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The pinnacle of the Sabres franchise


The Ghost of Yuri
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Uh, no. It was the iconic moment of an unexpectedly thrilling season.

But the pinnacle came early on, when Punch took an expansion team to the final in five years — or maybe soon after when his team demolished the Soviets. The franchise has been trying to surpass those couple of seasons ever since.

We were spoiled; the early success also planted the seeds of a lifetime of frustration. I'll have my own thread about how it took over 50 years to finally hit re-start on Cup dreams/expectations.

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9 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

Uh, no. It was the iconic moment of an unexpectedly thrilling season.

But the pinnacle came early on, when Punch took an expansion team to the final in five years — or maybe soon after when his team demolished the Soviets. The franchise has been trying to surpass those couple of seasons ever since.

We were spoiled; the early success also planted the seeds of a lifetime of frustration. I'll have my own thread about how it took over 50 years to finally hit re-start on Cup dreams/expectations.

I agree 100%.  One step further, the mid 70’s were a great time in general to be a Buffalo sports fan.  

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25 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

Uh, no. It was the iconic moment of an unexpectedly thrilling season.

But the pinnacle came early on, when Punch took an expansion team to the final in five years — or maybe soon after when his team demolished the Soviets. The franchise has been trying to surpass those couple of seasons ever since.

We were spoiled; the early success also planted the seeds of a lifetime of frustration. I'll have my own thread about how it took over 50 years to finally hit re-start on Cup dreams/expectations.

50 years...and counting?

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3 hours ago, PASabreFan said:

Uh, no. It was the iconic moment of an unexpectedly thrilling season.

But the pinnacle came early on, when Punch took an expansion team to the final in five years — or maybe soon after when his team demolished the Soviets. The franchise has been trying to surpass those couple of seasons ever since.

We were spoiled; the early success also planted the seeds of a lifetime of frustration. I'll have my own thread about how it took over 50 years to finally hit re-start on Cup dreams/expectations.

Without linked videos, your post is worthless.  Pominville's goal remains the pinnacle.

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29 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

Without linked videos, your post is worthless.  Pominville's goal remains the pinnacle.

Are we talking a specific moment? It's a little narrow to pick a series-clinching goal fairly early in the playoffs, in large part because it knocked out a heated (at the time) rival. It didn't come at a time that the Sabres franchise was on a clear rise. If you want to fold in an individual moment like you've chosen and overlay it onto a franchise on the rise, let's go with Grosek's series-clinching goal against Philly in '98. It was the first time the Sabres had defeated Philly in the playoffs.

A larger lens is needed for this one.

(And I wouldn't even say it was the pinnacle of Rick.)

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3 hours ago, Thorny said:

50 years...and counting?

I'll clarify to say that my own expectation of a Cup has lasted 46 years, because I discovered just before they made the finals in 75. So it's burned into me. But it was also burned into the very first Sabres fans, because the Knoxes hired Punch because of his Cup-winning resume and there was a notion right from the beginning the Sabres would be the first expansion team to win a Cup. So the expectations have haunted some fans for over 50 years.

From that disappointment in 75 and the next several years came Scotty Bowman, winner of Cups; John Muckler, winner of Cups; Cup runs in the late 90s; Cups runs in the mid 00s; and Terry's cup vow. It's been a constant drumbeat. Success came too early maybe.

Any frustration should be left in the past. The idea shouldn't be revisited until the team returns to some measure of respectability, which will feel like a Cup win it itself. Just for our collective sanity.

Still, when the real moment comes, it will all the more glorious given a half century of feeling like glory was about to be achieved.

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2 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

Argue your case with videos, not words.  I want to watch fun Sabres stuff (if you're not catching on).

Siri, insert video of Robert in the fog/Sabres exploding for goals against the Russkies.

I've found that in my posts, emails and texts, I'm starting to drop words. Hurry up, Sabres!

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Are we defining "pinacle" as the "best" or the "Sabre-est" moment.

Would have to think some more on the "best" moment.  There's a few that are deserving & PA may be onto something putting it at the early-mid-'70's across the board.

Sabre-est thing has to be making the theme of the 20th anniversary season "Celebrate the Tradition" during the 7th of 10 consecutive seasons of not getting past the 1st round when 80% of the division made the playoffs every year.  WHAT?!? ANOTHER 1st round exit?  Yup.  Celebrate the tradition.

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1 minute ago, Taro T said:

Are we defining "pinacle" as the "best" or the "Sabre-est" moment.

Would have to think some more on the "best" moment.  There's a few that are deserving & PA may be onto something putting it at the early-mid-'70's across the board.

Sabre-est thing has to be making the theme of the 20th anniversary season "Celebrate the Tradition" during the 7th of 10 consecutive seasons of not getting past the 1st round when 80% of the division made the playoffs every year.  WHAT?!? ANOTHER 1st round exit?  Yup.  Celebrate the tradition.

AKA nadir. (Which it wasn't.)

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18 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

AKA nadir. (Which it wasn't.)

You're defining pinnacle as the nadir?  That doesn't seem to be what you're doing.

And Sabre-iest thing should absolutely not be considered the nadir.  It's on a completely different axis than the pinnacle & the nadir.  

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This is what happens when your favourite team is in the discussion for "best hockey team on the planet."

As an old Cold Warrior, I can't even say that winning a Stanley Cup would eclipse the feeling of beating the Soviets.  Those of you too young to have seen the Summit Series or done "duck and cover" drills in school just won't understand it.  I will maintain until my death that "Killing the Commies" (quoting the late Punch Imlach) was more important than winning the Stanley Cup for the Bicentennial.  And unlike the Flyers a week later, the Sabres did not have tilted officiating to help them out -- they beat the Soviets at their own game.

Edited by Marvin, Sabres Fan
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1 hour ago, New Scotland (NS) said:

Here you go ...

 

 

I still remember this sunday afternoon game as if I'm 14 and in my parent's basement. For some reason I still vividly recall the entire line skating up the ice and Gare wrister to win it over the vaunted Habs 

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22 hours ago, DarthEbriate said:

Here's one that might fulfill the truest version of pinnacle (closest to the top we've ever been) as well as the most Sabre-est. Beware... it's not the happiest memory.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNZn6sIusjU&t=179m45s

STILL waiting for them to hold the face-off at the Sabres blue line to the left of Hasek.

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7 minutes ago, Let's Go B-Lo said:

Arguing about the pinnacle of a franchise that has never won anything seems a bit silly. Which participation trophy is the best?

It's true they haven't won a Stanley Cup yet.  But, the team in fact has won something - the Presidents' Trophy in '07.

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