Throughout the historical past of the Buffalo Sabres, the group has been lucky with the goaltending place. They’ve had a number of the largest names which have performed the place don the blue and gold, in addition to the pink and black at one level.
Thinking again on the historical past of goalies which have performed for the Sabres, one remembers gamers like Bob Sauve, Don Edwards, Grant Fuhr, Roger Crozier, Clint Malarchuk and Darren Puppa. As spectacular as that listing appears, three different goaltenders rise to the highest as the very best to ever command the crease in Buffalo.
The first one must be a shock to no person, as he’s not solely a Sabres nice, however an all-time NHL nice: Dominik Hasek. The Dominator was the rock of the crew from the 1992-93 season via the 2000-01 season. In 491 video games with the membership, he gained 234 video games, had a .926 save share and a 2.22 goals-against common. While with the Sabres, the Czech native was a six-time NHL All-Star, six-time Vezina Trophy winner and two-time Hart Trophy winner because the league’s most precious participant.
Throughout the late ’90s, Hasek was the Buffalo Sabres. Any time a crew or fan talked concerning the membership his title got here up within the dialog. Hasek led the Sabres to an look within the Eastern Conference Final in back-to-back years and the franchise’s second Stanley Cup look in 1999 in opposition to the Dallas Stars, which all know the way that ended.
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The crew appeared primed for an additional run in 2001, however the Hasek period with the Sabres ended on a shot from Darius Kasparaitis in double extra time of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. That summer season, Hasek was traded to the Detroit Red Wings after the 2 sides couldn’t agree on a contract extension in a messy divorce that lasted till just some years in the past.
New proprietor Terry Pegula welcomed Hasek again into the group, together with most of the Sabres’ alumni when he bought the crew in 2011. In 2014, the identical yr he was elected the NHL Hall of Fame, they inducted the best goaltender in franchise historical past into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame and retired his jersey quantity.
The subsequent goalie right here shouldn’t be a shock both: Ryan Miller. The former fifth-round decide of the Sabres in 1999 was the face of the franchise for the higher a part of 11 years. He took over because the full-time starter within the 2005-06 season and backstopped the Sabres to a stunning look within the Eastern Conference Final. Miller was the person once more who tended the purpose for the 2006-07 season for the Presidents’ Trophy crew that once more fell brief within the Conference Final.
After the 2006-07 season, the membership was by no means the identical after shedding Chris Drury and Daniel Briere to free company that summer season. Miller grew to become the star and chief of the crew from that time on. He appeared in 540 games for the Sabres, successful 284 with a .916 save share and a pair of.60 goals-against common. His profession yr got here within the 2009-10 season when he gained the Vezina Trophy with a .929 save share and a pair of.22 goals-against common. That was additionally the identical season he was the event MVP within the Olympics, main Team USA to a Silver Medal in Vancouver.
Like Hasek, Miller was the participant many within the hockey world first considered in reference to the Sabres. He solidified the place in Buffalo and gave his groups that weren’t significantly better than common for almost all of his profession an opportunity to win video games. He additionally wasn’t afraid to say what was on his thoughts, which rubbed some individuals the mistaken approach. His commerce to the St. Louis Blues on the finish of February of 2014 signified the tip of an period that introduced so many followers again to loving the hockey crew.
The final decide was a troublesome resolution, however finally I landed on Tom Barrasso. He could also be most identified for his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, Barrasso was the Sabres’ fifth total decide within the 1983 NHL draft. After being drafted he made the choice to skip faculty and have become the primary goaltender to return proper out of highschool with out enjoying main junior hockey. As an 18-year-old rookie, Barrasso grew to become the youngest participant ever to win the Vezina Trophy. He would after all additionally pull within the Calder Trophy that season as the highest rookie.
In his six years with the Sabres, he played in 266 video games, recording 124 wins with an .884 save share and a 3.28 goals-against common. Now, in comparison with immediately’s stats these numbers look fairly unhealthy. Barrasso performed throughout a a lot completely different period than each Miller or Hasek. In his Vezina-winning season, he had an .893 save share and a 2.84 goals-against common, which have been distinctive numbers throughout that point.
Barrasso was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in November of 1988 together with a third-round decide within the 1990 draft for Doug Bodger and Darrin Shannon. Like the aforementioned Miller and Hasek, throughout his time with the franchise, he was constantly one of many higher goaltenders within the league.
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The two gamers who have been within the dialog with Barrasso for the third spot have been Sauve and Edwards, thus making them your honorable mentions on this listing. They every earned a Vezina Trophy whereas enjoying for the Sabres.
The Sabres’ historical past is stuffed with stable goaltending that led their respective groups to playoff appearances and was the very best on the place amongst their friends. As the group transitions via one other goalie period, if historical past is any indication, the crew is in retailer for an additional top-flight goalkeeper.
* initially printed in Feb. 2017