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  1. #61
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    7-19-10

    Lunch Fish

    For those curious, notable alumni of the Baltimore Skipjacks include:

    Ted Nolan
    Stave Carlson (one of the Hanson Brothers - not sure which one though...)
    Olaf Kolzig
    Bob Errey (who suited up in Buffalo as a rental for 8 games in '92-'93)
    Marty McSorley
    and the Hated Claude Julien, who looks strikingly like one of the characters from "King of the Hill."

    Now, hopefully Kovalchuk signs today, and we can get back to some real hockey talk.

  2. #62
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    7-20-10

    The Roaring Twenties

    Hockey in Buffalo didn't exactly start locally.

    During Prohibition in the 1920's, Americans in northern cities routinely crossed the Canadian border to enjoy the vices outlawed stateside. Fort Erie's Peace Bridge Arena was home to the then Canadian-Professional Hockey League's "Buffalo" Bisons, who started playing in 1928.

    The Bisons played 42 games that year, picking up 17 wins and 7 ties riding alongside Rolland Huard’s 26 points in 18 games.

    These days the beer flows both ways over the Peace Bridge, as fans from Toronto and Buffalo converge on each other's rival arenas for the modern matchups between the Leafs and the Sabres.

  3. #63
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    7-21-10

    From Miracle on Ice to the Blacklist?

    Mike Ramsey is known in WNY for two things - for being one of the best players ever to patrol the blueline foe the Blue and Gold, and for being one of the key players in the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" team.

    He was recognized around the league, appearing in four All-Star games (1982, 1983, 1985, 1986). But, why was the 1986 All-Star Game Ramsey's last?

    Here is the reason, per Sherry Ross (an American sports broadcaster and journalist, currently working alongside Matt Loughlin as a color commentator for NHL New Jersey Devils radio broadcasts):

    It was a game that had it all: slithery passes, booming slap shots, and quicksilver saves. But all the players talked about after last night's National Hockey League All-Star Game was The Hit.

    In a game that has traditionally become a scoring showcase for hockey's most talented skaters, a check by the Wales Conference's Mike Ramsey on Campbell Conference star Wayne Gretzky brought almost as much attention as Bryan Trottier's game-winning overtime goal.

    Ramsey lined up Gretzky at the Wales blue line with a little more than six minutes gone. The Buffalo defenseman's check caught Gretzky in the left thigh, and Gretzky got up slowly and limped to the Campbell bench. The Edmonton center did not miss a shift, however, and scored the next goal of the game later in the period.

    "I don't know why there's such a big deal about it," said Ramsey, who is known for his solid stay-at-home defensive play with the Sabres. "It's no big deal. I didn't hit him that hard." Gretzky agreed, although Edmonton teammate Kevin Lowe responded by high-sticking Ramsey on the next shift.
    At least Ramsey got to appear on the David Letterman Show after the game.

  4. #64
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    7-21-10

    Mayday!! (Not the Day You're Thinking About)

    All Sabres fans remember that iconic series clinching goal scored by Brad May against the Boston Bruins, and RJ's "MAYDAY!" broadcast call. Classy stuff.

    Steve Moore likely doesn't relish that moment very much. His career was ended when Todd Bertuzzi Superfly-Snuka'd him in one of the dirtiest plays in NHL history. But was there a Second Snuka?

    Allegedly, it was Brad May that put the bounty on the head of the then Colorado Avalanche's Steve Moore.

    May was named in a lawsuit filed by Moore, but Moore was unable to prove the charges, which were later dropped in Colorado as the case was moved to an Canadian court.

    Thankfully for Sabres fans, this all happened long after that goal, and the resulting sudden allowance demand by May, and the resulting trade of May.

  5. #65
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    7-22-10

    Alex the Great

    With the way the KHL is poaching nhler's to contracts worth stunning amounts of cash, it's strange to remember what Alex Mogilny went through to defect to the United States to play in the NHL.

    It's been a long time since his defection, and now that his career is over, he reflects.

    "I've always had an independent streak, and that was not tolerated by the Soviet authorities. I came to the NHL when I couldn't see any future in the Russian League. So many things were happening politically. Hockey officials could control many aspects of my life beyond the ice rink, from what rank I could hold in the army to what kind of apartment I could live in. I thought I had to defect to maintain any hope of extending my hockey career."
    One wonders if he would have ever went to the NHL in today's world of massive KHL contracts. He'd likely just go where he wanted, worry-free.

    Oh, and why the #89, Alex?

