NHL Thread: New year, new hope, same failed dreams

Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by CF3234, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. ohhaithur

    ohhaithur e-Batman

    It's one touch I believe. It happened with a pass off the protective netting once. There was a pass so they couldn't
  2. Tiger Z

    Tiger Z Nellyville
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    This isn’t surprising anymore. The NHL has no idea how to handle replay
  3. CF3234

    CF3234 Fan of: Bandwagons
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  4. dump

    dump HORNS DOWN

    fuck the Blues
  5. miles

    miles All I know is my gut says, maybe

  6. The Banks

    The Banks TMB's Alaskan
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    That's the dumbest fucking logic in the world.
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  7. laxjoe

    laxjoe Well-Known Member
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    casual fan driveby - but holy shit at that not being reviewable. that was not a good look for the NHL, at all
  8. The Banks

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  9. CF3234

    CF3234 Fan of: Bandwagons
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  10. miles

    miles All I know is my gut says, maybe

    Review a toe offside? Sure. An actual hand pass we can clearly see on replays? Nope, can’t do shit about that

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  11. The Banks

    The Banks TMB's Alaskan
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    Nyquist was aware it was a hand pass, you can see him hesitate before touching the puck.
  12. miles

    miles All I know is my gut says, maybe

    NHL tmw:

    dump likes this.
  13. ASG Sucks

    ASG Sucks Bitter Atlanta Sports Fan
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    What a joke by the refs - way to go NHL.
  14. ohhaithur

    ohhaithur e-Batman

    The NHL official twitter hasn't even mentioned that the game is over or that there was a goal.

    The NFLGifs official account cut out the handpass

    IHHH and dump like this.
  15. CF3234

    CF3234 Fan of: Bandwagons
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    Nice job ignoring the obvious NHL

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  16. The Banks

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    The NHL needs to do what they did with the Avery Rule where the day after the incident they corrected realizing the rule was fucked up.
    CF3234 likes this.
  17. ohhaithur

    ohhaithur e-Batman

    Karlsson, Burns and Thornton on stage. I've seen better kept men under a bridge
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  18. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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  19. CF3234

    CF3234 Fan of: Bandwagons
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    Yep. NHL needs to own that they fucked up. This shit is embarrassing.
    IHHH, The Banks and ASG Sucks like this.
  20. miles

    miles All I know is my gut says, maybe

    NHL: "K."

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  21. CF3234

    CF3234 Fan of: Bandwagons
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  22. devine

    devine Make Devine A Mod Again
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    Sorry I don’t follow corrupt leagues!
  23. teel

    teel Dan Jones fan
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  24. Jax Teller

    Jax Teller Well-Known Member
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    Man y'all really weren't kidding when y'all tried to warn me about how shitty and incompetent NHL refs are.
  25. zeberdee

    zeberdee hungry dogs run faster
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    I'm confused by everyone saying the NHL fucked up?

    do you just mean the refs on the ice missed the call?

    and I'm not talking about the bullshit edit jobs after that cut out the handpass, I just mean with the result. to me, it's a missed call on the ice, but there's no way they can overturn it. there's nothing else that could be done once the goal went in. sucks for the Blues, but this is the kind of stuff that happens with replay unless you just want to make it open-ended.
  26. teel

    teel Dan Jones fan
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    This is true, if nobody saw it there’s nothing they can do. It’s pretty bad that nobody saw it though, the puck is right there and it’s right in front of the net. They must have had eyes from every angle on it. Baffling.
  27. Illinihockey

    Illinihockey Well-Known Member
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    This shit is hilarious since the Blues got rolling when Perron scored when he should have been in the penalty box. Also how about Bouwmeester hacking down Meier right before the hand pass.
  28. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    I know your blues hate is flowing, but lol cmon at this. A) Yes it was a delay of game, but no it didnt lead directly to a goal. B) Youre complaining about a non penalty call in OT? If you watch the replay that's not even being hacked down, just a check. This is weak, even by your standards when taking shots at the blues.
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  29. Illinihockey

    Illinihockey Well-Known Member
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    It didn't lead directly to a goal but they scored when they should have been on the PK, in fact they scored twice, one of which was when he should have been in the box, the other on a power play that started when he should have been in the box. Bouwmeester gets walked and has to take Meier down, the Blues got away with murder against Dallas in game 7 as well. Its just hilarious to me to see all of these missed calls in their favor then one goes against them and its the end of the world. The refs missed a call, but if they don't shit themselves in the last minute its not an issue. Or if Jaden Schwartz can hit a wide open net from 100 feet away to seal the game its not an issue. Blues gave up 5 goals at home and are acting like 1 missed call is why they lost.
    #21479 Illinihockey, May 16, 2019
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
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  30. IHHH

    IHHH Well-Known Member
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    *4 legit goal
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  31. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    All of the comments in the locker room said that game should have never gone to over time. But when a massively blown call in OT directly leads to a goal, no one its not hyperbole to say that's why they lost a game. Just enjoy the schaudenfraude .
    Jax Teller likes this.
  32. Illinihockey

    Illinihockey Well-Known Member
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    I wish the refs would give an explanation though. Did they think he hit it with his stick? Did they just miss it? Did they think Bouwmeester touched it?
    The Banks likes this.
  33. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    This is also chicken shit by the NHL.

