Taking a step back into the Buffalo Sabres last Stanley Cup Finals appearance

A look back at 1999 and the Buffalo Sabres last Stanley Cup Appearance.
Ottawa Senators vs Buffalo Sabres
Ottawa Senators vs Buffalo Sabres / Rick Stewart/GettyImages

The return of Lindy Ruff has brought not only excitement to the Buffalo Sabres organization, but a look back at the glory years. One year that arguably was one of the most memorable is the 1998/1999 season, which saw them breakthrough to the Stanley Cup for the first time in over 20 years. They haven't been back since.

Buffalo went 38-28-17 during the regular season. Their best month during the season was in December of 1998, which saw them mount an impressive record of 9-3-1. The Sabres leading goal scorer during the season was Miroslav Satan, who had 40 goals on the season. Michael Peca was the captain as he had 29 goals during the season.

The Sabres also had arguably the best goaltender of the decade in Dominik Hasek. Hasek recorded 30 wins on the season and a GAA (Goals against average) of 1.87. At the end of the season, he would win his third straight Vezina Trophy for goaltender of the year.

During the playoffs, they defeated Ottawa and Boston to earn a spot against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference Finals. Hasek was injured and missed Game 1 and 2 as Buffalo and Toronto split the first two games.

Hasek returned in Game 3 as the Sabres won in front of a home crowd 4-2. Dominik made 24 saves in the game. After taking Game 4 in Buffalo, they won Game 5 by a final score of 4-2, clinching their berth in the Finals. The Sabres scored the go-ahead goal in the third period thanks to Erik Rasmussen.

Peca after the game followed the NHL superstition of not touching the Prince of Wales trophy. The superstition is that the trophy should be hoisted by the Eastern Conference Champions. Unfortunately, Buffalo would go to lose in controversial fashion in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Dallas Stars.

Despite the loss in the Finals, it's a season that every Sabres fan can look fondly on. They should also look at exactly what Ruff can accomplish with a group of strong-willed players.