For two periods last night, the Buffalo Sabres’ “Next Chapter” looked a lot like the Last Chapter… a quiet and unmotivated crowd, a team trying to find its footing, and the visiting Ottawa Senators nursing what looked like an insurmountable 2-0 lead.
It all changed in the third period, when Jack Eichel lit the lamp for his first NHL goal. It was beauty when he launched a wrister from the slot, and that gave the team, and the sellout crowd at First Niagara Center, a much needed spark.
And then the Goal Song.
Everyone was waiting to hear the winner of the fan voting for the new Sabres song, done over a two week period, bracketology style on the team’s web site. We reported on the contest in last week’s print edition of Artvoice.
And the winner is? “Let Me Clear My Throat” by DJ Kool. Our guess at the outset of the voting was that this song would be an early casualty, a beat and vibe more suited to a stage in the NBA than to the game of hockey.
No matter. The song spun. And the game events crew spliced the song up to capture the best parts within the song, and ran it just long enough to keep the crowd, and the players, pumped, all culminating with the cry of “Let me hear some no-i-i-i-ise!” The fans gleefully obliged.
The song was jammed again when Evander Kane scored what looked like the tying goal just a minute later. But a goal challenge was called by the Ottawa bench, and Sabres player Zemgus Girgensons was offsides. No goal. Still 2-1 Ottawa, and an empty netter with about a minute to go would seal a 3-1 win for the Sens.
“This is the loudest I’ve hear this building in over two years,” said Marcus Foligno in the dressing room after the game. “It was good to see the fans so enthusiastic and raising the roof with all the noise”, added Girgensons. Just walking around the dressing room after the game and listening in on many of the player interviews, the feedback from just about everyone was that the crowd was about as jacked and electric as hasn’t happened, well, at least since the last time the Sabres made the playoffs. And that was way back in 2011.
So DJ Kool it is. Looks like the front office, the game night crew, and the fans, have found themselves a winner.