Sunday, August 15, 2010

40th anniversary/all-time sabres team--forwards

the buffalo sabres 40th anniversary season will soon be upon better way to start a new blogspot than to look back through the years and come up with the all-time buffalo sabres team beginning with the forwards:

first line: rick martin, gil perreault, alexander mogilny
what more can be said about the "original sabre" perreault and the pure goal-scorer, martin, two-thirds of "the french connection" which inflicted nightly damage through dizzying would've been pretty easy to add the third member, rene robert, here and a case can be made...alexander mogilny, though, had more speed, more quickness and a more lethal shot...his 76 goals in the 92/3 season was just sick and he continued to put the puck into the net well into his career
second line:  dave andreychuk, pat lafontaine, rene robert
lafontaine still holds sabres records for points (148) and assists (95) in one season, but his career is somewhat tragic, being cut a little short because of concussions...probably one of the greatest players to never win a cup having appeared in only one stanley cup final (his rookie season)...andreychuk took the "phil esposito approach" to goal-scoring consistency by parking his big frame in front of the net...a consistent game produced consistently strong numbers...that coupled with his longevity finally got him to the holy grail as captain of the cup-champion lightning... as for robert?...he was a point-per-game player for the sabres, the work-horse for the french connection and has his #14 hanging from the rafters at hsbc...not bad for an undrafted free agent
third line:  craig ramsay, don luce, danny gare
luce and ramsay, quite possibly, were the best shut-down tandem in the league...although the likes of jim lorenz and ric seiling joined them on the checking line, it was luce and ramsay who were out there in every crucial defensive situation...were i sticking strictly to a "checking line," ric seiling might be here...but you cannot discount the contributions of danny gare...people remember him for his scoring prowess (two 50-goal seasons,) but he was also a standout two-way player (career +190, scored 50 goals on a "checking-line" with luce and ramsay) as well as a firecracker who never thought twice about jumping out of the penalty-box to defend his teammates...a truly special player
fourth line:  vaclav varada, micheal peca, rob ray
kris baker of had enforcer rob ray as one of the faces of buffalo's "mount puckmore" in the piece he wrote for hockeyindependent...and i think it's a very solid favorite peca could check (selke award winner) and could score and also was a real pest to play against...vaclav varada was one of my favorite sabres of that era...he was a pest that could put the puck in the net (five goals in the '99 stanley cup playoffs)...for me, this is a truly personal choice as many others could be slotted as the #12 one of the classiest moves by this regime, he was shipped to a contender (ottawa, no-less) so that he could compete for the cup...that's how much he was respected
honorable mentions:  ric seiling, tony mckegney

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