2007–08 Buffalo Sabres season

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2007–08 Buffalo Sabres
Division 4th Northeast
Conference 10th Eastern
2007–08 record 39–31–12
Home record 20–15–6
Road record 19–16–6
Goals for 255
Goals against 242
Team information
General Manager Darcy Regier
Coach Lindy Ruff
Captain Rotating
Jochen Hecht (Oct, Feb)
Toni Lydman (Nov)
Brian Campbell (Dec)
Jaroslav Spacek (Jan)
Jason Pominville (Mar-Apr)
Alternate captains Rotating
Toni Lydman (Oct)
Henrik Tallinder (Oct)
Brian Campbell (Nov, Feb)
Jochen Hecht (Nov-Jan)
Jaroslav Spacek (Dec, Mar-Apr)
Jason Pominville (Jan)
Adam Mair (Feb)
Tim Connolly (Feb)
Derek Roy (Mar-Apr)
Arena HSBC Arena
Ralph Wilson Stadium
(1 game)
Average attendance 18,668 (99.9%)
[1]
Team leaders
Goals Thomas Vanek (36)
Assists Jason Pominville (53)
Points Derek Roy (81)
Penalties in minutes Andrew Peters (100)
Plus/minus Jason Pominville (+16)
Wins Ryan Miller (36)
Goals against average Ryan Miller (2.64)
<2006–07 2008–09>

The 2007–08 Buffalo Sabres season was the 38th season of operation, 37th season of play, for the National Hockey League franchise that was established on May 22, 1970.[2]

Prior to the season, the Sabres lost their co-captains of the previous two seasons, Daniel Briere and Chris Drury. Briere and Drury were signed as free agents on July 1 by the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers, respectively.[3][4] Dainius Zubrus was also lost to free agency, as he was signed by the New Jersey Devils on July 3.[5] Thomas Vanek, who led the team in goals the previous season with 43, was a restricted free agent and was almost lost as well: the Edmonton Oilers signed him to a 7-year, $50 million offer sheet on July 6; however, the Sabres matched the offer.[6]

Jocelyn Thibault was signed to the Sabres' roster on July 5 to serve as a veteran backup to the team's starting goaltender, Ryan Miller.[7] Thibault replaces Ty Conklin, who had served as Miller's backup for the last month of the 2006–07 season and during the playoffs. Conklin was signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins on July 18.[8]

After losing both Briere and Drury in the offseason, the Sabres' captaincy was vacated. Prior to the season, the team announced that it would rotate captaincy throughout the season, just as it did during the 2003–04 season. Jochen Hecht was named the October captain under this system.[9] Toni Lydman was named captain for November,[10] Brian Campbell was named captain for December,[11] and Jaroslav Spacek was named captain for January[12] before the captaincy was cycled back to Hecht in February.[13] Jason Pominville was named the team's captain in March, and he finished the season in the role.

Longtime Sabres' color commentator Jim Lorentz retired just prior to the season.[14] He was replaced in the broadcast booth by longtime Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster Harry Neale.[15]

The Sabres' January 1 home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins was played outdoors at Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the National Football League's Buffalo Bills. The NHL called the event the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic.[16] In addition to selling tickets at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Sabres also sold tickets to HSBC Arena for the game, which was broadcast for fans on the arena's video scoreboard.[17]

Brian Campbell was the Sabres' lone representative in the 2008 NHL All-Star Game, as he was named to the team as a reserve defenceman. It was his second consecutive All-Star Game appearance.[18] Campbell was then traded to the San Jose Sharks on February 26 in exchange for Steve Bernier and a first-round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.[19]

Regular season[edit]

On January 18, 2008, the Sabres defeated the Atlanta Thrashers at home by a score of 10-1. Derek Roy and Drew Stafford each had a hat trick.[20] It was the first time that an NHL team had scored 10 goals in a regular-season game since January 4, 2007, when the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Boston Bruins on the road by a score of 10-2.[21] It was also the first time that the Sabres had scored 10 goals in a game since January 14, 2006, when they defeated the Los Angeles Kings at home by a score of 10-1. Coincidentally, two Sabres had a hat trick in that game as well: Jochen Hecht and Jason Pominville.[22]

Divisional standings[edit]

Northeast Division
GP W L OTL GF GA Pts
1 z – Montreal Canadiens 82 47 25 10 262 222 104
2 Ottawa Senators 82 43 31 8 261 247 94
3 Boston Bruins 82 41 29 12 212 222 94
4 Buffalo Sabres 82 39 31 12 255 242 90
5 Toronto Maple Leafs 82 36 35 11 231 260 83

Conference standings[edit]

Eastern Conference
R Div GP W L OTL GF GA Pts
1 z – Montreal Canadiens NE 82 47 25 10 262 222 104
2 y – Pittsburgh Penguins AT 82 47 27 8 247 216 102
3 y – Washington Capitals SE 82 43 31 8 242 231 94
4 New Jersey Devils AT 82 46 29 7 206 197 99
5 New York Rangers AT 82 42 27 13 213 199 97
6 Philadelphia Flyers AT 82 42 29 11 248 233 95
7 Ottawa Senators NE 82 43 31 8 261 247 94
8 Boston Bruins NE 82 41 29 12 212 222 94
8.5
9 Carolina Hurricanes SE 82 43 33 6 252 249 92
10 Buffalo Sabres NE 82 39 31 12 255 242 90
11 Florida Panthers SE 82 38 35 9 216 226 85
12 Toronto Maple Leafs NE 82 36 35 11 231 260 83
13 New York Islanders AT 82 35 38 9 194 243 79
14 Atlanta Thrashers SE 82 34 40 8 216 272 76
15 Tampa Bay Lightning SE 82 31 42 9 223 267 71

Divisions: AT – Atlantic, NE – Northeast, SE – Southeast

bold – qualified for playoffs, y – division winner, z – placed first in conference (and division)


For complete standings, see 2007–08 NHL season.