  34. Illinihockey

    Illinihockey Well-Known Member
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    I assume that means they are saying they didn't see it.
  35. CF3234

    CF3234 Fan of: Bandwagons
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    The NHL needs to be better. Everyone in the world knows a mistake was made. Just acknowledge it and move on. Acting like it never happened is how the story becomes a monster and you look even worse because now the story is about both the missed call and how the NHL is pretending nothing happened. It's cowardly.
    CBH, miles, dump and 2 others like this.
  36. Fran Tarkenton

    Fran Tarkenton Well-Known Member
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  37. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Good contract for both sides. No surprised Lindell decided to take the dive to be w the stars long term.
    dump and Illinihockey like this.
  38. The Banks

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    Not many are complaining that the refs missed it. The complaint is how the refs handled it, how the NHL handled it, and the review system in general for the NHL.
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  39. Illinihockey

    Illinihockey Well-Known Member
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    Honestly what were the refs supposed to do. Open up the mic and say the goal can't be reviewed and then get pelted by garbage as they skated off the ice?
    zeberdee likes this.
  40. The Banks

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    Yes, they typically give an explanation. I've seen it dozens of times where they have announced that a play is not reviewable.
    Jax Teller likes this.
  41. Illinihockey

    Illinihockey Well-Known Member
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    I can't ever remember the refs getting on the mic and saying "we didn't see anything, the goal stands". It might just be that they didn't see the hand pass and only learned about it when the Blues started screaming it was a hand pass. What if it wasn't a hand pass and now they got on the mic and just incited the shit out of the crowd about something that didn't happen.
  42. CF3234

    CF3234 Fan of: Bandwagons
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    Yes. You fucked up, turn on your mic, say the play can't be reviewed and that the goal stands, then leave. Then as soon as you head into your locker room, get on the phone with the NHL and help them prepare the statement acknowledging the mistake.
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  43. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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  44. dump

    dump HORNS DOWN

    still mad
  45. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    I think it's hilarious that he dove instead of defending and gave up a wide open goal to lose the game.
  46. Zebbie

    Zebbie Hey Mike, guess what I have in my underwear?
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    Good luck getting that pompous ass Gary Bettman to admit that the refs got it wrong
    Jax Teller, ASG Sucks and dump like this.
  47. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
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    no one will care about this article, but just want to share my mid-day heartbreak. The Jay McKee injury is insane.


    ‘It haunts you for the rest of your life’: Reliving the 2006 Eastern Conference Final when the Sabres’ magic ran out

    BUFFALO, N.Y. — As of a couple of days ago, Daniel Briere wasn’t familiar with Jenga. He was unaware the table-top game was the perfect metaphor for what happened to him and the Buffalo Sabres in real life.

    A Jenga tower is built with wooden planks. The object is to remove each piece, one by one, and place it on top, making the tower increasingly wobbly until the loser pulls the plank that makes the whole thing topple.

    That’s what happened to the 2005-06 Sabres, a magical team that collapsed in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final under the weight of too many misplaced blocks.

    “It was like someone was watching somewhere and said, I’m going to remove a defenseman,” Briere said. “But we kept winning. Well, I’m going to remove a second one and then a third one and then a fourth one.

    Dmitri Kalnin, broken left ankle. Teppo Numminen, hip flexor. Henrik Tallinder, broken left arm. Jay McKee, left ankle strep infection.

    That last one is not a misprint. A strep infection ravaged McKee’s lower left leg while he slept in his bedroom after a Game 6 victory.

    “You look at the way Jay McKee was removed from the lineup,” Briere said, “to me, there was a force somewhere that didn’t want us to win.

    “To wake up the day after Game 6 and not be able to walk? That’s a clear sign someone thought, This will finally make sure they don’t win. That’s what I feel like.”

    Bittersweet are the memories from 2005-06, the favorite season for many Sabres fans. They were a blast to watch and are considered by many to have been the most complete Stanley Cup contender of the franchise’s 49 years.

    An NHL lockout vaporized the prior season. Fans were bitter and particularly agitated in Western New York, where recent history saw the Sabres’ owners led away in handcuffs and the team go bankrupt. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, the man who oversaw the 1999 No Goal fiasco, ran the Sabres until an owner could be found.

    “Just a couple years earlier,” Sabres defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick said, “you’re racing to the bank to cash your check.”

    But these 2005-06 Sabres demanded attention, igniting the community like never before.

    The Sabres reached the Stanley Cup Final in 1975 and 1999, but this season was different. The French Connection was a distant memory. Dominik Hasek was as close to a one-man show as hockey gets.

    Ask Sabres fans in 2006 who their favorite players were, and you might have received a dozen different replies. The roster — blended with veterans, top rookies, darters, grinders, deep thinkers and stick-handlers — rolled four lines, three D pairs, two goalies.

    They amassed 110 points in the regular season and scorched the first two playoff rounds before injuries piled skyward. The Sabres withstood sledgehammer blows to reach the Eastern Conference Final and, in Game 7 against the Carolina Hurricanes, led 2-1 entering the third period.

    Then the tower crashed to the ice.

    Cruel circumstances buckled Buffalo. There was no Bill Buckner or Scott Norwood or foot-in-the-crease moment to blame.

    “When I go back to Buffalo,” right wing J.P. Dumont said, “it still hurts me when people want to talk about that year.

    “It was painful. But we had such a great team. It was something else.”

    The Athletic Buffalo interviewed 14 members of the 2005-06 Sabres organization about an unforgettable ride far into the postseason, about an all-time team with little to show for it but memories that make them laugh and groan.

    “It’s always a lot of fun to bring those memories back,” Briere said. “Even though some of them hurt, they were pretty cool moments of my career.”

    Sports Illustrated ranked Buffalo the 25th-best team heading into the 2005-06 season.