    "Buffalo Sabres owner Seymour H. Knox gave me sweater number 89 when I joined his team. I was the 89th pick in the draft, and I came to North America in 1989. Wearing 89 on my back is special to me; it's more than just a number."

  6. #66
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    7-23-10

    Back to the Pirates/Skipjacks/Blades

    The Erie Blades is the furthest ancestor to the Portland Pirates. There isn't much there tied to Buffalo, except one thing.

    Former Sabres Assistant coach John Tortorella (infamous and revered for his ability to lose his temper and throw word bombs on live tv), played 12 games for the Blades from 1982-'84.

    He racked up 2 goals and 10 assists, but there is no record on what he said to interviewers after those games.

    (The link above is safe for work; it is a censored "ESPN TOP TEN" run-down of Torts at his frustrated best.)

  7. #67
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    7-23-10

    Khmylev Scores with a Broken Leg

    When talking about the '94 playoffs, most folks remember Dave Hannan's goal in the 4th overtime of Game 6, and how the Sabres wound up on the wrong side of a 2-1 scorecard after Game 7. It was an epic goaltending duel between Hasek and Brodeur.

    This is what folks forget:

    On April 5th, 1994, the Associated Press reported that "Sabres forward Yuri Khmylev has a broken leg and will likely miss the rest of the regular season."

    On April 23rd, Khmylev and his broken leg scored 2 goals in the 5-3 Game 4 victory. He added another goal on the 25th, in a 5-3 loss.

    Unfortunately he couldn't muster a goal in Game 7. The Hockey Books of Lore almost had another chapter of one of the walking wounded winning a playoff series, but it wasn't meant to be.

    Still, his show of grit in '94 was something to witness.
    Yes, I am Superfan

  8. #68
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    7-24-10

    Dave Andreychuk Finds his "Speed"

    Not known for his footspeed, A-chuk definitely was moving quickly in the 1985 playoffs.

    He scored three goals in just a 12:37 minute span. This Sabres' playoff record has never been beaten.

    Just for the sake of curiosity and snark, if he was able to replicate that over one 82 game regular season... let's see... 60 minutes in a game... 1 goal every 4 minutes... hold on...

    ...this means he would have scored 1,230 goals in one year. I am not in any way going to do the math to figure out how much time this means he would have had to spend standing in front of the net.

    Well he wound up with 640 goals and 1338 points over his career, and that in itself is pretty darn impressive enough.
    Last edited by ScottyMCSS; 07-24-2010 at 02:03 PM.
    Yes, I am Superfan

  9. #69
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    7-26-10

    Roy's Crystal Puck

    Derek Roy is one of those players that is difficult to appreciate. While he puts up consistent numbers, he also entered the league as a whiner and a diver, and has had a hard time shaking that reputation.

    And seriously, those saucer passes through the air have got to stop. The regular season is not an all-star game, Derek, and you're making Drew Stafford look like a goofball.

    Anyway, it's about time Roy got a little love in the Sabres Forum, so here it is - a little Roy Jr. information to satisfy your factoid curiosity for the day. From Wikipedia:

    In Roy's last year of major junior hockey, he was selected to play for Team Canada in the 2003 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. He brought home a silver medal and received player of the game honours with a crystal puck.

    He made his next international appearance at the World Championships with Team Canada. In the quarter-finals, he scored a hat trick against Norway in an 8–2 win. Roy earned another silver medal with Canada as they were defeated in overtime of the gold medal game by Russia.
    Always the bridesmaid, hopefully Roy finds "Silver" again with Buffalo - that of Lord Stanley's Cup.
    Last edited by ScottyMCSS; 07-26-2010 at 08:35 AM.
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  10. #70
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    7-26-10

    Rob Ray, Goal Scorer

    For those fans who have not read "Rayzor's Edge: Rob Ray's Tough Life on the Ice," Rob Ray writes how he fancied himself as a pretty talented goal scorer, always near the top of his teams in points up until his pro days.

    To paraphrase, he was told in order to make it to the NHL, he had to play the role of the enforcer, a role he gladly took up (and excelled in), becoming one of the most popular players in Sabres' history.

    His OHL stats with the Cornwall Royals:

    '85-'86: 6 goals, 19 points (53 games)
    '86-'87: 17 goals, 37 points (46 games)
    '87-'88: 11 goals 52 points (69 games)

    Stats aside, his goal scoring prowess in the NHL is fondly remembered more for plays like this.

