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steveoath

Tell me about your Sabres

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As many know, I have only been watching the Sabres for 2 seasons (well 1 and whatever you call this season). I'm interested to know more about the history of the team from those who have been watching for a lifetime. What are your highs/lows? Any good stories to share? Any links to clips online? Etc. This would be a welcome distraction from the daily barrage of doom n gloom.

Cheers in advance ⚔️⚔️⚔️

 

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I fell in love with Rick so much that when I couldn't pick up the radio broadcasts after they switched stations (83-84 through 89-90), I'd call the Sabres office's toll-free number because it would play Rick's current goal calls until the receptionist answered (Rick wasn't on TV until 1995). The impact of two voices on the franchise — Ted Darling's and Rick's — was enormous. Darling was the original Voice of the Sabres (and retains that title according to Rick).

I apologize to whoever answered. I always would hang up.

Edited by PASabreFan
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My late brother was a very good goalie who came up through the Leaf organization (Don Mills flyers, York Steel, then the Marlies). He got to play back up for two leaf games and was the number one goalie for the Marlies who I went to see every game at home. He was tutored by Johnny Bower (even had his gloves) and was looking forward to a career with the Leafs when expansion came in 67...Washington apparently told him they would draft him of he was available which Randy had no interest in going to. he retired and went into Psychiatry which as it turns out was a big mistake (long story). anyways we met Punch Imlach many times  and when he went over to the Sabres in 70 I went with him! God the Sabre  teams back then with the French Connection and that amazing 2nd line of Luce,  Rammer and Danny Gare was so friggin good. And we had Schoney and Korab and later Playfair who sure could fight and the team should have won at least one cup back then.

  Then of course there was the fiasco in 1999 which saw the Sabres in the finals for the first time since losing to Philly in 1975. The Sabres were led by captain Michael Peca and had the Dominator in goal. They were a rough team and I loved them! They looked like they had a very goo0d chance of winning their first cup but the NHL ensured that they would not, and Dallas would when they allowed a goal by Dallas to clinch the cup even though Brett Hull's one skate was clearly without any doubt in the crease. If you are wondering what that meant well all year they had started calling ALL goals off if any player for the team that scored had one or both feet in the goalie's crease it was immediately called off. They called this all year faithfully without missing any until that goal. There was a huge climb in cases where players were parked inside the goalie's crease thus the NHL stated that no goal would be allowed if any feet were in the goalie's crease. They called it all year til that goal and clearly it never should had counted. That started the whole business of the NHL disliking the Sabres when at the  NHL draft just after that no call, when Darcy and Lindy walked up onto the stage to announce who they'd draft Bettman went to shake their hands and neither one would and just walked by. Earlier Ryan Miller had also sounded out publicly that the goal should never had been allowed and that the Sabres got screwed (which they did). The NHL has had in for the team ever since and even Bobcat on Talk radio 590 acknowledged that it was (and still seem sis) obvious that the NHL had it in foe the Sabres since that snub of Bettman and seem to still hold a grudge (even though all are gone or retired now).

   And then there was Darcy getting us Danny Briere who was just sop friggin; exciting to watch. His teams were fun and fast and over the years we have had many teams I thought had a real chance at a cup. Sure wish we'd win for for RJ before he retires...

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I was 8 years old in 1999 and started liking the Dallas stars when they went to two Stanley cups in a row. Then we got directv and I discovered the empire sports network in 2001. My life has never been the same since. 

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1 hour ago, OverPowerYou said:

I was 8 years old in 1999 and started liking the Dallas stars when they went to two Stanley cups in a row. Then we got directv and I discovered the empire sports network in 2001. My life has never been the same since. 

Was it Brian Blessing looking like a ginger mob boss? Or was it Mike Robitaille with his amazing colorful phrases. Like “all mixed up like a hounds breakfast”? 😂

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Outside of the mid 80's, 2000 time frame and the Pegula ownership the Sabres were always an exciting team who were in every game they played. While I realize they've yet to win a cup, they were on the cusp at least 3 times in their history.

My personal favorite era was the Gilbert Perreault era. He was beyond something special, he was on par with the best in the league back in his day. Just simply awesome.

I also really enjoyed Hasek. But Buffalo always had well above average net minders.

It's all fallen apart under the Pegula's scorched earth strategy. Not that I mind the owners, but the amount of failures in a rebuild with this ownership group has me asking serious questions.

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In the 70s, the Sabres would practice at Tonawanda Ice Time in North Tonawanda, which was an easy walk from my home.  It's also where the Buffalo Norsemen played (cheap avatar plug).  I would watch the Sabres practice frequently.  I remember one time Rick Martin and Danny Gare were at one end of the ice and they were betting on who could hit the crossbar from opposite side of the rink.  Rico finally won, but pucks were flying everywhere.  I think I scored 3 pucks that day that went over the glass.  It was amazing to see the speed and power of their shots even when they slammed off the cinder blocks over the glass from 190 feet away. 