    Teppo Numminen, defenseman: We surprised the league. We surprised the city. We surprised ourselves. We surprised everybody. Before the season, people were predicting we would finish last. But the mix and the timing with everybody’s careers and the style of players we had created the perfect, perfect team.

    Rory Fitzpatrick, defenseman: We had a young team that benefited greatly from the lockout and the rules changes to open up the game. Timing is everything. We had a skilled, fast team.

    Lindy Ruff, head coach: We thought we could have speed and depth throughout our lineup from lines one through four. As it turned it out, that probably was the strength of that team.

    Thomas Vanek, left wing: We, as a team, had such good leadership. I looked up and down the lineup and thought, “We can score five, six every night.”

    J.P. Dumont, right wing: It introduced almost a new style of hockey. We were young and fast, and it was really exciting. We were a lot of fun to watch.

    Ruff: We tried to get ahead of (how penalties would be called). We had the NHL referees come into training camp and explain it to us that as soon as you get the stick horizontal, there’s going to be penalties. Nobody was going to be allowed that free tug on anybody. We concentrated on trying to keep sticks off people and stay out of the penalty box. On the other hand, if people couldn’t put a stick on us, that we could be pretty creative ourselves.

    Numminen: The coaching we had got that bull running. We had great goaltending, defensemen who could move the puck, forwards with speed. It was fun.

    Brian Campbell, defenseman: The lockout, the fans were so in need of a celebration and in need of a winner that everybody jumped on board.

    Jim Corsi, goaltending coach: One of the biggest assets that Ryan Miller had — now here he is with Mika Noronen and Marty Biron in front of him — was such focused attention to detail, focused attention to the work that was required to get better. There are a few I’ve seen like that. He brought to the table what I’ve seen only maybe in Dominik Hasek.

    Ales Kotalik, right wing: The coaching staff tailored the playing system. They made it for the players we had. We were playing up-and-down, skating hockey. Not many teams were able to catch up with us.

    Corsi: We scored by committee, and that was beautiful. That worried teams.

    Ruff: Ryan was a rock. As good as we were up front, and if you’re going to play with that speed and creativity, you’re going to give up opportunities. There would be times when the game was on the line, and he would make that big save.

    Numminen: Everything came natural.

    Tim Macre, athletic trainer: You hear clichés about guys who play for each other, but it was true with that team. Guys believed in themselves, in each other. You just had a feeling we were going to win every game.

    Kotalik: We came back from so many games, being down before the third period. No game was over for us. That confidence came from within.

    Vanek: Lindy was awesome for us. He never let us take the foot off the gas. The more we won, the more we practiced. Lindy kept us grounded to not take anyone lightly.

    Fitzpatrick: It was a team you don’t often see. Everybody got along, whether they were in the lineup, out of the lineup, fourth line, seventh D.

    Vanek: What was great, being a young guy with Mike Grier, Chris Drury, Jay McKee and those guys, they made it such a fun atmosphere, but not to take anything for granted. We were going to push.

    Kotalik: Everything clicked. We became so confident. I remember the mentality, “We don’t lose two games in a row.” We did, but not that often.

    Fitzpatrick: Guys had great years, and going into the playoffs they got even better. A lot of players made their careers off that run.

    Ruff: It got to the point where, basically, I had my hand off the steering wheel. The players believed in the way they were playing. The chemistry was great. The fans really did get behind us. It worked both ways. They were kind of the energy behind us.

    Kotalik: That team was great. We had great balance, great leadership, great coaching. There was no weakness unless we get hurt.

    The Sabres finished second to the Ottawa Senators in the Northeast Division and met the Atlantic Division-winning Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the playoffs.

    Daniel Briere, Sabres center: We were coming back from Carolina after the regular-season finale and jumped on the plane with the odds being we’d play the Rangers or the Devils in the first round and a slim chance we would get the Flyers. We felt very confident playing the Rangers or the Devils, but there was something about the Flyers we just didn’t like. They were big and physical, while we were smaller and speedy.

    Dumont: The Flyers were a really big team. They were not as fast as us. I wouldn’t say we had doubts, but our style was speed, and the new rules were helping. We knew in the playoffs those calls and power plays might not come as easily. The game changes in the playoffs.

    Briere: Back then Wi-Fi wasn’t as good. We just flew, and when we landed the pilot said, “I want to wish you luck in the first round against the Flyers.” The plane went silent.

    Ruff: We went into the playoffs with the premise there’s no easy opponent or easy round. But I also remember thinking there was no reason we shouldn’t play well against them.

    Vanek: I don’t think we cared about matchups too much because we knew we were good. I can’t remember us being intimidated by the Flyers. We were confident.


    Tim Connolly scores one of the Sabres’ 24 goals in the series as Buffalo defeated the Flyers in six games. (AP Photo / David Duprey)
    Buffalo took Game 1 in double overtime at Philadelphia.

    Briere: In the first game against the Flyers, there was a play early in the game where Peter Forsberg went around everybody. He went around Ryan Miller and had the whole net to shoot it in. Henrik Tallinder dove and laid his stick in the air. The puck hit his shaft and went wide. I was on the bench, thinking, “Wow. Maybe it’s meant to be.”

    Dumont: We knew after Game 1 we were up for a good run. That changed everything.

    Vanek: Us young players never took it for granted because we had Teppo Nummimen who’d played for almost 20 years and never got out of the first round. We knew we might never get back there again. This could be our shot for the rest of our careers.

    Briere: That was the game we went from hoping to make some noise to believe we were about to. I saw a team grow in just a few hours. We went from being little boys as a team to men.

