Tag Archives: hockey

Worst Sabres playoff memories….

Least favorite playoff moments….Sorry folks

5. 2007 Eastern conference finals – in its entirety

In the aftermath of the Rangers/Sabres series, it just never felt right to me heading into this series.  Ottawa seemed to have a huge ball of momentum that they rode into game 1 with a 5-2 victory.  Game 2 was the Sabres chance at saving grace to take back some the series to help alleviate my concerns and Briere’s last minute heroics here made me believe they would. Then Joe ‘Freaking’ Corvo hit the OT winner and it really felt like it was spiraling downhill there.  Sabres jumped out in game 4 and took it to the Senators to finally get on the board.  A friend of mine was getting married on game 5 and made one of the groomsmen shave his playoff beard and honestly within minutes of taking the last chin hair off Alfredson hit the game winner in OT.  Now I’m with Jeremy White of WGR550 that cave man or not when you start the beard you ride it out in its entirety.

4. 2000, Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game 2: Flyers vs. Sabres

No goal 2.  Honestly, that’s all it is, but when you watched Hasek and his reaction to the goal it was irresponsible to at least not consider what he was saying.  It would not have taken much to fix the problem and because of it the league at least began more and more discussion about the expanded use of replay.  Needless to say, it didn’t matter to us at that point.

3. 1998, Eastern Conference Finals, Game 6: Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres

This top three is like a series of daggers to my heart. Joe Juneau’s slapper from the blue line was like Bon Jovi’s “Shot through the heart”.  I remember sitting in my living room and just feeling empty.  That Sabres team was a feel good team that was an upstart and watching Hasek in his prime. It felt like that team was on the upswing and really building something.  Although it ended abruptly in ’98 you had reason to be optimistic.

1b. 2006, Eastern Conference Finals, Game 7: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Buffalo Sabres

I’m going 1a and b because in a way this was as bad if not worse that ‘No goal’ because I definitively felt like the Sabres were the best team.  Defensemen getting hurt leading up and Jay McKee’s injury added to the pile.  A late 2nd period goal gave the Sabres the lead and Carolina came out early in third to tie the game back up. Then on top of all the injuries was Brian Campbell’s penalty in the first year of the delay of game for shooting it off the ice.  At that point there basically was 1 original top six defenseman on the ice.  On the ensuing power player a rebound dropped in front of the net and Rory Fitzpatrick decided to stand over the puck and let Rod ‘look at my nose’ Brind’Amour slammed home the eventual game winner. 

This game stung because you knew that if they got to the Finals that they would get some players back and be the favorite.  And now the everlasting hatred of Carolina remains prominent.

1a. 1999, Stanley Cup Finals, Game 6: Dallas Stars vs. Buffalo Sabres

My thought heading into this game was that if the Sabres could get back to Dallas for Game 7 where we would have the greatest goaltender in the world I would love our chances.  The game is well known and most of remember, but when the game got to overtime it just felt like the Sabres were going to win.  I really felt like they would.  Brett Hull put the puck in the net and my friend and I were on the phone (after putting a hole in my wall) screaming that he was in the crease.  It seemed surreal that again they didn’t at least check it.  They let the celebration take over and Lindy and all of Buffalo tried to get answers.  In Buffalo sports history this is way worse than Wide Right and Music City Miracle for me.  Wide Right was a miss and Music City Miracle is an enigma that I won’t get into, but this was robbery.  Whether the rule was stupid and changed AFTER the season or not the rule was the rule and his foot is blatantly in the crease.   So yes, a dozen years after the fact I still feel cheated and still feel like the Sabres were wronged.  The Sabres would have still needed to score a goal and still needed to win game 7, but they just weren’t ever given the chance.  Wrongly, and it still feels like crap.

Follow me on Twitter: @brianbund

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Last night sucked

Since the Sabres couldn’t score last night I watched this today instead:

 

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Bruins 7 Sabres 4

Nose dive for the Sabres

Nose dive for the Sabres

I was hoping that the Sabres could put this miserable Buffalo sports week to rest, but they didn’t even come close. A ridiculous five minutes to start the game followed by even more ridiculous defensive showing by the Sabres.  I’m ok with Lindy shaking up the lines after this weekends poor showing, but I think we all realize the main problem is defense.  I’m a kid of the 90s and grew up in my teens watching Lindy and Hasek win games 2-1 not lose them by 7-4.  You know the NHL can shout all they want about getting more goals for the casual fan, but I am not a casual fan and although that game was entertaining, it was UGLY for the hockey fan in me.

 

If you asked me 2 years ago I would’ve argued you until I was blue in the face that Henrik Tallinder was going to become a star in the league and that’s not happening any time soon.  The other $10 million of the blue line is playing adequate at best and although I love Sekera, but he makes too many give a ways to offset what ever he does good.  I think this team needs to do some serious trade deals this year to hopefully get something for players that are going off the books this year like Afinogenov, Kotalik, Connolly and the such.  They aren’t core players and frankly aren’t going to probably be here next year.  I won’t go any further on Connolly or my head will explode. 