    And for nights like this. I counted 15 punches on the poor kid.
    Last edited by ScottyMCSS; 07-26-2010 at 12:05 PM.
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  11. #71
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    The Nolans: Brandon and Jordan

    All of Sabredom knows Ted Nolan.

    But what of his sons, Brandon and Jordan?

    Brandon Nolan was called up from the Albany River Rats on December 21, 2007 due to Hurricanes forward Chad LaRose being placed on injured reserve. In his first NHL game versus Tampa Bay, Nolan earned his first NHL point with an assist on an Andrew Ladd goal in the first period. On December 28, he was reassigned back to the River Rats. Since that time, he has been sent back to Albany and recalled multiple times to fill in roster spots on the Hurricanes as injuries have been taking their toll on the team. As of January 12, 2008, he is currently assigned to the Hurricanes.

    Nolan missed the entire 2008-09 season with a concussion. Sadly, it seems this ended his pro career.

    Meanwhile, Jordan is a big 6-3 215 lb left winger/enforcer tying to make the LA King's roster, drafted in the 7th round 186th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

    These guys are tough, team-oriented, and as hard working as you can get. It's a safe bet that you'll be seeing Jordan's jersey in the NHL sooner rather than later.

    Jordan recorded 23 goals and 48 points with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in '09-'10, in 49 games.

    Ted Nolan may never make it back to the NHL, but there's another one that is making a lot of noise as he charges his way up.
    Yes, I am Superfan

  12. #72
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    7-26-10

    The Flight 3407 Game

    Just go ahead and click on the link... with prayers and thoughts.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/4...uary-13th-2009

    Thanks to the Sabres for winning that darn game.
    Yes, I am Superfan

  13. #73
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    7-27-10

    Tim Kennedy's Arbitration Day


    While Sabres fans await news on today's arbitration result for TK, here's a little "timbit" about everyone's favorite scrappy toothless winger:

    At Michigan State Tim was a member of 2007 NCAA Championship team. He contributed one goal in the championship game against Boston College and assisted Justin Abdelkader's game winning goal.

    That's clutch.

    And this, is pure magic: Kennedy's "Gretzky" Goal
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  14. #74
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    Vaclav Varada, Playoff Hero

    Varada was a gritty, corner working forward for the Sabres from 1995 - 2003.

    In my camp, he is known for two things:

    1. For looking as if at any moment he might turn into a werewolf
    2. For being a playoff scoring machine

    Check out these playoff stats for Varada from his playing days in Buffalo:

    '96-'97: 1 goal, 7 points in 10 games (rookie season)
    '97-'98: 3 goals, 7 points in 15 games
    '98-'99: 5 goals, 9 points in 21 games (an "off" year, and bad timing for that)

    In his combined NHL playoff runs, Varada ran up 30 points in 87 games and was +12, as opposed to 183 points in 493 regular season games (+19).
    Yes, I am Superfan

  15. #75
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    7-28-10

    The French Connection Destroys the Soviets

    This factoid is much longer than usual, but it is worth it for all the rare, vintage quotes. From LetsGoSabres.com:

    1976 rout of Soviets a top moment in Sabres historyBy Alan Sheldon, LGS Columnist Wednesday, April 4th, 2007 – 12:00 PM

    WAYBACK WHEN (LGS) — With the Buffalo Sabres clinching their first divisional title in a decade and their first regular-season conference title since 1980, I began wondering about what was the greatest accomplishment in franchise history. Although the Sabres have twice played for Lord Stanley’s Cup, I believe that the Sabres' victory over the Soviet Wings in an exhibition game played on January 4, 1976 remains the greatest achievement in franchise history.
    Beginning just after Christmas 1975, with the Cold War still very hot, two teams from the Soviet Elite Hockey League toured eight NHL cities. This “Super Series” featured the league champion — the Soviet Central Red Army — and the league runner-up — the Soviet Wings. The Soviets also added other league All-Stars to supplement both clubs prior to the tour.

    The Wings and Red Army dominated the early part of series. In their first game, the Red Army defeated the Rangers 7-3. They played a speed game with short crisp passes leading to quick wrist shots, and the Rangers could not find a way to slow the Russian attack.

    Employing an attack similar to the Red Army’s, the Soviet Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 7-4 in the second game of the series. After trailing 5-0 early in the second period, Pittsburgh began to aggressively forecheck and managed to outscore the Wings 4-2 the rest of the way.

    In the third game, the Montreal Canadians, employing an aggressive forecheck and speed, outplayed the Red Army. They outshot the Soviet team 38-13 but blew a two-goal lead in the third period, resulting in a 3-3 tie.