    Buffalo won 8-2 two days later. Philly coach Ken Hitchcock tried to flex his team’s muscle at the end of Game 2, but Ruff responded by repeatedly putting his top lines on the ice despite the score. At his postgame news conference, Hitchcock responded to Ruff’s goon criticism by saying, “Tell Lindy to fuck off.”

    Briere: Lindy was very smart. Throughout that series, throughout the playoffs, he was good at not leaving the focus on his players. He would do something to bring focus to him, some controversy. That would leave us alone to go play.

    Ruff: Sometimes, I put myself in position to take some heat either way. The jousting in that Flyers series was over some of the frustrations and penalties they were trying to take, intentional penalties. I thought they really tried to hurt some of our players. Ken looked at it one way; I looked at it another way. I put out our best players still when the game was well in hand, and he didn’t like it. For me, I didn’t care. I just thought, “If you’re going to play like that, then we’re going to keep coming.”

    Briere: He was in their kitchen. That was very clever of Lindy Ruff to do that.

    Dumont: Game 2 was a massacre. They were big, but then we knew nobody could play with our speed.

    Buffalo won the opening series in six games and advanced to play Ottawa, the highest remaining NHL seed after President’s Trophy winner Detroit was upset in the first round.

    Campbell: We felt we were riding a pretty good storm going in there.

    Dumont: After beating Philly, the hype was there. There were not a lot of people that thought we could beat Philadelphia. We were the underdog, and we really thrived under that.

    Numminen: We knew Ottawa was the toughest team to beat for us. Ottawa was a top team in the league.

    Briere: They probably took us a little lightly. They probably were the best team in the NHL.

    Dumont: Everybody was picking Ottawa to win the Stanley Cup.

    Ruff: Everybody thought we were going to have a real tough time. We found ways to win three games in overtime. We won the first game 7-6 in overtime. Every game was decided by one goal.

    Vanek: We felt great. At that point, I didn’t know playoff hockey. Is it more intense? Maybe. I think what’s more intense is people get excited. There’s more media in the room. Every mistake is magnified. But the game doesn’t change. I remember us just rolling along, playing our three or four lines.

    Dumont: We battled. That’s what that series was all about.

    Jason Pominville ended the series with one of the greatest goals in franchise history, off of a short-handed rush to give the Sabres a 3-2 overtime road victory in Game 5.

    Ruff: Pommer getting the goal for us was unbelievable, the thing I remember most, close to one of the most memorable goals. In that season, it was by far the most memorable.

    Dumont: Like a lot of you, I was watching. I was on the bench, thinking, “OK, we’re going to kill this penalty and go on to score the winning goal.” When I saw Pommer skating over the red line and keeping the puck, I was, like, “OK, what is he doing? Just put the puck deep.”

    Rick Jeanneret, Sabres play-by-play broadcaster: No defenseman was back, just Daniel Alfredsson. I’m thinking to myself, “That’s a forward!” At the bench, I guess they were all yelling at Pominville that it was a forward, which don’t skate backwards too well.

    Macre: The thing I remember about that isn’t Jason scoring it. I remember when he picked up the puck and skated past the bench, and everyone was screaming at him, “Forward! Forward!”

    Jason Pominville, left wing: When there’s a forward back there, the bench is yelling, “Forward! Forward!” We try to take advantage by getting alongside him.

    Macre: Pommer caught him a little flat-footed, and I thought, “He’s going to score here.”

    Jeanneret: Pominville went right around him. So he certainly took advantage of the advice.

    Dumont: He just kept going and went around Alfredsson and around (Ray) Emery, too.

    Ruff: I still see him going around Alfredsson and tucking it in the far side of the net.

    Dumont: It was a beautiful goal. I don’t think they were expecting Jason to keep the puck and go around like that.

    “Now do you believe?! Now do you believe?!”

    Ruff: I might have jumped the highest out of anybody on that bench because I was most upset we got the penalty (Jay McKee for tripping 1:44 into overtime). It usually takes a lot to get a penalty in overtime, and it was the type of game you knew if they won, they would have put themselves right back in the series.

    Vanek: I remember talking to my dad after that game and saying, “We’re doing great. We’re still a long ways from winning the Cup, but we got a chance here.”

    Briere: The door was wide open for us. I remember reminding myself, “One step at a time. You can’t look too far ahead. There’s still a lot of work to be done.” But it was there for us.

    Carolina had finished the regular season atop the soft Southeast Division, but eliminated the Montreal Canadiens in six games and the New Jersey Devils in five.

    Campbell: Once we got past Ottawa, I felt we couldn’t be stopped.

    Jeanneret: I really did like our chances. They really seemed to overcome every adversity you could think of that season and managed to brush it off and carry on and be very successful.

    Ruff: I felt good about where we were at. I knew the series we just played was an unbelievably tough series with every game being so close and three overtime games. We felt the Carolina series would be the same, but I felt we had the team to win that series.

    Pominville: I remember pulling up to our games on the bus and the parking lot’s completely packed with people tailgating. Plus it’s so nice outside. Their fans were loud. The reactions of their fans was pretty crazy. I thought it was a great barn and an unbelievable atmosphere to play in.

    Jay McKee, defenseman: I recall there being a lot of Buffalo fans in Carolina when we were there. It felt like half the crowd was cheering for Buffalo. So it was a fun place to play.

    Ruff: We won Game 1 and came out of Carolina 1-1. We split again at home, and then injuries started to creep in the equation.

    Numminen: That was unbelievable. So many injuries happened. It was impossible to deal with it.

