Tonawanda News


March 16, 2011

DUVALL: Sabres still frustrate this editor

— — I can’t think of one thing, so you get all of them today:

• The Buffalo Sabres are still a maddening team to watch sometimes. Tuesday night’s home loss to Carolina was a prime example.

The team registered 40 shots on goal. There were a dozen fantastic scoring opportunities. And somehow, no one managed to score a goal. Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward, long a thorn in the Sabres’ side, played well. It’s no excuse to get shut out on home ice.

The Sabres have missed an opportunity to put two teams essentially out of the playoff race after letting a lead slip away in Toronto on Saturday. These are the kind of games that teams look back on at the end of the season if they miss the playoffs and just shake their head at.

• But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how absolutely cool it is that new Sabres owner Terry Pegula and the team’s new president Ted Black watched a significant portion of Tuesday’s game up in the cheap seats. Pegula and Black were spotted in a couple of seats in section 317.

As a season ticket holder in the 300s for four seasons now, I can’t ever imagine what it would be like to walk up to my seats and see the owner sitting next to me.

How cool is this guy?

• Last bit of Sabres news before we move on: Though his career ended before I was born, I would be remiss in failing to note the tragic passing of French Connection member Rick Martin on Sunday.

Martin and Rene Robert were the wingmen for Gilbert Perreault and Martin is remembered as perhaps the greatest pure goal-scorer in franchise history.

In reading the testimonies offered by colleagues in the media and his former teammates, Martin was the life of the party. He was a pillar of the community and I’ve been genuinely surprised at how many acquaintances had met him in person. He was a regular on the charity golf tournament circuit and active in the Sabres Alumni Association.

Rico will certainly be missed.

• Pop quiz! In what state was the “shot heard round the world” fired? If you’re Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, the answer is New Hampshire.


A Tea Party champion who proclaims an undying love for all our Founding Fathers did to establish a democracy, Bachmann told an audience in New Hampshire how grateful she was — and how proud Granite Staters should be — for having kicked off the Revolutionary War. No doubt this message would sell extremely well — if the nation’s first primary were held in Massachusetts, where the revolution actually began at Lexington and Concord.

If you’re going to preach the gospel of American history, you should probably read about it first.

• I genuinely don’t know what to say about the terrible situation in Japan right now. It is immensely sad and still quite scary. Not only are thousands dead, many more are facing imminent danger as these nuclear reactors spin farther and farther out of control.

What does one do when one of the world’s worst natural disasters causes what could be one of the worst environmental ones? Pray for the best, I guess.

Doesn’t seem that there’s much else we can do at this point.

Eric DuVall is the managing editor of the Tonawanda News. His column appears Wednesdays and Sundays. Contact him at

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