Also:

Andre Savard was one built mother F'er.  

Perreault smoked a lot and drove a cream colored Corvette.  

Jim Lorentz was a great guy.  Always friendly as were Dudley and Ramsay.

Korab and Schoenfeld walked toward me down a hallway and  I almost pissed myself.  But I got a "Hey Buddy" from Schoeny.

When Bill Hajt skated, it made that low grinding sound.  He was no elite skater, but he never budged when hit.

The speed of EVERY player was amazing, even in the 70's.  Seeing it up close was crazy.

 

Edited by Tondas
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The 70’s Sabres we amazing.  Great players and a lot of fun characters.  A mix of old style NHL veteran players plus some of the best young talent in the league.  They quickly rose to prominence in the NHL but failed to win the cup, making the finals once.  

The 80’s Sabres were talented and also very good, although underachieving in the playoffs.  

The 90’s  was the last of the great decades.  They overachieved, fought a lot, and had a lot of pride.  They made the a Cup finals once, and lost on a controversial goal in OT.  

After three decades the Sabres, despite no cups, had one of the best winning percentages in the league. 
 

The 2000’s were not as kind although they had one strong team from 06 thru 08.  Unfortunately, their poor management team could not keep a very strong core of players together. 

The Sabres of 2010’s - the  Terry Pegula era - are a complete dumpster fire and have been out of the playoffs and insignificant for  9 straight years.  The are a total abomination and actually are a disgrace to the uniform.  The teams have lacked talent, skill, pride, fight, and competitive fire.  I watch them only out of habit and loyalty.  

Edited by Pimlach
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On 3/15/2020 at 12:38 PM, steveoath said:

As many know, I have only been watching the Sabres for 2 seasons (well 1 and whatever you call this season). I'm interested to know more about the history of the team from those who have been watching for a lifetime. What are your highs/lows? Any good stories to share? Any links to clips online? Etc. This would be a welcome distraction from the daily barrage of doom n gloom.

Cheers in advance ⚔️⚔️⚔️

 

If you are that new to the whole thing, my advice is to get out now, while you still can.

😂

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My first game was the Sabres first game.  As I grew up the player's wives seats were next to ours and I got to meet guys like Luce and Mike Robitaille when they sat out a game for injury.  Robbie was often sitting by me and we kind of became friends.  It's what got me hooked.

We also ate at Chef's often before games and I meet many Sabres opponents.  Favorites were meeting Neal Broten and Dino Cicarelli with the North Stars and the great Flyer teams.  Dino even invited me to have dinner with him that night.  I've been a fan of his ever since.

Two great memories were the Bat game and watching the Sabres beat the snot out of the Moscow Dynamo and Red Army.  One other cool memory was my Dad and I were heading to the game from his office in the old Statler Building.  3 Habs were in the hotel lobby and had missed their transport to the arena and my Dad & I drove them to the game.

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Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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I was at the Central Red Army game.  Shoeny and Korab set the tone early.  They hit everyone and had the glass rattling from the get go.  It was like the Red Army team tried to hit on their sister.  The Aud crowd was going crazy.

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On 3/19/2020 at 8:44 PM, Tondas said:

I was at the Central Red Army game.  Shoeny and Korab set the tone early.  They hit everyone and had the glass rattling from the get go.  It was like the Red Army team tried to hit on their sister.  The Aud crowd was going crazy.

I was at the game versus the Soviet Wings   The Aud was just insane.  We banged them around and we out-skated them too.  Korab was a monster that night.  I think Schoeny was out. ?  
 

 The French Connection was free to play their style and they did not disappoint. In fact, all the lines scored I think.  

Up until that game both Russian Teams were dominating the NHL.  Proud to be a Sabres fans back then.  We set the tone and made a blueprint for the rest of the NHL to follow.  

Edited by Pimlach

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5 hours ago, Pimlach said:

I was at the game versus the Soviet Wings   The Aud was just insane.  We banged them around and we out-skated them too.  Korab was a monster that night.  I think Schoeny was out. ?  
 

 The French Connection was free to play their style and they did not disappoint. In fact, all the lines scored I think.  

Up until that game both Russian Teams were dominating the NHL.  Proud to be a Sabres fans back then.  We set the tone and made a blueprint for the rest of the NHL to follow.  

You are correct Punch, I misstated the Soviet Red Army for the Soviet Wings.  We're talking about the same game.  It was electric in The Aud.

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