Team Recap: 23rd-seeded ’79-’80 Buffalo Sabres

The 23rd-seeded '79-'80 Buffalo Sabres

The 23rd-seeded ’79-’80 Buffalo Sabres

  • Rick Dudley (LW)
    • 15 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   Even   4 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Richie Dunn (D)
    • 21 GP   1 G   7 A   8 P   +5   40 S   0 GWG   6 PIM   3 Stars
  • Don Edwards (G)
    • 21 GP   21 GS   14-4-3   2.76 GAA   .900 SV%   1 SO   8 Stars
  • Danny Gare (RW)
    • 21 GP   17 G   20 A   37 P   +25   129* S   2 GWG   8 PIM   22 Stars
  • John Gould (RW)
    • 21 GP   0 G   3 A   3 P   +2   20 S   0 GWG   2 PIM   0 Stars
  • Bill Hajt (D)
    • 3 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   +1   0 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Jerry Korab (D)
    • 16 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   Even   2 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Rick Martin (LW)
    • 21 GP   11 G   11 A   22 P   +15   83 S   2 GWG   2 PIM   8 Stars
  • Rob McClanahan (C)
    • 21 GP   0 G   5 A   5 P   +2   17 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   1 Stars
  • Tony McKegney (LW)
    • 21 GP   7 G   1 A   8 P   +2   50 S   1 GWG   0 PIM   4 Stars
  • Gilbert Perreault (C)
    • 21 GP   19* G   24* A   43* P   +28*   89 S   5* GWG   16 PIM   24* Stars
  • Larry Playfair (D)
    • 21 GP   2 G   4 A   6 P   +9   10 S   1 GWG   14 PIM   0 Stars
  • Craig Ramsay (LW)
    • 21 GP   3 G   6 A   9 P   +1   33 S   1 GWG   2 PIM   1 Stars
  • Mike Ramsey (D)
    • 16 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   Even   2 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Lindy Ruff (D)
    • 17 GP   0 G   1 A   1 P   Even   1 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Bob Sauve (G)
    • 2 GP   0 GS   0-0-0   0.50 GAA   .944 SV%   0 SO   0 Stars
  • Andre Savard (C)
    • 16 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   Even   2 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Jim Schoenfeld (D)
    • 21 GP   9 G   17 A   26 P   +25   76 S   1 GWG   36* PIM   6 Stars
  • Dave Schultz (LW)
    • 21 GP   1 G   6 A   7 P   +12   1 S   0 GWG   12 PIM   0 Stars
  • Ric Seiling (RW)
    • 21 GP   5 G   5 A   10 P   +1   38 S   0 GWG   4 PIM   3 Stars
  • Derek Smith (C)
    • 21 GP   6 G   4 A   10 P   +1   54 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   5 Stars
  • John Van Boxmeer (D)
    • 21 GP   4 G   18 A   22 P   +20   102 S   1 GWG   12 PIM   0 Stars

* – Team Best

Team Stats:

  • Record: 14-4-3
  • Goals Scored: 86
  • Goals/Game: 4.10
  • Goals Allowed: 59
  • Goals Allowed/Game: 2.81
  • Shots: 748
  • Shots Allowed: 588
  • Shots/Game: 35.6
  • Shots Allowed/Game: 28.0
  • # of PP’s: 37
  • PPG’s: 7
  • PP%: 18.9%
  • TSH: 49
  • PPGA: 10
  • PK%: 79.6%
  • Penalties in minutes: 112

Last year in the inaugural Ultimate NHL Playoff, the ’79-’80 Buffalo Sabres were a force and it took the eventual runners up to eliminate them in the Semifinal. However, they trailed 3-0 in that series and forced a Game 7, which they ultimately lost. This year, the Sabres didn’t quite match that run.

First Round:

Swept 42nd-seeded ’25-’26 Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-0

Second Round:

Swept 10th-seeded ’00-’01 New Jersey Devils, 4-0

Third Round:

Defeated 7th-seeded ’71-’72 New York Rangers in a tight seven game series, after trailing 2-0

Quarterfinals:

Lost to 15th-seeded ’00-’01 Colorado Avalanche, 4-2

The ’79-’80 Buffalo Sabres posted a record of 47-17-16, which was good for 110 points and 1st in the Adams Division, under legendary head coach Scotty Bowman. This was Bowman’s first of six plus years at the reigns of the Sabres. Buffalo was ranked 3rd out of 21 teams in goals for with 318 and 1st in goals against with 201. Hockey Reference ranked Buffalo’s strength of schedule dead last in the league, but their SRS rating system had Buffalo as the best team in the league that year. The ’79-’80 Sabres blew through the first two rounds. They defeated the Vancouver Canucks in four games in the Preliminary Round and then swept the Chicago Black Hawks in the Quarterfinals. However, in the Semifinals, they went up against the New York Islanders and fell in six games. Unfortunately for the Sabres, they faced the Islanders right at the beginning of their dynasty.

This was the first season after the disbanding of the French Connection line, but the Sabres still were an offensive powerhouse. Gilbert Perreault posted 106 points, which is the second highest total of his career, and a team high. Of course, second and third on the team in points, belonged to his linemates. Danny Gare was second with 89 and Rick Martin was third with 79. Gare was also the league’s leading goal scorer with 56. Martin was second on the team with 45 and Perreault was third with 40. Perreault posted a team-high 66 assists while defenseman John Van Boxmeer was second on the team with 40. Forwards Derek Smith and Craig Ramsay were tied for third on the team with 39. Goaltending was almost completely split between Don Edwards and Bob Sauve, and they both shared the Vezina Trophy for their performances. Edwards posted a 2.57 goals agains average over 49 games played with two shutouts and Sauve posted a 2.36 goals against average over 32 games played with four shutouts. Sauve’s GAA was the lowest in the league that year and he eventually became the starter during the team’s playoff run. Despite only appearing in 49 games, Edwards posted the team’s highest Point Share at 11.4. Gare had the second-highest PS at 10.4.

Up next are the 22nd-seeded ’10-’11 Vancouver Canucks!

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