'75 Buffalo Sabres + ? = Stanley Cup

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by checkerdome, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. checkerdome

    checkerdome Registered User

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    I watched the final game in the '74-'75 Stanley Cup playoffs on ESPN Classic a couple of times.

    I'm struck by how close the Sabres were to beating the Flyers.

    If you could have added one element to the Sabres to put them over the top that year, what would it have been?
     
  2. Buck Aki Berg

    Buck Aki Berg Done with this place

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    Four more goals by the Islanders in game seven of the previous round to keep the Flyers out of the SCF.
     
  3. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    a) toughness/grit

    b) consistent quality goaltending

    c) leadership
     
  4. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Sabres weren't close to winning that Stanley Cup.

    They scored three goals in the three games played in Philadelphia.

    It was a lot closer to the Flyers in a sweep, than the Sabres winning the series.

    A better goalie would have been the first order of business.
     
  5. Regular David Bruce

    Regular David Bruce Cavalier Bug Rudder

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    Bernie Parent.
     
  6. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Parent over Gerry Desjardins/Roger Crozier. Let's face it, neither one of them was Bernie and that is the biggest glaring omission on those Buffalo teams.

    As for offense, to be honest with you the Sabres scored 354 goals while the Flyers scored 293. And while the French Connection line had their best regular season (1975-'76 was amazing too) the truth is they could have shown up better in the games against Philly. They were fine in the Buffalo games though.
     
  7. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    The Sabres performance in road games were a chronic problem for the team in the 70s. In each of the 4 seasons from '74-'75 to '77-'78 they had over 100 points and finished among the top 5 teams in the league. But their combined W/L record in playoff road games in that span was 3-16. It's unbelievable that a team that good could have a record that bad.
     
  8. checkerdome

    checkerdome Registered User

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    What a cool observation.

    Would that be a reflection of a lack of physicality on the team?

    They DID have Brian Spencer, Jerry Korab and Jim Schoenfeld, so you wouldn't think that would be an issue at first glance.
     
  9. BlackDog13

    BlackDog13 Registered User

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    Goaltending is the obvious factor but Buffalo wasn't as defensively sound as the Flyers either. Those Flyer teams were packed with guys whose performance increased exponentially with the level of pressure.
     
  10. tony d

    tony d HFBoards Sponsor Sponsor

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    A true #1 goalie.
     
  11. checkerdome

    checkerdome Registered User

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    It's ironic that the only other time the Sabres made it to the finals, the team was built around Hasek in goal; with nothing resembling a French Connection-like dominant offence at its disposal.
     
  12. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    that's not ironic.


    my answer to the OP - a goalie switch might have done it. Parent for Desjardins.
     
  13. SealsFan

    SealsFan Registered User

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    I was going to say goaltending, as others have. But what a magnificent team that was!
     
  14. Psycho Papa Joe

    Psycho Papa Joe Porkchop Hoser

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    They were very deep up front and on defense, but could have really used an elite #1 goalie and an elite #1 d-man.
     
  15. neine

    neine Registered User

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    True, Desjardins was inconsistent in the finals. But he played well to get them there. They wouldn't have gotten that far with Bromley.
     
  16. Flamer12

    Flamer12 Registered User

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    Home ice advantage and a better goalie maybe, but let's face it, nobody was going to win in the Spectrum that year.
     
  17. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Pretty much. In all honesty Housley is the best defenseman Buffalo has ever had that I can think of off the top of my head. In 43 years no one else has really come close. Who is the next best? Jim Schoenfeld? Jerry Korab? It is really quite a drop.
     
  18. LeBlondeDemon10

    LeBlondeDemon10 Registered User

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    Maybe Alexei Zhitnik Phil, at least offensively. Not a huge point guy, but he did have 15 goals in 97-98. Maybe Doug Bodger or Van Boxmeer? I don't really know a lot about Buffalo defensemen, but I saw Housley play for a couple of years in the Peg and he was dynamite offensively, so I concur with Housley as number 1.
     
  19. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    ramsey?
     
  20. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Small Rink

    Small rink team on the road in the playoffs faced this problem every series against a team with a regulation sized home rink.

    Chicago and Boston faced the same obstacle and more often than not disappointed in the playoffs as well.
     
  21. Leafsdude7

    Leafsdude7 Stand-Up Philosopher

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    This.

    Parent wasn't the only reason the Flyers won that series, but he was undoubtedly the largest.

    Put Parent on the Sabres that year and I doubt that anyone questions how good the French Connection line really was, not to mention bring some fame to rather unrecognised defensemen like Jocelyn Gouvermont, Chris Hajt and Jim Schoenfeld.
     
  22. Yamaguchi*

    Yamaguchi* Guest

    They needed a Sergei Fedorov type of player.
     
  23. BamBamCam*

    BamBamCam* Guest

    Mike Ramsey??? But he did come later, just throwing the name out.

    For that era Bill Hajt was more than stout back there, maybe he doesn't get enough recognition because he was such a throw back even for that era. But yeah, they don't have very many great D-men to speak of at all.
     
  24. Merya

    Merya Jokerit & Finland; anti-theist

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    Hasek 20 years older.
     
  25. Johnny Engine

    Johnny Engine Moderator

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    For that matter, Ramsay - Luce - Gare would probably have been the '99 Sabres first line.

    Yep, those Sabres were severely lacking in two way forwards. That Ramsay was their achilles heel.:shakehead
    ...that said, a "Fedorov type" would improve literally any team.
     

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