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.
That was OUR year, our year to win it all. There is no doubt in my mind that if we had at least five healthy defensemen that we would have won it all that year. Hell, we were playing with three defensemen in game 7, and still were winning going into the third period. Ugh, just kills me to think about it.
After a series of concussions that left doctors unwilling to admit Patty back on the ice, LaFontaine was shipped off to the NYR for a 2nd round draft pick in 1998, and "future considerations."
The 2nd round pick turned out to be the 34th overall, and the Sabres selected Andrew Peters. (Mike Fisher was taken 44th, Brad Richards 64th, and perhaps most comparable, Jarkko Ruutu was taken 68th.)
Peters did record 14 goals, 10 assists, and 137 PIM's with the Oshawa Generals in his last season before the draft, as well as an impressive 2 goal, 7 assist, and 36 PIM playoff performance (in just 15 games).
His role for the Sabres however was etched in stone: "hit everything, and remember not to lead with your face."
Tired of the current Sabres roster? Not sure whose name to embroid on the back of your fancy new Alternate Jersey?
How about an Alternate Player? Be the first on your block (or in your arena) to own:
A MORRIS TITANIC JERSEY (#19)
Morris Titanic was a 1st round choice of Buffalo (12th overall) in the 1973 draft. (The Quebec Nordiques of the World Hockey Association drafted him in the 2nd round, 17th overall of the WHA Draft the same year, but he never played in that league.)
He posted no points in 19 career NHL games with the Sabres, but later distinguished himself with the International Hockey League's Milwaukee Admirals. A knee injury forced him to retire during the 1979–80 season while he was playing for the Rochester Americans. After retiring, Titanic became the head coach of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres, where he coached players such as Bob Beers and Todd Krygier.
Titanic currently is a permanent member of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Hockey Team.
*Interestingly enough, none of the Sabres draftees from '73 ever laced up the skates for the Sabres, except Titanic - let's say he "went down with the ship" for the boys of that draft.
Bored during the All Star break? Then it's time to Get to Know Your Assistant Coaches:
Brian McCutcheon is the sneaky looking gray haired guy that follows Ruff around behind the bench during games. Fans never hear a peep about him through him or the media. A quick look at his accomplishments though, and you can see a future replacement for Lindy. Sneaky, indeed.
McCutcheon's dry stats:
Former Amerks head coach
-128-82-9 over 3 seasons
-Took the Amerks to 2 Calder Cups (lost both)
-Amerks' franchise record for most points (111) and wins (52) in a season
Former head coach of the Columbus Chill (ECHL)
-44-21-5 over one season (lost in round 2)
-ECHL coach of the year
-Chill's franchise record for most points and wins in a season
See the pattern there? He brings his teams into greatness, only to be tragically foiled in the playoffs. Sounds like a perfect match for Buffalo, given the Sabres' history.
McCuthcheon is, meanwhile, tabbed as a player development coach - which is exactly one of the top priorities on a Sabres HC resume. That makes him a keeper in any small market NHL village.
As a player in the NHL, McCutcheon recorded 3 goals, 1 assist, and 7 PIM's with the Red Wings over parts of 3 seasons from 1974-77.
Last edited by ScottyMCSS; 01-24-2009 at 08:06 AM.
James Alan Patrick, Assistant Coach to Lindy Ruff, was drafted 9th overall by the dreaded New York Rangers in the 1981 entry draft. He suited up for 1280 games and recorded 639 points in a 21-year NHL career with New York Rangers, Hartford, Calgary and Buffalo.
Patrick brought his veteran blueline presence to the Buffalo Sabres where he remained through the 2003-04 season before calling it a career in the summer of 2005.
Patrick is given a great deal of credit for mentoring the success of Brian Campbell, as well as other Sabres defensive prospects.
James Patrick comes from quite an athletic bloodline:
His father, Steve Sr., played pro football with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL, and later became a member of the Manitoba Parliament.
His brother Steve is a member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame with James. Steve was drafted in 1980 by Buffalo in the first round, and went on to play five years before being traded to the dreaded New York Rangers in 1984-85. He finished his NHL career in 1986 with Quebec with a total of 40 goals and 68 assists in 250 games.
It takes a very brave man to face his fears. It takes an even braver one to take that fear, channel it into his gut, and shoot it out through his goaltender mask on national TV.
Tom Draper threw up in his crease, in a '92 playoff game against the Bruins. The backup goaltender either had the flu, or a professional case of butterflies.
I couldn't find any video or any history of this online, and well, maybe that's not so surprising. I do, however, remember clamoring around the TV with my college roommates saying, "Dude SPEWED?" while Draper's team mates gathered around him to hide the "mess." Draper did record a shutout in the series, but the "spew" was indeed a harbinger of fate, as the Sabres fell in seven games.
In August of that year, the Sabres traded for Dominik Hasek, who would keep the crease clear and clean of virtually everything, (sometimes including his own stick), until 2001.
