With Koltalik's timely score in the shootout victory last night, another timely goal bears noting.
The Sabres' first goal ever was scored by Jim Watson on 10-10-70 in Pittsburgh at 5:01 of the 1st period.
It was lucky timing for Watson, in order to be included in Buffalo Sabres scoring history. In his NHL career, Watson played in 221 games, scoring only four times, while adding nineteen assists.
After parts of seven seasons in the Detroit organization, Watson was claimed by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1970 Expansion Draft. Upon his arrival with the Sabres, Watson went on to anchor the club's blue line for two seasons before being claimed by the Los Angeles Sharks in the 1972 WHA General Player Draft.
Coincidentally, Watson is the only other player in franchise history to don the #2 besides the late great Tim Horton who had the number retired.
Ray has good company as far as scoring on his first NHL shift is concerned.
Danny Gare, Alex Mogilny, and Denis Hamel scored on their their first NHL shifts. Pat LaFontaine and Geoff Sanderson scored on their first shifts with the Sabres.
I think I am even forgetting a few...
In recent times, I know Stu Barnes got a hat trick in his first game with the Sabres. Bernier scored two goals in his Sabres debut. Also, I think Barnaby scored a hat trick on mothers day one year, while his mother was in the building.
I let all TM's know of the great response I've gotten from this. The best response, by far, it from those Sabres faithful out there that have submitted their own factoids to me.
Keep 'em coming!
The more arcane a factoid is, the better. Fans are, and forever will be, closer to their teams than the players that are on the rosters for a time. We have generations of lore that can be plundered - for fun and for learning about that team gives you heartburn (which burns in both good and bad ways, depending on the date).
1972: Buffalo takes Larry Carriere 25th overall, in the second round. Arguably, the highlight of his NHL career – 7 seasons, 367 games, 16 goals and 74 assists with five teams – was Carriere’s one-punch KO of Montreal's Yvon Lambert.
Lambert would eventually join the Sabres for one season when he was claimed by Buffalo from Montreal in Waiver Draft, October 5, 1981.
Carriere would eventually re-join the Sabres for a bit less than one season after his stints in other NHL towns, when he was plucked off the waiver wire. Carriere was back on the Sabres roster for the end of the 1977-78 season, and played in 9 games for the Sabres in 1977-78.
Serving the Sabres as a scout and as Director of Player Evaluation, "The Hawk" took over as Interim General Manager when John Muckler was dismissed in 1997, a position he held until current Sabres GM Darcy Regier was hired.
There are only two players who have played their entire career with the Sabres and totaled over 1,000 games.
Gilbert Perrault (1191)
Craig Ramsay (1070)
* As for the current roster, Teppo Numminen has 1357 games, but for a variety of teams. He may or may not record another game played tonight, as he is rumored to attend to the press box as Ruff rotates through his defensemen.
Maxim Afinogenov enjoyed his most prolific season during the Sabres torrid dominance of the NHL in the 06-07 season.
In only 56 games, The Enigma recorded 23 goals, 38 assists, and was a plus 19.
He also recorded 5 goals, 4 assists, and was a plus 9 in the playoffs that year before being benched by Lindy Ruff.
It was later revealed that Afinogenov suffered a broken wrist, which was the cause for his lack luster play. Though scoring an OT game winner when he returned to the lineup, he hasn't been the same since breaking his wrist.
In the second round of the 06-07 playoffs, the Sabres defeated the top-seeded Sens in five measly games.
A crucial moment in the series occurred in Game 1 when Tim Connolly forced overtime by scoring with 11 seconds left in regulation. Buffalo went on to win, 7-6, on a goal by Chris Drury.
A total of three victories in the series came in overtime, including the series-clinching game five, which was won on a short-handed goal by Jason Pominville to send Buffalo to the Eastern Conference Final against the Carolina Hurricanes.
It was the first time in NHL history that a series had been decided on a short-handed goal.