DON’T GET ME STARTED eyeballed the 2014-2015 NHL schedule for the Buffalo Sabres and lousy is the first word that popped up in my head.

A couple of things stand out. First and foremost, the inter-division rivalries has been weakened The NHL toyed with the schedule in order to give Western Conference teams games with a lot of Eastern Conference stars. The Sabres play home and home against Western Conference teams.

What gripes me is that the Sabres will play ONLY 4 games against Toronto, Montreal, Boston, according to my count. These used to be huge rivalry games when they played each other about double the current number. Owe, these teams come to Buffalo only twice during the regular season. I remember those good old days when the Sabres were in the Adams Division and played ever so many games against division rivals.

Playing more games against the division – which the NHL has reduced over the past few years – brings fans to the arenas. There used to be that hate feeling against certain players against division rivals, but that too seems to be disappearing and fans need a program to identify some of the players the way the NHL is going.

Some of the great baseball rivalries exist as well as the NFL. In baseball, the New York Yankees play the Boston Red Sox 19 times during the regular season. On, you say – they play 162 games – twice the number of the NHL. OK cut that in half and they still play or 9-10 games against each other – more than double what the NHL is putting up.

The NFL – playing only 16 games – the focus on the division still allows for good rivalries to exist. .

Naturally, I’ve been a critic of the Sabres variable pricing policy and isn’t it convenient that the Sabres play the final 6 games in April and three of them are home games against Toronto. Chicago Blackhawks, and Pittsburgh Penguins. It’s certainly right to assume that these games will command the top dollar for tickets. These games will mean nothing in the standings for Buffalo because, as most everyone expects, the Sabres will be out of it maybe even at mid-season as they prepare for the next draft, loaded with potential stars.

I will always fault Golisano/Quinn for putting that pricing fiasco in place in Buffalo. Ditto for the Buffalo Bills who decided also put in variable pricing. Why you might ask, do I object to it?

Non-season fans of the Sabres and Bills know that ticket prices have ballooned beyond what they can afford and make a decision to attend only one or two games. They might take their kids to the cheaper Value games but these kids know that they would like to see the Kanes, Crosbys, Vaneks, Ovechkins and other stars on teams that will be classified in the top dollar category – Platinum. A dad might be looking at huge bucks to take his family of 4 to a Platinum or Gold game when one top ticket (Platinum) is over $200. Add the concessions, etc., and you might be looking at forking over $1,000 to see Patrick Kane perform. The worst seat in the house would cost him over $120. Add the additional big bucks for concessions and before you know it….you’ve spent about $200 for the worst seat in the house. The games with variable pricing will be announced later.

So spare me with the schedule that has more negatives than positives; and sit me facing the tube while counting the money I saved on Don’t Get Me Started.

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