Last night, the electrifying Buffalo Sabres stepped into the First Niagara Center for their first true home game of the season.
It disappointed in every way possible. Sitting in section 108, where my family has held season tickets for almost 10 years now, the entire experience of last night's game was possibly the most forgettable I've ever had as a fan.
It wasn't just the players whose energy was lacking either.
To open the night, the new entrance video for the Sabres was extremely boring. There wasn't any kind of music to get the crowd into it. Then came the first of many awkward silences. Eventually the lineup was announced. Not a single player got as loud an ovation as Ryan Miller did last year for every game I was in attendance for.
Why? What was with the fans last night that so moved them to boredom? I can tell you this, the Sabres may not have helped, but last night was the worst crowd I have ever heard since the Sabres started selling their games out.
Then came the game. With 42 shots, the Sabres mustered only three goals. They looked sloppy, taking numerous stupid penalties including the kill shot of Thomas Vanek's tripping.
It wasn't just the Sabres PK that made a lot of appearances, the power play unit had six opportunities to score last night. The Hurricanes converted two of those six to goals, giving them a 33 percent penalty kill scoring percentage to the Sabres' zero.
And last but not least, Ryan Miller was far from spectacular. Were some of the goals tough to stop? Yes. Did he get as much help as he should have from back checkers? No. However, even on his saves, Miller didn't look too hot.
I understand every team has bad games, but last night was beyond what is acceptable for a team of the Sabres salary and talent.
The 2011-2012 home opener was probably one of the worst Sabres games I attended. From top to bottom, last night proved that the Sabres still have a long way to go. And that includes the people on the ice and in the stands.