    Corsi: That’s the way the game goes. If you didn’t know it, the game’s uncertainty is the beauty. If not, then you’d go to the opera. You know it ends in a tragedy. But would you go see it 30 times or 100 times? No.

    Pominville: Kalinin, broken foot. Tallinder had a broken forearm. Teppo Numminen, I forget what he had.

    Campbell: And Tim Connolly might have been the best player in the playoffs when he got his concussion.

    Numminen: It was one of the toughest spots you can be in. You want to play. You know the team needs you. You know it’s a great team, and you want to help your friends, but you can’t.

    Macre: The pressure to get the guys to play while keeping them safe was heavy. That was the hardest thing for any athletic trainer in any sport. The athletic trainer doesn’t make the decision. That’s generally between the player and the team doctor, but we do what we can to lessen symptoms and help them feel better.

    McKee: Once we lost those three main guys, I was staying out there as long as I could. Whenever we were short-handed, (assistant coach) Brian McCutcheon would say, “Jay, go out there and don’t come off unless you’re too tired.”

    Fitzpatrick: Nobody ever flinched with the injuries. They weren’t really talked about. The next guy just went in and played well to get to that Game 7.

    Macre: It was just stress. You try and do everything you can to help these guys. The thing that got to me the most was knowing how the body heals and knowing that these weren’t bruises. The injuries we had were significant, and one day wasn’t going to heal them.

    Briere: Every time we lost a guy, it was devastating.

    Vanek: They were like goalies out there.

    Numminen: I tried a couple practices, tried taking a couple days off. I couldn’t sprint. Then maybe I thought I could play around it, but it’s the playoffs. Nothing. It was frustrating.

    Pominville: It was the most important time for our team and one of the most important for the franchise, but we were banged up. Everyone keeps going down, and it wasn’t injuries where guys could battle their way back into the lineup.

    Briere: You start with one and you think, “We can survive that.” Then it’s a second guy and a third and a fourth. The icing on the cake was Jay McKee.

    Buffalo persevered to win in overtime and force Game 7 in Raleigh.

    Briere: I still talk about that Game 6 when we won in Buffalo, we thought that building was coming down. People would not leave the atrium. The whole building was shaking. A few of us left the locker room to see what was going on, and the fans were in the atrium, just singing, jumping, dancing. To be part of something like this is amazing when you know you’re affecting how people feel. It was just awesome.

    Campbell: I’m not going to lie. That Jay McKee thing still stings.

    McKee: I remember going home after Game 6 and saying, “We’re winning this series, and we’re going to win the Cup. I can feel it.” I’d never felt that way before.

    Macre: The last guy I saw after Game 6 was Jay McKee, coming through the locker room with a big smile on his face, feeling great.

    McKee: In the Ottawa series a couple weeks before, I blocked a shot on the inside of my left ankle. I took my skate off after that game in Ottawa, and my left sock was full of blood. The cut was only half an inch big, but it leaked out through the game and soaked my sock. I went to the trainer. We got it cleaned up right away. They brought over the Ottawa team doctor, and he said we could put maybe one stitch in it or Steri-Strip it and keep it clean. I said, “Whatever you think is best.” He made the decision not to stitch it. We cleaned it out and did whatever we had to do. Everything was fine.

    Dumont: Jay has blocked over a thousand shots in his career. And so this one caused a cut. So what?

    McKee: A few days later in practice, we were doing a drill, and Brian McCutcheon had taken a shot from the point while I was boxing a guy out, and the puck hit in exactly the same spot. It re-opened the cut. We patched it back up, kept it clean. As the playoffs went on, it eventually healed itself more.

    Macre: Jay’s wound was healed. It wasn’t open at the time. Then I get the call at about 3 o’clock in the morning, the last call I was expecting.

    Nathan Paetsch, emergency defenseman: What a freak thing to happen.


    Jay McKee was a standout for the Sabres in the 2006 playoffs until a freak injury kept him out of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)
    McKee: After we won Game 6, I went home that night, had a meal and went to bed. My left shin was hurting to the point it woke me up, and that was unusual. I walked downstairs to the medicine cabinet and took some Tylenol and went back to sleep. I woke up again, and the pain was more intense. When I went to stand up and put weight on my left foot, the pain was so intense that it felt like my shin was broken.

    Macre: He lived probably 2 miles from my house in Lancaster. He said his leg was killing him, and he was coming over.

    McKee: My calf was swelling up to the size of my thigh. My wife at the time took me to Tim’s house. He came outside, and by the time I had gotten to his house, my leg was hot.

    Macre: As soon as I saw his leg, I was in a high degree of shock because it wasn’t the same leg I saw three hours earlier, dancing in the trainer’s room. There was shock for Jay and shock for the team.

    McKee: I got back in the car and was in the passenger seat, following him to the hospital. At the first intersection, I remember sweat dripping from everywhere. I shook both of my hands like you would after you wash your hands. Sweat was flying off my hands. My face, my ears, my nose, my neck was just drenched in sweat. I was shaking. I didn’t know if I was dying. I felt like I was. It was insane. I was in such a panic that I got out of my car and hopped to Tim’s on one foot. I opened the door and surprised him. I fell into his passenger seat.

    Macre: Like I was going to be able to do anything.

    McKee: He took one look at me and gunned it through the red light.

    Macre: We may have made a few traffic infractions on our way (to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital). But the way I looked at it, he was a known player on a team that had just won Game 6 downtown. If we get pulled over, the officer has to be a fan and will give us a police escort.

