The Leafs travel to Alphabet Arena tonight to face the red-hot Buffalo Sabres. This first trip would have been more appropriate for Halloween since the buds' record in the home of good wings is 4-17-3 (ties) since the Sabres moved to the new rink. That record alone is enough to give you nightmares before you remember that in most games the Leafs have not even been close to winning.
A friend of mine went to see the sens there (yeah, I forgive him) and he tells me it is a shithole arena in a crappy part of town (the words 'particle board' were used to describe the walls by the upper bowl's highest reaches). That might explain why until last season this team had so much trouble drawing fans. Of course, now that they have tied the Leafs season best start (asterisk) and were one win away from the final the fans have found their way back. Good to see the bandwagon doing it's part to support the team. It's always baffled me that Leafs' fans get a bad rap for their loyalty from other fans (all of the Canadian teams) while those same fans demand loyalty from their players (see: Oilers, Edmonton). Why should they stick around if you are going to leave as soon as things turn bad?
Anyway, the net result of the Sabres success is that there will most likely be significantly fewer Leafs fans due to the increased season ticket sales. sens' fans might want to read that last sentence before they start complaining about the number of Leaf fans in Ottawa. This will probably mean that fewer Torontonians will be swearing up a storm on their trip back across the bridge.
The good news is that the Sabres played very badly against the Bruins. The bad news is that the Leafs were brutal against Florida. I won't make any predictions because when they are optimistic they are horribly off (see: games, Ottawa) and when they are pessimistic they are right. So tonight I predict that there will be hockey, Lindy Ruff will make some smartass comments while ignoring his team's proclivity for diving, and Andrew Peters will not get the retribution he deserves (if that lump of hockey crappiness even sees the ice). Go Leafs Go!