In his comments to reporters today Ryan Miller came out and said he wants HSBC Arena to be louder for the playoffs. I think he is spot on in asking for more from the Sabres fans.
During far too many Sabres games this season, before and after Pegula Day, the Arena has been far too quiet. A great deal of blame can be saddled on the team for lackluster play (see, 3-0 vs. St. Louis) but the fans certainly don’t help the cause.
After witnessing the way Canadian fans act while watching their country I have seen how fans can affect the outcome of a game. A good example is the Boston fans screaming “Tuuuuuuka” after every….single….save in the 2010 playoffs. Canadian fans do this too. Whether it is a windmill glove save or a simple dump in, the goalie just made the greatest save ever. That is exhibit A. Canadian fans also cheer any hit they see and any rush. Exhibit B.
Those two examples are what I want to focus on. If your watching on TV, in the arena or on the bench, the electricity created by 19,000 people screaming in excitement at everything your team does gets you seriously jazzed. It works the other way too. There is a lot of tension that gets churned up when the opposing fans are jumping on the bandwagon. You can’t make any mistakes and then you start to grip the stick a little tighter. Think about it Sabre fans, if you get the Flyers on edge you’re that much closer to watching second round hockey.
I’m want the Flyers to be all Shooter McGavin when they’re in HSBC. If Peter Laviolette has to tell fans “go back to your shanties” I think the mission has been accomplished. Let’s see what you’ve got Hockey Heaven.