As Buffalo Sabres fans sit with hope that Friday’s meeting between the NHL and NHLPA bring about a speedy end to the lockout nonesense, here is another episode of Buffalo Sabres Throwback Thursday.
Last week we looked at a more modern playoff game, something from the Buffalo Sabres early days at the First Niagara Center (formerly Marine Midland Arena/HSBC Arena).
Today we reach back further into the annals of Buffalo Sabres history and look at the first serious playoff run in Buffalo Sabres history.
The game was vastly different than it is today – but Buffalo Sabres fans still had a hell of a good time watching the boys in Blue and Gold. A matchup between perennial power house Montreal Canadiens was the last thing that the young Buffalo Sabres wanted – but with a 2-0 series lead after this 1975 playoff matchup, the Buffalo Sabres seemed destined to break out as one of the teams to beat in the NHL.
With Stanley Cups to their credit in 68, 69, 71, and 73 – an almost impossible task for the five year old franchise to win and keep the magic alive. The Buffalo Sabres, ever loving the underdog role – even in the glory days of the team – wanted so much more than just to be another team in the National Hockey League, they wanted to be champions. Having already dispatched the Chicago Blackhawks, the Buffalo Sabres used this win in Game 2 over the Montreal Canadiens – and ultimately a 4-2 series win to set a date with the Philadelphia Flyers for the 1975 Stanley Cup Finals. The Flyers would win that series, and would be the last NHL franchise completely composed of Canadien players to win the Stanley Cup.
The Montreal Canadiens would only take two years off from winning, and would add Cups to their mantle in 76,77,78, and 1979. Buffalo would continue to make the playoffs every year until the 1985-1986 season, but never came close to the Finals again until a new era in Buffalo Sabres hockey. Under the watchful guise of Terry Pegula – Sabres fans hope that the Blue and Gold can once again reenergize the fan base, and bring back the glory days of making the playoffs year in and year out.
There have been plenty of bad times in Buffalo Sabres history. There will be times in Throwback Thursday when we look at those bad times, lets hang on to hope with these playoff memories, that more good times are ahead in the future of the organization.