The Bills and the Sabres have definitely had hot starts of their own, but collectively, we are in the midst of witnessing something that hasn’t happened yet in Buffalo. Together, the Bills and Sabres are off to their best start to date. This takeoff has Buffalo buzzing.
“There is an energy in the city, you can feel it right now because of both teams,” John Murphy, the Voice of the Buffalo Bills, said. “The Bills got about a two week head start on the Sabres, but the Sabres have played great since they started. You can feel the energy, you can just feel it on the street. You feel it in our jobs on the radio, it’s an upbeat kind of energy.”
The Bills are off to a 5-2 (.714 win percentage) start. The Sabres are 9-2-2 (.769 points percentage) through October. This marks the highest win and points percentage for both teams at the same time through October. This is just the third time ever both teams have started with a win or points percentage of .700 or better in the same season. In 1973, the Bills were 5-2 and the Sabres were 7-3-0 to begin their seasons. In 2008, the Bills started the season 5-3 while the Sabres went 6-2-2 out of the gate.
Former Sabres goalie and current Sabres studio analyst Marty Biron, a Quebec native, remembers his first season in a city full of fanatics.
“It’s such a sports town,” Biron said. “I remember when I first got to Buffalo, 1999-2000 was my first year. You think of the Bills playing at Tennessee and the Music City Miracle. The town just went crazy about it. We made the playoffs that year, too. We played Philly in the playoffs and Dominik Hasek got a goal scored through the side of the net that counted. That whole year, the community, the teams were good, they made the playoffs and there was controversy. It was a bomb waiting to explode because the fans were just unbelievable.”
This weekend, the Sabres will host the NY Islanders at KeyBank Center on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7 pm. The Bills will host the Redskins on Sunday at New Era Field at 1 pm.
An impressive start to the season can captivate a crowd. But a hot start begs the question, can each team sustain success?
“I think that’s one of the reasons people are jumping on board with this is because they know it might be a nice ride for the extended future,” former Bill and current One Bills Live host Steve Tasker explained. “Certainly, the Bills are built to sustain. That was one of their main caveats and why they took two full years to get to this season, as well as some of the things they have done financially with the salary cap. With the Sabres you have Ralph Krueger arriving, you know some of your best players are very young. It seems they are poised to be good for a long time and a playoff contender for a long time as well.”
The moves Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott have made in the last three years to help the Bills find success, as well as the moves Jason Botterill and new Sabres coach Ralph Krueger have made in their first year together have Buffalo fans believing both teams can have success for the long haul.
“It’s amazing,” former Sabres left winger and current Instigators host Andrew Peters said. “It changes the mood for everyone. It’s hard to believe that sports can do that. This city is red hot and electric when the Bills or the Sabres are winning. In 2006 the Bills didn’t make the playoffs, but we got the Presidents’ Trophy and the city was electric. It’s hard to tell if it’s more of a hockey town or a football town. I feel like it’s equally both.”
With the favorable start the Bills and Sabres are having to their season, Buffalo is certainly feeling united as One Buffalo. Actually, it’s really a feeling of Won Buffalo around here with hopes of consistent success and playoff appearances in the future.