I thought it would be fun, in honor of Super Bowl Sunday, to talk about the pinnacle of the hockey season...the Stanley Cup. This is a Buffalo Sabres blog so we will focus on the Sabres and their last Stanley Cup appearance in 1999. I know the memories are painful of what will forever be called "No Goal"! I'm sure many people remember where they were for that game but can you tell me where you were for the other five games. I'll share a bit about my memories with you to try to stir up some nostalgia.
Game 1: Buffalo 3 Dallas 2 OT
Game 2: Buffalo 2 Dallas 4
Game 3: Dallas 2 Buffalo 1
Game 4: Dallas 1 Buffalo 2
Game 5: Buffalo 0 Dallas 2
Game 6: Dallas 2 Buffalo 1 3OT
About the Series
It's tough to remember every single game in the series but game one was won by Jason Wooley who scored on Ed Belfour in overtime to give the Sabres a 3-2 overtime victory. The game one win should have given the Sabres some momentum but Dallas won game two by a score of 4-2. Game three was won by Dallas 2-1 but it was a game that Dallas really dominated. Game four was more of the same as Dallas outplayed Buffalo but a goal by Geoff Sanderson and great goaltending by Dominic Hasek propelled Buffalo to a 2-1 victory to even the series at 2-2. Everyone talks about the "No Goal" as the key to the series but the series was really won in game five. The Dallas Stars proved to be the better team and shutout Buffalo 2-0. It was the last time the Sabres have played in the Stanley Cup Finals, they have only made it as far as the Eastern Conference Finals since that time.
First of all like every other Buffalo Sabres fan I was extremely excited that my team was playing in the Stanley Cup. It was a nervous excitement because Dallas was definitely the better team and as a Buffalo Sports fan I was used to disappointment. It was the most important event in my lifetime and I had a softball game the night of game one. The game ended in time to catch the first period and I eventually made it home where some friends were already there watching the game. After the excitement of the overtime victory the thoughts of a Stanley Cup became real. I have erased the memory of games two and three, for good reason, but game four was probably the best sports memory I have.
I have lived through some amazing Buffalo Sports memories, I was there when the Bills beat the Raiders 51-3 in the AFC Championship game, I was there for the greatest comeback ever and I was there when the Bills beat the Kansas City Chiefs to go to their fourth consecutive Super Bowl but nothing will beat the experience of being at game four of the 1999 Stanley Cup. I do you think it would feel to wake up in the morning and go to work and find out hours later that you are going to be attending a Stanley Cup game? I'll tell you it's amazing.
I decided to come home early from work on the day of that game, I was probably suffereing from anxiety. I decided to tune in to the all day Stanley Cup coverage offered on Empire Sports Network, god I miss that channel. They were giving away tickets and somehow I won the tickets, I had never won anything in my life so I was yelling at the producer of the show and telling him it wasn't nice to play jokes on people. It would have been amazing to just be there but a Sabres victory made it even more sweet. It was an electric atmosphere in that building when the game ended and the Sabres had evened the series.
Of course there are the memories of game six and they aren't as sweet as those of game six. I wasn't in the building that night but I was home watching with family and friends. I had a big feeling that the outcome was not going to be favorable that night but as a Buffalo sports fan, I never gave up hope. As the night wore on I started thinking maybe there was a chance. James Patrick hit the goal post and my throat sunk right into my stomach. As fate would have it that goal post was as close as Buffalo would get and history would be changed forever.
I would love to hear your memories of the 1999 Stanley Cup as well. You can leave a comment to this post and fill all of us in or if your memories are long, like mine, feel free to write a diary about the 1999 Stanley Cup. If you don't have an account than feel free to sign up for one now.