The Best of Rick Jeanneret is our summer quest to determine which of Jeanneret's most memorable calls ranks as the greatest of all time by ranking and voting on 16 of the best.
Our first matchup in the Final Four features a battle between two calls that could easily be champions themselves. They're each iconic calls from different eras of Sabres hockey, and each also shares its own significant playoff experience. For "May Day," it was a victory - no, a sweep - over a Bruins team that had given the Sabres fits over the years. For "Now Do You Believe?" it lifted an entire city to hockey craziness, and confirmed what Buffalonians had long suspected, that these guys were good. Scary good.
One of the most iconic Jeanneret calls comes from an iconic moment in franchise history. The Sabres were heavy underdogs to the top seeded Bruins in the 1993 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but nevertheless managed to take a 3-0 lead into game number four. In a back and forth game that featured an Alexander Mogilny breakaway goal and the coming out party for a still-unknown Dominik Hasek, the memorable moment belonged to the big bruiser, Brad May.
The play itself was miraculous from start to finish - after Pat LaFontaine was tripped up in the neutral zone, he somehow got the puck to May while sliding on his backside along the ice. May then somehow tipped the puck through future Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque's skates, got goaltender Andy Moog to bite on a shot fake, and roofed the series winning goal. The resulting goal call is hockey history.
Now Do You Believe?
The 2005-06 Buffalo Sabres were nothing short of a fairytale. A team that, before the lockout, struggled to a ninth place finish and was dead last in the Northeast surged out of the gate to a 110 point, fourth place finish. After besting the Philadelphia Flyers in Round One of the playoffs, the Sabres were up against the No. 1 seeded Ottawa Senators.
Thanks to their speed and scoring depth, the Sabres found themselves in control of the series with a 3-1 lead heading into Game Five in Ottawa. After playing to a 2-2 tie, the Sabres found themselves shorthanded just two minutes into the first overtime. However, in a euphoria-inducing moment, Jason Pominville received a breakout pass and led a furious counterattack that culminated with the rookie Pominville skating right around the mighty Daniel Alfredsson and scoring what would go down as a franchise-defining goal. The resulting Jeanneret call including two classic lines that are ingrained into every Sabres fan's collective consciousness: "Now do you believe? Now do you believe? These guys are good - scary good!" It was the perfect call to capture a moment of destiny, but in a twist that seems to happen more often than not in Buffalo, will also forever be haunted by the memory of what could have been.
Head after the break to hear both calls and cast your vote!