    McKee: They rushed me right into ER. I remember sitting up on the table against the wall. My arms were crossed, and my legs were out in front of me. Both of my legs, I couldn’t control them. It was as if you just started kicking both of your feet. Both legs were bouncing off the table. It felt like somebody had taken my leg and snapped it at the shin.

    Pominville: His leg was double the size. There was no way he was going to be able to play.

    Macre: My heroes are Mr. Miyagi and John Coffey from “The Green Mile.” I wish I could just lay my hands on someone and cough out their problems.

    McKee: It was swollen and red all the way from my ankle up to my kneecap. The doctor came in — and I’ll never forget it because this was my best season, my contract was up, I felt we were going to win the Stanley Cup — and he said, “We’re going to figure out exactly what it is.” He said they’d hit me with a broad antibiotic for now and then give a more specific antibiotic once they determined what it is. Then he said, “Do you want the good news or the bad news first?” I asked for the good news. “The good news is, once we figure out what it is we’ll get the right meds in you, and you’ll recover. The bad news is, if the redness at the middle of your kneecap continues above your knee, we’re going to have to amputate.” I had nothing to say.

    Macre: Ownership at the time was very accommodating to doing anything that needed to be done to help Jay. We did everything we could, but I kind of knew in the back of my mind that the probability of him playing was super slim. We had to do what was safe for the player.

    McKee: My mind was going a thousand directions. I’m watching my hockey career flash before my eyes, watching my ability to stand on two legs flash before my eyes, watching a Stanley Cup flash before my eyes.

    Campbell: I remember getting on the plane to Raleigh and asking, “Where’s Jay?” Nobody knew about it. That put it over the top.

    Dumont: He was such an important part of the PK, and he actually had a couple big goals for us in those playoffs. You could put his defensive pair against any top line that year. He was playing really big hockey.

    Fitzpatrick: It almost became comical. You get to Game 7 and find out Jay’s not coming and Teppo can’t play that night. You lose two more D you thought were going to play that night.

    Numminen: It was, like, “You serious?” The McKee infection was, “You’ve got to be shitting me.” It was so stupid that it was … stupid. It was … It was … It was unreal! It was just wrong.

    Ruff: I don’t know if I can say exactly what I said when I learned about the infection, but it was something like, “Are you kidding me?” There was a couple other adjectives in there.

    Jeanneret: (Sabres color commentator) Jim Lorentz and I were in the bar at the Raleigh hotel, and Lindy came in. He was laughing. I was thinking, “This guy’s got no defense. What is he laughing about?” So I asked him what was so funny. He said, “I don’t know what else to do except laugh. I just lost McKee.”

    Buffalo went into Game 7 with four backup defensemen, three of whom spent the season with Rochester of the American Hockey League: Doug Janik (16th NHL game), Jeff Jillson (eighth NHL playoff game) and Paetsch (first NHL road game).

    Corsi: We had an American League defense before we started the seventh game. How did we handle it?

    Briere: There was not a defenseman in the whole organization to be called up at that point. Everybody was hurt or sent home.

    Paetsch: Lindy pulled me aside in the lobby when we got to the hotel, and he said, “Jay is not doing that well. Be ready to play tomorrow. I think you’re in.” I was, like, “What?!” That part is all kind of a blur. It was my first-ever NHL road trip, my first private jet flight.

    Pominville: No way. I didn’t know that!

    Paetsch: I didn’t sleep. It was so nerve-wracking that I almost couldn’t even grasp the concept of what was about to happen. I remember getting to the morning skate and just being so anxious. I had that nervous energy all day. Before the game, it was so surreal, almost an out-of-body experience because I had played one NHL game to that point.

    Briere: I thought Jay would just appear and put on his uniform. I wouldn’t believe it. I don’t know if anybody knew how serious it was.

    Ruff: I don’t know if you can take away four of any team’s starting six defensemen out of the lineup and continue to win. Our guys were able to stay with it, and I still thought we had a shot at it.

    Corsi: There was very little talked about, “Oh, my! We’re decimated!”

    Briere: We had to move on and focus on the game. It was the biggest game of our career for most of us.

    Ruff: In some ways, it put a smile on your face that nobody wanted to use it as an excuse.

    Corsi: We tried to stay above it as a coaching staff. The kids see all the shit that’s going on, but we’re pretending that it’s nothing. So it’s easy for us to say, but we didn’t want the kids to make it a focus.

    Pominville: I don’t know the last time you’ve seen four D be out. And we still had a chance to win. We were up by a goal, going into the third.

    Janik scored his first NHL goal to tie the score 4:10 into the second period. Left wing Jochen Hecht banked home a wraparound shot off Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward with fives seconds left in the second period for a 2-1 Sabres lead.

    Kotalik: I remember that game like it happened yesterday.

    Paetsch: I could tell you every detail of that game. The rest of them, not so much.

    McKee: I was laying on the couch. The infection was systemic. During Game 7, the antibiotics were being pumped into me, and I was out of it. I was awake, asleep, awake, asleep. As excited as I was to watch it and wanting the guys to win, and in my mind I felt if they won I could come back in three or four days, I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

    Fitzpatrick: I don’t remember a ton of pressure going into Game 7. There were a lot of changes going on, but we always did end up standing up on our feet at the end of the day.

    McKee: I don’t remember Jochen’s goal.

    Dumont: Game 7, we are up 2-1. The rest of the playoffs those games were in our back pocket already with the style we were playing and with our defensemen.

    Pominville: The mood was good. You’re thinking “Oh, my God. We’re one period away. Let’s just get through this and we have a chance to play for the Cup.” All you have to do is battle for one more period, and then we’re in.

