A trip down memory lane

The latest Beyond Blue and Gold episode takes a look back at the magical 2006 playoff run for the Sabres

Howard Simon
April 07, 2020 - 10:49 am
Sabres-Hurricanes 2006

Photo: Rick Stewart - Getty Images

Do you remember when the Buffalo Sabres were good? Dare I say, scary good?

Remember when they played a high-scoring, exciting brand of hockey and winning the Stanley Cup didn't feel like a pipe dream?

I'm sure you do, but if you'd like a little refresher course, check out the latest edition of Beyond Blue and Gold at Sabres.com. It's a half four filled with highlights and stories from the 2005-06 season that are being told while Martin Biron, Daniel Briere, J.P. Dumont and Jay McKee get together for a reunion/card game.

You'll have plenty of smiles on your face as you watch some of the key moments from their opening round defeat of the Philadelphia Flyers. Of course, there's the big Brian Campbell hit on R.J. Umberger and the Briere double overtime goal in Game 1. It was interesting to hear Briere say the players were worried about that matchup going into the series. Briere said they knew they could beat the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils, who were other possible first round opponents, but they didn't think they had much of a chance against the Flyers.

You'll thoroughly enjoy the second round elimination of the Ottawa Senators from that crazy Game 1 shootout to the famous Jason Pominville series-clinching shorthanded goal in Game 5. McKee, who took the penalty in overtime that forced the Sabres to play down a man, told a really great story about what he was thinking while sitting in the box.

Then, of course, we have the Eastern Conference Final against the Carolina Hurricanes. As painful of a memory as that has been, it was great to hear those guys talk about the Game 6 overtime win at home. They talked about how loud the building was and how the fans didn't want to go home that night as they kept cheering and showing their appreciation long after the game had ended.

As I mentioned, there will be moments where you think "what if?" like when Biron looks at the banners in the arena and says there should be at least a 2006 Eastern Conference champion banner, if not a Stanley Cup champion banner hanging from the rafters. McKee said after the Game 6 win over the Hurricane that, he went home that night convinced the Sabres were going to win the Stanley Cup. Later in the episode, Briere mentioned that he thought that team was going to be the future of the NHL for the next five or six years.

The other sadness you might experience will be thinking about how things used to be around here, knowing where they have been the last eight years and wondering when it can get back to that level. It really was amazing to see and hear the crowds in the building during the games, as well as the mass of fans outside in the plaza watching the game on a big screen TV.

When all is said and done though, you'll be glad you took the time to watch.

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