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Examining the Buffalo Sabres

Saturday, 09.15.2007 / 10:00 AM / Season Preview

By Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

Complete Sabres Analysis:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards
Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster

Despite free-agent losses, Sabres still have an edge

Buffalo had a regular-season for the ages in 2006-07. Not only did the Sabres win a League-best 53 games, but they won the Presidents’ Trophy as NHL regular-season champions.

Plus, Buffalo won with style in 2006-07. The run-and-gun Sabres were the only team to top the 300-goal mark, pumping home 308 shots.

Unfortunately, the feel-good story -- eagerly embraced throughout Western New York, as well as much of North America -- came to a crashing halt in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. There, Buffalo lost to the Ottawa Senators, who went on to the Stanley Cup Final.

While the loss to Ottawa was a bitter pill to swallow, the summer brought even more bad news. On the first day of free agency, Buffalo lost its top two centers. Chris Drury went to the New York Rangers and Daniel Briere signed with Philadelphia. That’s 69 goals and 164 points lopped off in one fell swoop.

But the good news is that if any team can survive such damage, it’s the Sabres.

The team is still loaded with offensive talent, a solid and mobile backline and boasts a franchise goalie in Ryan Miller. Lindy Ruff, the longest-tenured coach in the League, has proven he can coach with anybody in the NHL.

2006-07 Record:
53-22-7, 1st Northeast

Who's In:
G Jocelyn Thibeault

Who's Out:
F Daniel Briere, F Chris Drury, F Dainius Zubrus, G Ty Conklin

2006-07 Leading Scorers:Daniel Briere (32-63-95), Thomas Vanek (43-41-84), Chris Drury (37-32-69), Jason Pominville (34-34-68), Derek Roy (21-42-63).

2006-07 Goaltending Leaders:
Ryan Miller 40-16-6, 2.73 GAA, 63 appearances, .911 save percentage, 2 shutouts; Ty Conklin 3-5-2, 3.34 GAA, 16 appearances, .879 save percentage, 0 shutouts.'s 2007-08 Sabres Season Preview Package:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards | Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster
Quote of the Day

After being through it and seeing the other [outdoor] games on TV, just the atmosphere is spectacular. To stand here -- and we are essentially almost on the blue line -- and look up [into the stands] and knowing it is going to be packed and playing our biggest rival in this setting is going to be pretty special.

— Bruins president Cam Neely on the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between Boston and Montreal at Gillette Stadium on
Jan. 1, 2016