Moments in Sabres Draft History: How the Sabres Scouting Staff handed the Islanders a Key to a Dynasty
In 1977, the Sabres selected forward Ric Seiling at No. 14 in the NHL Entry Draft, then as they were fitting him for a sweater, the New York Islanders took Mike Bossy at No. 15.
Bossy played 752 games while Seiling played 738, but Bossy definitely outplayed Seiling. Bossy had 573 goals to Seiling's 179.
Then, in the second round, Buffalo took center Ron Areshenkoff at No. 32, and as the Sabres considered if they would ever need to fit him for a sweater, the Islanders took John Tonelli at 33.
Tonelli's sweater would soak up a lot of sweat, as he would go on to score 325 times in 1,028 games. Areshenkoff never scored a goal, barely breaking a sweat in just 4 games... for the Oilers.
In 1980, Seiling and the Sabres finished 2nd overall in the NHL standings, and were red hot when they met the Islanders in the semifinals.
Unfortunately, the giveaway/takeaway ratio (of the 1977 draft) would doom the Blue and Gold, as The Isles went on to win the series in six games.
Seiling had only 2 goals and 2 assists in the playoffs that year, while Bossy scored 17 goals and added 18 assists in the 18 games it took New York to win the Stanley Cup. Tonelli added 5 goals and 8 assists, joining Bossy on the Cup Engraver's List.
That year was the beginning of a dynasty that would raise 4 Stanley Cups banners to the rafters in Long Island.
Last edited by ScottyMCSS; 01-29-2009 at 05:47 PM.
Moments in Sabres Last Minute Contracts History: This "Ziggy" Pun, like all Ziggy Puns, is not Funny and Ends in a Way that Makes You Scratch Your Head.
June, 2001: The Sabres desperately fax a contract sheet for Mike Zigomanis to the NHL for approval at the signing deadline, at the eleventh hour/minute/second/oh heck, they were a comma short and too late to make the correction.
While the fax did reach the NHL in time - just in time - there was a "problem with the content of the documentation," and Ziggy had to re-enter the draft.
Zigomanis is now an Ace Faceoff King for the dreaded Pittsburgh Penguins.
Following in the tradition of the previous post, there is a second part to the debacle. It wasn't just Zigomanis that the Sabres lost to a typo. They traded once-Sabres-rookie-of-the-year Derek Plante to the Dallas Stars in 1999 for the draft pick that Buffalo then used to get Zigomanis.
A Feel Good Ending?
Sabres karma strikes again, (as it did with Mike Bossy in 1980), as Derek Plante returned to Buffalo to face off against his former Sabres teammates in the controversial 1999 Stanley Cup finals.
Lord Stanley would soon have a prolonged stay in Cloquet, Minnesota that summer, as resident Derek Plante returned with the iconic trophy with none other than Brett Hull, who liked to spend summers in the area on Pike Lake (so he could put his foot in its crease).
Tomorrow: Factoids gets upbeat and positive!
Last edited by ScottyMCSS; 01-29-2009 at 11:42 PM.
What better player to address on Superbowl Sunday than the greatest Sabre of all, Gilbert Perreault?
All Sabres fans are familiar with the "French Connection Banner" that holds the retired numbers of "The Original Sabre," along with his linemates, Rene Robert and Rick Martin.
But why #11?
The number was decided by fate, or by Punch Imlach, really. Punch, Buffalo's GM at the time, chose a certain set of numbers for the roulette wheel spin that would determine which team would pick first overall that year. On the wheel, numbers 1-6 would represent the Vancouver Canucks, and 7-12 would represent the Sabres. Punch's favorite number was eleven.
Perreault would steal the magic from the wheel, donning #11 in respect of the result, then putting on a magic show for Sabres fans until he retired in 1986.
Canuck fans were also able to feel the magic of having Gil on their team - albeit quite briefly. When the wheel stopped, Vancouver cheered wildly, somehow confusing the number 11 for the roman numeral II. Ouch, eh?
“Men (Canadians) in general are quick to believe that which they wish to be true.”
Last edited by ScottyMCSS; 02-05-2009 at 10:20 PM.
When Biron broke into the NHL in 1997, he wore the goaltender's favorite number on the back of his jersey: zero. Actually, he wore double zero, or "00."
As the hockey gods smiled, Biron went on to let in as many goals in his first two seasons as the total of those two zeros on the back of his jersey. Nothing got by him. Unfortunately, as the hockey gods smirked, this number also matched the total amount of games he played in. (Biron served as a backup 3 times in '97, and 1 time in '97-'98.)
Bir0n would never have a chance to play in the crease wearing the number - the NHL adopted a rule in 1998 that only allowed for players to don a number between 1-99.
So, Marty took 43, and began his efforts to keep as many zeros on NHL scoreboards as possible.
Last edited by ScottyMCSS; 02-03-2009 at 10:29 PM.