    Kotalik: Between the second and third period, I was walking the hallway outside the locker room, where the sticks were, and thinking to myself, “Hey, it’s 20 minutes, and we are there.”

    Paetsch: Everybody was very, very focused. I remember it not being too loud. Drury and Briere and the older guys were talking.

    Corsi: There’s fear in the unknown, but when you’re not alone it’s a lot more comforting and you can battle through it.

    Macre: I thought the hockey gods were looking down on us and smiling. It was a crazy range of emotions.

    Paetsch: The third period, Carolina just came out swinging. When they got that first goal, you couldn’t even hear in that building for the rest of the game. It was so, so loud. The whole place was thundering.

    Carolina center Doug Weight tied the score 94 seconds into the third period. Buffalo defenseman Brian Campbell was penalized for delay of game when he accidentally sent the puck over the glass from his own zone with 9:42 to play.

    Campbell: I honestly don’t think about it too much. I don’t like to make excuses, but I was playing a lot. I probably got a little casual. What am I supposed to say about it? At the end of the day, it’s a play … It glances barely over the glass.

    Jeanneret: The ironic part is that one of the two healthy regular defensemen you have shoots the puck over the glass and takes the penalty for delay of game.

    Pominville: You have to call it. You feel terrible for the guy that does it. Nobody meant more to the boys and to the room than Soupy. He just got too much of it.

    Briere: If it’s a judgment call, then they let it go. But when the puck goes over the glass, they have no choice but to make that call. That force that didn’t want us to win just kept throwing more and more bad breaks at us.

    Fitzpatrick: A lot was going right, then all of a sudden it goes wrong. It’s a tough penalty to have against you and puts guys that aren’t normally in those situations on the ice. You hope to hang on, but it didn’t happen.

    McKee: I specifically remember the goal that was scored on that penalty. There was a scrum in front of the net, and the puck got between Rory Fitzpatrick’s feet.

    Macre: The puck almost got stuck in Rory’s feet. I see it clear as day in my mind’s eye. Everyone on the bench was yelling, just trying to communicate to him, “The puck’s in your feet!”

    Pominville: You remember it in slow motion. Everybody in the building probably knew where the puck was except a couple guys right by it. We’ve all been there. Everybody is yelling, “Feet! Feet! Feet!” But you’re looking around and can’t find it.

    Fitzpatrick: I don’t remember much about specifics on the third period. Maybe on purpose I blacked them out.

    Macre: You’ve watched enough hockey that you can see those things before they happen. You can see, “This guy’s going to score” three seconds before he does.

    Pominville: Obviously, Rod Brind’Amour found it. Then it was in the back of the net.

    Campbell: The one time seeing it was live from the penalty box. I never watched that goal ever again.

    Jeanneret: Bingo, Carolina goes on to Edmonton, and we don’t.

    Vanek: Ryan couldn’t do anything on those goals.

    Briere: I wasn’t even thinking about winning or going to the Stanley Cup Final. I was thinking about finding a way. We just had to find a way. We really felt we were going to pull it off.

    Jeanneret: After that game, I did what I think I’ve done only once before in my 48 years. I went down to the dressing room and shook everybody’s hand. Miller just kind of looked at me and said, “Thanks?”

    Fitzpatrick: It came down to 20 minutes and then it’s over. You’re shocked. In my case, I was exhausted, as a lot of people were with the amount of ice time they were getting. I couldn’t believe that it was over. We did more than people thought, but in that moment, none of it mattered.


    (Jim McIsaac / Getty Images)
    The Hurricanes advanced to play the Edmonton Oilers, who lost goaltender Dwayne Roloson in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Hurricanes won the championship.

    Macre: After our physicals and exit meetings, we had our team dinner at the Buffalo Club. It was Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, and Dwayne Roloson got hurt. Everyone looked at each other and shook their heads.

    Dumont: Watching Carolina win the Cup after that was painful.

    Kotalik: If we beat that Carolina team, we win it all.

    Pominville: Most people thought whoever came out of our side probably had the best chance to win the Cup. If we didn’t run into all those injuries, it was probably our year.

    McKee: We would’ve gone in as favorites with Dwayne Roloson in their net, and with him out we would have been heavy favorites.

    Ruff: Gosh, I don’t know. I can remember after having such a great year and playoff run, just the disappointment of not going on, of not even wanting to watch the Cup Final.

    Paetsch: I still, to this day at this time of year, ask, “What if I got to play in the Stanley Cup Final?” We were that close. It’s the stuff that haunts you for the rest of your life.

    Fitzpatrick: When you’re that close, it’s definitely hard to swallow, definitely a lost opportunity. I don’t think Jay McKee would have been back. Tallinder and Kalinin wouldn’t have been back. Maybe Teppo is still out. But had we won that game, I think we would have had the best chance to win the Cup. It really is one you struggle with.

    Those intimately familiar with Buffalo’s deepest playoff runs lean toward the ’06 team as the best. Buffalo won the President’s Trophy in 2006-07, but was clearly outplayed by Ottawa in the Eastern Conference Final.

    Ruff: I really look at ’06 as the one that got away. There’s no doubt.

    McKee: It was completely different teams. In ’99, obviously, Dom was lights out. Without him, we don’t go that far. The ’99 team were a bunch of guys that worked their tails off, played for each other and were as good defensively as we could. Our game plan was to keep pucks to the outside and let Dom take those shots and work hard. We overachieved that year. In 2006, I felt like we had the best team.

