The Buffalo Sabres are celebrating their 40th anniversary next season and Die by the Blade will take a look back through the history of the franchise throughout the summer. One of the features will be a weekly feature entitled What If Wednesday. A couple of months ago I read a book entitled "What If the Babe Had Kept His Red Sox?" by Bill Gutman. It inspired me to do this feature with a Buffalo Sabres flavor.
This is the fourth week in the What If Wednesday's feature. This is a short post that was inspired by a moment in Sabres history. Instead of boring you with all the details, I want your opinion. Feel free to leave comments and call me names if you would like.
The Buffalo News blog Sports Ink does a feature called "Today in Buffalo Sports History". On Monday they talked about the Sabres 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in game three of the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals. The victory gave the Sabres a two games to one lead in the series but Henrik Tallinder broke his arm and joined Teppo Numminen and Dmitri Kalinin on the injured list for the Sabres. Jay McKee joined them on the injured list before game seven and the Sabres played that game without four of their regular defensemen.
The Sabres went to the Cup Finals in 1999 and yet many Sabres fans, myself included, feel 2005 was the Sabres legitimate chance at hoisting the Stanley Cup. They finished fourth in the Eastern Conference that season with 110 points and after they beat the Ottawa Senators in the Conference Semi-Finals there was a feeling of invincibility and the unthinkable happened as defensemen dropped one after another.
I expect Hurricanes fans to take exception to this but the Sabres were the better team and would have went on to win the Stanley Cup if they had a less injuries. What do you think would have happened if the Sabres didn't suffer so many injuries? Would Carolina have won the series? Would the Sabres have been able to beat the Canes? Would the Sabres have matched up well with the Cinderella Edmonton Oilers?