European Sabres (Somewhat NSFW)


I am not saying that Sabres fans are biased against European players, but I am certainly not saying that they are not. Okay, I actually am saying that many Sabres fans are biased against the European players on this team. After the jump you will find my somewhat NSFW thoughts on this bias.

The hatred towards the European players on this team is mostly unsubstantiated. If a European player has one bad game people will jump on them ruthlessly. Conversely, a Canadian or American player will get a free pass for the same mistakes or inadequacies for a short period of time before the inane comments and hate surface. This free pass is nothing less than a double standard; the likes of which we must rid ourselves of if we are to look at our favorite team with even a minuscule amount of objectivity and rationality.

Frankly, I am gorram sick and tired of seeing hate for European players on the Sabres, or any other team for that matter. In particular, I am tired of seeing hate directed at Thomas Vanek and Andrej Sekera. Hatred for either of these players is, in my opinion, unjustified on almost all accounts.

The hate directed at Thomas Vanek has me particularly baffled. Vanek has led the Sabres in goals for the last 5 years and has been in the top 5 in points on the Sabres for every year except for his rookie season when he was 6th. A year in which he fell short of Tim Connolly by 7 points; ironic considering the hatred towards Connolly. I find it funny that many fans call him lazy, especially considering the abuse he takes in front of the net shitting on the opposing team’s goalie. I am not saying that Vanek is perfect, but he is anything but terrible and most certainly not lazy. I am still annoyed by the woman from the home opener against the Hurricanes that said Vanek should not even be on the team. Get over it people. Darcy Regier had to match the Oilers offer sheet. Sure, the Sabres would have received some prime draft picks, but it is not smart to let a player of Vanek’s caliber walk in favor of draft picks.

As for Andrej Sekera, I am again baffled by the hate and inane comments regarding his performance as a defensemen. When not paired with Tyler Myers, he was one of the better defensemen on the team this season. In fact, there have been times this season when he has been the best defensemen on the team. Sekera is one of the better defensive puck moving defensemen within the Sabres’ stable of puck moving defensemen. That should work in his favor, not the opposite. He finished the 2010-11 season as a +11 in 76 games, which was good enough for 5th on the Sabres. The only two defensemen to finish above him were Steve Montador at +16 in 73 games and Mike Weber at +13 in 58 games. Jordan Leopold, however, finished at -11 in 71 games. Good enough for dead last on the team next to Tim Connolly’s -10. Currently Sekera is 2nd on the team at +4 in 20 games. Numbers can be deceiving, but Sekera is not as bad as many believe him to be. You cannot call any player terrible after one or two bads games in succession.

I could touch on the other European players on the Sabres, but Vanek and Sekera seem to draw the more ire from fans. I fear for young Joel Armia when he finishes his SM-Liiga career and ventures across the pond to begin his NHL career. I can only imagine the hatred that will be directed at him if he does not correct his (at times) lazy play. Sabres fans with a bias against European players absolutely must end their gorram hatred and realize these players for what they are. Yes, some European players in the past have fit into the stereotype, but what about Teppo Numminen? I am of the understanding that most fans loved him and he was Finnish. The last I checked Finland is in Northern Europe…

In Tylers (and European players) we trust.

P.S. Thank you to all of the European player haters. I am now putting the Tyler Myers jersey I have desired on hold in favor of a Sekera jersey. Simply to spite you all.

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2 responses to “European Sabres (Somewhat NSFW)”

  1. Andrew Meyer says :

    There was a dude at the game tonight who sat in the row in front of me. Sekera took a penalty while defending a two on one and the guy yelled “BOOO. YOU SUCK SEKERA.” Then later in the game he did it again for almost no reason. When Sekera almost scored a minute later I was tempted to yell, the same phrase in his face. I refrained, however, because I hate people and they suck. European players can be pretty lazy sometimes and they do have a different style of play (neither bad nor good). I totally hate that fans hate on Euros for no reason. It’s the same reason I hate Don Cherry (GASP!).European players are not any worse than Canadian or American players. Vanek is prime talent. Sekera is the man. Armia is going to be a crafty version of Ennis. Euros provide a much needed spark to this vanilla team and the fans need to realize that.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Andrej Sekera Week « The Ruff Writers - November 28, 2011

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