Top Sabres Moments of 2007December 31, 2007
Also known as the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. These are really in no particular order.
– January 2007: Danny Briere, Ryan Miller and Brian Campbell are voted as starters for the 2007 All-Star game, with Briere taking the MVP award. It could be argued that not all three deserved to be starters, but I think this event showed the popularity the team – and these three guys – had in the city. The team was riding high, and this looked like it would be just one of the many awards picked up by the team this year. It also allowed other talents of our All-Stars to come out:
Don’t give up your day job, Soupy.
– February 2007: The Buffalo / Ottawa brawl. Chris Neil knocked Chris Drury into next week. While Drew Stafford immediatly stepped in to defend his captain’s honor, Lindy felt that wasn’t good enough. He sent out Peters, Mair and Kaleta out against Spezza, Heatley and Alfredsson. It didn’t take a hockey scholar to know that the shit was going to hit the fan. And it did. Not only did all 6 of these players fight, but Biron and Emery got involved. What a way for Marty to go out in his last game as a Sabre. The video of this brawl is amazing.
Not only do we have Lindy admonishing Brian Murray for “going after our fucking captain,” we have the best awkward Rob Ray moment, as he’s stuck between these two combatants. I would have loved to have seen Peters’ reaction to knowing that his coach designated him as the target of team’s attacks.
The song WGR wrote afterwards led to the creation of the following video (which is pretty impressive for a fan created one)
– May 4, 2007: Afinogenov’s game winning goal against the Rangers. It was a beautiful goal, and the TV broadcast handled it very well. They intermingled shots of Afinogenov sliding down the ice in celebration as the 10,000 fans in the Plaza celebrated. I love the fact that we get 10,000 people to watch a hockey game outside on a jumbo screen.
– July 1, 2007: Briere and Drury leave for Philly and the Rangers respectively. The fans do not react well, leading to all sorts of internet message board meltdowns, snotty columns by Bucky Gleason, and the annointing of the two players as slag-faced whores. The current team was asked approximately 87,000 times what the loss of B&D meant for the team, leading to 87,000 different variations of “they were a big part of this organization, but they’re gone now and we’re going to make the best of what’s around.”
– October 11, 2007: Ryan Miller’s 6-0 shutout of Atlanta. Just days after the death and burial of his beloved cousin Matt, Miller steps up and leads the team to a shutout over the Thrashers. He’s named the game’s first star, and skates out to take his bow, lifting his mask with Matt’s name emblazoned on the back, high for the crowd to see. If you were not impressed by Miller’s play this game, then you were made of stone.
I know there’s more, and someone out there will undoubtely come up with a better list. But these moments were just the big ones in a year full of great hockey. Let’s hope 2008 is just as fun, and leads up to a great run to Stanley.
Finally, I also volunteer to act as Assistant Captain Pommerdoodle’s official balaclava helper. The poor dear is not having good luck.