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Reflections For Sabres Faithful

April 6, 2008   ·     ·   Jump to comments

Ah, early April. As a NHL hockey fan, it means the NHL playoffs are near, and a good amount of fans are getting ready to cheer their team on in the first round. The preparations are being made across North America: Fans are preparing for get-togethers at the local sports bar to cheer for their team. Other fans are buying NHL playoff tickets that will soon come with 30 year fixed mortgage- like rates to pay for these in$ane ticket prices and $6.00 hot dogs.

As a Buffalo Sabres fan for over 25 years, this time of year I generally fell into the lump of NHL fans mentioned above. But ala$, the Sabres went from the Penthouse of the NHL last year to the outhouse in 2008, and the Sabres on the outside looking in for the 2008 NHL Playoffs (in part due to Gary’s Wonderful Skills Competitions).

When the final seconds were counting down in the Sabres 3-1 loss to the Habs on Thursday (NOTE: I listed to the game in the French station on XM 172, thinking it would be better to hear the final nail in the coffin in a language I know zero about), I suddenly realized I will have a lot more time on my hands and thought to myself “As a Sabres fan, I need to provide a list of old games to watch, old moments to treasure and reflect on so we Sabres fans can pass the time till the disappointment known as the Free Agency season hits us hard around July 1st, 2008.”

So without further adieu, I present a list of “those special moments” to reflect on 5 ‘obscure’ moments from past Sabres seasons, as Tomas Vanek and Derek Roy prepare their Titleists and reserve their green times at a country club near you:

1. Remember the warm a fuzzy feeling Sabres fans had in 2001-2002 season, when the Sabres were coming out of the ‘John Rigas Error’ and Bankruptcy, and were making a playoff push. Sabres fans were in anticipation of what will the team do for the playoff push at the trade deadline. What was cooked up by the powers that be? Bob Corkum, the faceoff ‘specialist’. Bob Corkum?!?! All those face offs came in handy as the Sabres missed the playoffs.

2.1989: The Buffalo Sabres finished 3rd in the Adams Division (see how wonderful that sounds Gary, you can take your generic Division Names and shove them where the sun does not shine!), and another battle with the Boston Bruins was looming. But confidence was booming for me as a Sabres fan, as the Sabres OWNED the Bruins in the regular season (take note of this Rangers fans). The Sabres came out in Game 1 at Boston Garden and destroyed the Bruins 6-0. I was on top of the world.

Game 2, Sabres get the lead early, and things begin to look like they are all going the Sabres way. This WAS the season the Sabres will get out of the 1st round, I was feeling it! Then out of nowhere, the Bruins score 2 Shorthanded Goals in 30 SECONDS, and stun the Sabres and win Game 2 5-3. Boston goes to The Aud and takes Games 3 and 4, then The Bruins wraps it up in Game 5. Game, set, match, and the dominance in the regular meant zilch. Ah, memories.

3. The 2000-2001 Buffalo Sabres made a push for the playoffs by acquiring The Killer, Doug Gilmour, and the Sabres had the look of a legit Stanley Cup Contender. And in what would be The Dominator’s last season in Buffalo, Gilmour’s ‘Ole Defense” opened the door as Darius !@$!@ Kasparaitis was able to waltz in and score on Sabres net minder Dominik Hasek and stun the Sabres at home in Game 7 of Double OT, sending the Sabres home. So much for ‘The Killer’, as the only fond memory Buffalo will have is his police escort from Buffalo Airport to HSBC arena when he first arrived in The Queen City.

4. I think Chris Drury’s agent is STILL waiting for the agreed 4 year contract the Sabres and Drury had in place in November 2006. Damn the US Postal Service or fax machines, depending on who you believe.

5. The play of current Sabres backup goalie Jocelyn Thibault, besides the meaningless 3-0 shutout to end the season, made me yearn for the days of Bob Essensa in the 2001-2002 season, as Bob sizzled with a 0-5 record, 2.91 GAA and a pristine .850 save percentage. And yes, the Sabres missed the playoffs by five points that season, so you can do the match to figure out Bob’s impact.

I hope these 5 ‘memories’ will help us Sabres fans get through the tough times of not seeing the Sabres partake in the 2nd season; I sure get all warm and fuzzy inside thinking about these ‘fond memories’!! I can probably provide oh, 25-100 more of these kind of memories, but I do not want to depress Sabres fans too much!

I will be back later this week to provide my thoughts on the highly anticipated New York Rangers/ New Jersey Devils series!

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  1. Hockey News Aggregator » Things To Do For Sabres Faithful on April 6th, 2008 11:48 pm

    [...] Original post here [...]

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