    Dumont: I was in Buffalo through some tough times, with ownership changes and the Rigases getting arrested. Everything was up and down after Dominik Hasek left. I played through all that. We had some good runs with Hasek in 2001 and 2002, but there was nothing like 2006.

    Campbell: That team was dreaming in ’99. That team is considered a success for how far it got. Our team was a failure.

    Briere: That was the year that should have been. That was the year that, of all the teams I’ve played on, we had the best team of the last four alive.

    Pominville: There’s no doubt that one should have been our year, in my opinion. I thought we came together as a team at the right time. We heated up. Expectations weren’t high. The city was going crazy. The next year we had an unbelievable group, won the President’s Trophy, but I thought Ottawa were just playing better hockey than we were.

    Numminen: The second year (2007) was just to get back. We just wanted to get the season over and start the playoffs. We were so confident that it was, “Let’s just get the real games started.” It was, ‘Two months to go. One month to go. We’re on. Let’s get to the hunt.”

    Kotalik: Ottawa beat us in a 4-1 series, and they deserved it. There was no power anymore. We physically ran out of gas.

    Vanek: (The injuries in 2006) made it waaaaay worse. I don’t think we were a team that got hot at the end. We were a team that was great all year, consistently scoring and winning. Thirteen years later, I still look back at that — even though I was in the press box — and I’m convinced we would have won with those pieces in the lineup. Of course, that’s easy for me to say because I’m on the losing side of it. But it hurts.

    Ruff: Getting through that Flyers series was a huge character-builder for our team. Being able to win those tight games and in overtime, I really felt there was some destiny ahead of that ’06 team.

    Through joy and misery, the 2005-06 Sabres left an indelible mark on the fans and the players.

    Jeanneret: It was probably one of the best seasons for the fans. Lord knows there’s been a lot of bad ones, but because of the team and the fact we didn’t expect them to do as well as they’d done, the community was just alive. It didn’t matter where you went in Buffalo. It was pretty awesome.

    Dumont: We almost lost the team, and after the lockout the city was just insane. Teams everywhere have fans watching the game outside the arena, but I could swear the Sabres were the first team to do that.

    Briere: I know Buffalo had been waiting — is still waiting — for a long time to have a team like that. To hopefully win the Stanley Cup one day, that was the closest they’ve come in a long, long time.

    Kotalik: Whenever I watch playoff hockey, all those memories come back at how close we were.

    Campbell: That (2009-10 Chicago Blackhawks) team we had was riding up, as well. In a lot of ways, and I don’t like to blame it on injuries, it might have been the same thing. We were so deep throughout our lineup. We both had superstars evolving. Maybe a little younger in Chicago, there were a lot of similarities.

    Macre: We should all have a ring. That was our year.

    McKee: Every team that felt they were the best but didn’t win the championship can you tell you a story about something crazy that happened along the way.

    Vanek: That year, I thought we were the best team in the league. Then, as I got older and played more and saw who was winning Cups, God, I’ve figured out the best team usually doesn’t win. It’s the team that gets hot at the right time and stays healthy.

    Briere: We were built for a lot of years to be dominant. Our third line was Vanek-Roy-Afinogenov. That’s amazing to think about, the amount of talent. There aren’t a lot of teams that could keep up with us.

    Numminen: The disappointing thing is that after those two years, they broke the team. I don’t know who is responsible for the team not staying together.

    Kotalik: They always say every team has its window. I sure believe that was the window the Sabres had the biggest chance to win it all. I think the biggest mistake was that leadership group wasn’t kept intact. They let Chris Drury leave for the New York Rangers and Danny Briere leave for Philadelphia. They all wanted to stay. That was the start — even though the team made the playoffs after that — of the fall down that we still see.

    Corsi: There were a lot of young guys on that team that I admired for the way they handled the adversity. The kids that stepped in to play the roles they had to play … For me, I learned what it takes to be a winner. Did we win the Cup? No. But to see how hard it was to get through made me a better coach.

    Vanek: I really modeled my approach off the ice from the leadership on that team. That’s what I will cherish the rest of my life. They made me such a better person and leader than I think I am.

    McKee: What it’s done for me is left a burning passion to continue in this sport. Since we were kids, we’ve wanted to win the Stanley Cup. Instead of looking at is as a negative, I channel that energy. That’s what drives me to be a coach and keep pushing forward.
    #21497 bro, May 16, 2019
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
    IHHH likes this.
  48. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
    Tennessee VolunteersLos Angeles DodgersBuffalo BillsBuffalo Sabres

    Also forgot that Edmonton lost Roloson in game 1 of that cup. What a series of breaks for Carolina
    IHHH likes this.
  49. IHHH

    IHHH Well-Known Member
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishMontreal Canadiens

    Buffalo was so fun to watch that year, great team. Luck is such a huge part, the last mtl canadiens Cup was kind of lucky too. The islanders beat Pitt in 7 which was a huge upset then buffalo won and they were the better team but they lost Lafontaine and mogilny to injury in the second round, one of the two in the last game before the mtl series. They were the best duo in the league at that time. And la making it to the final was also a surprise.

    Was it the year that they beat Ottawa and one game ended like 7-6?
    #21499 IHHH, May 16, 2019
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
    bro likes this.
  50. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
    Missouri TigersSt. Louis CardinalsChicago BullsSt. Louis BluesEverton

    For anyone interested in looking up stats - I just stumbled across this website that aggregates links to all the stat sites. Pretty cool.


    Sorry if this is already well known and fuck off for not telling me about it
    DeToxRox likes this.