment to strike. And when they do? Winners hug.

My god, you are saying, tears in your eyes, so much winning. Surely no team has ever won so hard and so thoroughly. And surely that must be the extent of it; no team could win more than that in a single night. Oh ho ho, my friend. Winners don’t take shifts off.

He’s not in the highlights, but take my word for it that goalie Linus Ullmark was a winner last night too, stopping 31 shots.

Winning, of course, isn’t merely something you do. It’s who you are. So even though Buffalo lost 18 in a row, a true loser team would have just rolled over and died, just mailed in the season and waited for golf. Not these Sabres. They were winners all along, with winners’ hearts and winners’ souls, and all that winning finally resulted in a win, as they knew it must. Because winners, you see, never give up, and always believe.

The Flyers? Big-time losers. Even when they beat Buffalo on Monday, they were losers. The Flyers have no place in this blog about winners.