    The clash between the Sabres and the Wings was the first game of the series in 1976. Rick Martin, in a March 2003 interview with Hockey Digest, said the Sabres players watched the Wings during their morning practice and stared “in amazement as they were just throwing the puck to spots. They were buzzing around, but they were throwing it blind. It was obvious that this was why some of these plays often looked so good.” However, Martin and the other Sabres knew they could skate with any team and that they had one thing that the Soviet team didn’t: size on defense.

    The Sabres featured four large but talented players on defense who played well in their own zone, checked hard and even helped on offense. Bill Hajt, Jim Schoenfeld, Jerry Korab and Jocelyn Guevremont all stood at least 6’2” tall and weighed over 200 pounds.

    Sabres’ GM Punch Imlach’s plan for the game was simple — hit them hard, hit them often and outhustle them to the puck.

    The crowd that night was simply electric. The atmosphere was as intense as the Cup Finals the season before. Korab remarked that, "We came out onto the ice, and it had to be several minutes until it quieted down. We were so excited we could almost feel the ice shake."

    In the lockerroom before the game, Imlach told the team how much he wanted a victory over the Russians, and from the first drop of the puck the Sabres delivered. They put constant pressure on the puckhandler and then utilized the trap on defense. Anytime a Wings player tried to enter the Sabres’ zone, Schoenfeld, Guevremont and especially Korab would hit him.

    In the Hockey Digest interview, Martin described Korab’s huge contribution to the Sabres that night. “The guy who really set the tone for the physical part of the game was Jerry Korab. He was a tough defenseman. They called him "Kong" because he was so big and strong. He was hitting everything in sight. He hit Alexander Yakushev, the Russians' main weapon, about six or seven times. I mean he hit him with some thundering checks. Clean, but hard.”

    In the first period the Sabres scored two early goals. Guevremont put the Sabres on the board at 6:10 of the first. Gilbert Perreault converted a Korab pass at 7:10 to put the Sabres up 2-0. French Connection linemate Martin scored to put the Sabres up 3-0 before the Russians finally broke through. Martin and the Wings’ Kapustin exchanged goals late in the frame, giving the Sabres a commanding 4-2 lead after one.

    The onslaught continued in the second period. Five different Sabres tallied, included Rene Robert, Peter McNab and Danny Gare. Current Sabres broadcaster Jim Lorentz and Korab chipped in power-play goals as the frazzled Soviets completely lost their composure and starting taking dumb penalties. The team finished the second with an insurmountable 9-4 lead.

    The Sabres didn’t let up until the final horn. The Wings showed some life in the first half of the third with two goals. However, the Sabres simply elevated their play again and scored three more times to complete the 12-6 shellacking. Fred Stanfield tipped in a Martin slapshot for the Sabres’ 10th goal. Gare picked up his second of the night, and then Brian Spencer capped the scoring at 18:04 of the third.

    Martin, who finished the game with two goals and three assists and was voted the games first star, said, “You could tell they didn't like the fact they got outskated. When we were out on the ice, they all had this dumfounded look on their faces. They didn't expect that... When we saw that we could skate with them, we just went for it and it worked.”

    At the time, the loss was the worst ever suffered by Soviet team in international competition. Following the game, the Soviet coach was so humiliated by the loss that he placed his team in seclusion. The result was so impressive that before the Sabres' next game they received a standing ovation from the fans... in Montreal.

    “I had never been so fired up for a game” said Martin. “I had played in a lot of big games. But that truly was the game I’ll never forget.” Punch Imlach called the game the highlight of 1975-76 campaign and the highlight of his career. In Budd Bailey’s "The History of the Buffalo Sabres," Imlach also said that the game “was the all-time high point for the Sabres.”

    Notes:

    •The Soviet Wings rebounded from the loss and defeated their next two opponents, the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 and the New York Islanders 2-1. The Red Army went on to defeat Boston 5-1.
    •In the final game of the series the defending champions of the two respective leagues faced off. The Flyers, utilizing the same physical style they employed against the speedy Sabres in the Cup finals, literally pounded the Red Army 4-1.
    •The Sabres played Soviet teams six times from 1976 through 1991. After beating the Wings in 1976, the Sabres beat the Red Army 4-1 in 1980 and 6-5 in 1989, split against against Dynamo Moscow losing 7-4 in 1986 and winning 4-2 in 1990, and finally losing their final game against a Soviet team (Khimik Voskresensk) 5-4 in 1991.
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