 

It’s funny how the Sabres look a lot like the Bills right now. They have a great core of young talent, but still with some major holes to fill.  Getting together a solid top defensive pairing is like getting a pass rushing DE.  Getting together two-way offensive line is like having a number 2 receiver and all around TE.  Point is, both of these teams are probably a year away from being really good.  I’m with you and will leave and breath each game thinking there’s hope, but the fan of 20+ years knows there is more for these teams to do.  For the Sabres I think they need to play Lalime more and in matchups that work for him and the Sabres (non-divisional contests).  Additionally the fire sale potential won’t hurt the Sabres because if you haven’t notices Tim Kennedy, Nathan Gerbe and some other Portland players look like they’re ready to play in the NHL.  Let’s give them their shot.

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Rough Week

You know I said that I was dictated each week in the fall by the Bills and it definitely carried me to yesterday, but between everything going on with getting married I didn’t write until today.  At least the Sabres carried me through on Wednesday.  When I think about the Bills last three games it’s painful.  They’re a sloppy, undisciplined (young) football team.  The offensive line is atrocious and our pass rush isn’t far behind (good thing we have roughly $17 million a year plus tied up in our defensive ends). 

 

Jason Peters’ holdout is becoming a larger and larger burden because they haven’t been able to gel and get into a rhythm together and it looks highly unlikely at this point if they’re going to change that.  But the play calling has to get better for the most part with more runs to the outside and including more ‘wildcat’ formations to take the pressure of the offensive line and more importantly Trent Edwards.  Trent is still making good decisions 80%+ of the time, the problem is his mistakes are becoming increasingly hard to overcome.  Let’s enjoy the Sabres playing tonight and look forward to playing on MNF when all we get to hear about is how Jaws is from Lackawanna and Buffalo Wings and about 20,000 views of the Falls (don’t get me wrong, I love the Falls, but please get another aerial shot for the love of god.

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Reactions: Thrashers 5- Sabres 4 (OT)

Last night’s Sabres game may have been an NHL dream because it was 5-4 with an overtime goal to win it, but that was not a pretty game at this from this Sabres fan’s point of view.  There’s a couple things I like from last nights game and a few that I don’t:

 

         First Ryan Miller struggled last night letting in a couple of awkward goals and a big rebound that landed right in front of the net on that game winner.  I wouldn’t liked to see Lalime last night and have Miller in net, but either way Miller did have a handful of really good saves and the Sabres still got a point.

         I like the move to point Kotalik on the Roy-Vanek line.  Putting a sniper slapper and wrister on a line with those two should generate plenty of scoring opportunities.

         Thomas Vanek is definitely growing into his own.  The goal they wiped away was an unbelievable show of skating and puck handling ability.  He also and more importantly has allowed me to relax when he’s in the defensive zone.  He’s doing a great job of using his body to shield the puck and creating havoc on the forecheck and backcheck. 

         Glad to see Afinogenov get a goal finally.  Very nice play and you could tell how excited he was to watch that go in.

         This team needs a healthy Tim Connolly to be a legitimate competitor.

         The hooking calls have gotten out of hand.  How many players do you see put their stick in for the puck and the offensive player just tucks their arm down on the stick.  Look at the last penalty from last night. 

         The Sabres did not skate well last night and still had control of that game and let it slip away and the penalties they took late gave Atlanta a chance, hopefully they’ll play better tonight in Boston.

 

Side note:  How exciting is it to see Nathan Gerbe and Tim Kennedy slowly work over the AHL, it’s nice to know that there is some depth down there and that will obviously play into some of the decision Darcy and Larry will make down the road.

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We’ve been lucky…

The comeback game, we all know about and it’s one of the proud moments for us Bills fans.  Marv Levy’s book has a quote saying that almost anyone you talk to from Buffalo was at that game.  Which we all know is not true because the game wasn’t even a sell out! I was 9 years old for that game and had to listen to it on the radio.  Just me and Van Miller.  I remember it was so bad that at half time my Dad and Mom walked into town to get some things down and they kept hearing cheers come from the bar down the street.  Finally the poked their head in and thanks to the old days of satellite TV a local bar had the feed of the game.  I listened to it on the radio and ran around my house like a crazy person.  It was unbelievable.  And obviously to this point for us Bills fans we are able to enjoy in the fact that Buffalo Bills own the greatest comeback in NFL history. 

 

I’m not sure why I was thinking about this game, but I live in Syracuse now and the blackout restrictions come here now. It wasn’t always that way.  The NFL blocks out a game in Buffalo all the way over in Syracuse, is that fair?  It’s amazing how many of my friends forget that game was blacked out because it’s been on NFL classic so many times for us.  It’s amazing that I remember so much of a game that I didn’t even watch. 

 

On that same time, how blessed were we during that time when we had Van Miller and Rick Jeanneret.  I remember we used to mute the Sabres games and put on the radio if Jeanneret wasn’t on play-by-play (youTube has the top 10 of his calls and I suggest you check them out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEfbyrKnKc0 ).  I guess my point is that I grew up having two play by play announcers who could paint a complete picture with their words where I didn’t even have to be watching.  That’s not something I could do with Gus Johnson or any of those guys from Versus. We need to enjoy Jeanneret while he lasts because it’s only a matter of time until he retires, how sad a day will that be….

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