Schedule and results[edit]

October[edit]

Record: 5–5–0; Home: 3–2–0; Road: 2–3–0

# Date Visitor Score Home OT Decision Attendance Record Pts
1 October 5 NY Islanders 6 – 4 Buffalo Miller 18,690 0–1–0 0
2 October 6 Buffalo 2 – 3 NY Islanders Miller 16,234 0–2–0 0
3 October 11 Atlanta 0 – 6 Buffalo Miller 18,690 1–2–0 2
4 October 13 Washington 3 – 7 Buffalo Miller 18,690 2–2–0 4
5 October 15 Toronto 4 – 5 Buffalo OT Thibault 18,217 3–2–0 6
6 October 19 Columbus 3 – 0 Buffalo Miller 18,690 3–3–0 6
7 October 20 Buffalo 2 – 4 Montreal Miller 21,273 3–4–0 6
8 October 24 Buffalo 2 – 6 Carolina Miller 16,058 3–5–0 6
9 October 26 Buffalo 4 – 2 Florida Miller 15,842 4–5–0 8
10 October 27 Buffalo 4 – 3 Tampa Bay OT Miller 19,804 5–5–0 10

November[edit]

Record: 6–6–1; Home: 4–3–0; Road: 2–3–1

# Date Visitor Score Home OT Decision Attendance Record Pts
11 November 1 Buffalo 3 – 4 Boston OT Miller 13,479 5–5–1 11
12 November 2 Florida 4 – 2 Buffalo Thibault 18,690 5–6–1 11
13 November 5 Buffalo 0 – 2 Montreal Miller 21,273 5–7–1 11
14 November 7 Boston 1 – 2 Buffalo OT Miller 18,690 6–7–1 13
15 November 9 Toronto 3 – 0 Buffalo Miller 18,690 6–8–1 13
16 November 10 Buffalo 1 – 2 Boston Miller 17,565 6–9–1 13
17 November 15 Buffalo 2 – 3 Ottawa Miller 19,279 6–10–1 13
18 November 16 Montreal 1 – 4 Buffalo Miller 18,690 7–10–1 15
19 November 21 Ottawa 2 – 4 Buffalo Miller 18,690 8–10–1 17
20 November 23 Montreal 2 – 4 Buffalo Miller 18,690 9–10–1 19
21 November 24 Buffalo 3 – 0 Montreal Thibault 21,273 10–10–1 21
22 November 26 Buffalo 3 – 1 Washington Miller 11,204 11–10–1 23
23 November 28 St. Louis 4 – 3 Buffalo Miller 18,690 11–11–1 23

December[edit]

On December 22, the Sabres won their first shootout victory of the season on the road in Philadelphia against the Philadelphia Flyers. Thomas Vanek scored with 7.2 seconds left in the third period, beating former Sabres goalie Martin Biron from the right circle to force overtime, and Ales Kotalik of the Sabres scored the only shootout goal to provide the Sabres with a win, adding to their total with 6 victories in a row.[23]

Record: 8–5–1; Home: 4–2–0; Road: 4–3–1

# Date Visitor Score Home OT Decision Attendance Record Pts
24 December 1 Carolina 1 – 8 Buffalo Miller 18,690 12–11–1 25
25 December 5 Buffalo 1 – 4 Anaheim Miller 17,174 12–12–1 25
26 December 6 Buffalo 2 – 8 Los Angeles Thibault 15,980 12–13–1 25
27 December 8 Buffalo 7 – 1 San Jose Miller 17,496 13–13–1 27
28 December 10 Boston 4 – 1 Buffalo Miller 18,302 13–14–1 27
29 December 12 NY Islanders 3 – 5 Buffalo Miller 18,690 14–14–1 29
30 December 14 Buffalo 5 – 3 Washington Miller 17,035 15–14–1 31
31 December 15 Chicago 1 – 3 Buffalo Miller 18,690 16–14–1 33
32 December 19 Buffalo 2 – 1 NY Islanders Miller 10,806 17–14–1 35
33 December 21 Philadelphia 2 – 3 Buffalo Miller 18,690 18–14–1 37
34 December 22 Buffalo 6 – 5 Philadelphia SO Miller 19,606 19–14–1 39
35 December 26 Ottawa 5 – 3 Buffalo Miller 18,690 19–15–1 39
36 December 28 Buffalo 1 – 2 New Jersey SO Miller 17,625 19–15–2 40
37 December 29 Buffalo 0 – 2 Pittsburgh Miller 17,132 19–16–2 40

January[edit]

Record: 4–5–4; Home: 1–1–2; Road: 3–4–2

# Date Visitor Score Home OT Decision Attendance Record Pts
38 January 1 Pittsburgh 2 – 1 Buffalo* SO Miller 71,217 19–16–3 41
39 January 4 Ottawa 5 – 3 Buffalo Thibault 18,690 19–17–3 41
40 January 6 Buffalo 2 – 5 Atlanta Miller 15,213 19–18–3 41
41 January 8 Buffalo 1 – 2 New Jersey SO Miller 14,030 19–18–4 42
42 January 10 Buffalo 2 – 3 Ottawa SO Thibault 19,843 19–18–5 43
43 January 12 New Jersey 3 – 2 Buffalo SO Miller 18,690 19–18–6 44
44 January 16 Buffalo 1 – 2 NY Rangers Miller 18,200 19–19–6 44
45 January 18 Atlanta 1 – 10 Buffalo Miller 18,690 20–19–6 46
46 January 19 Buffalo 2 – 4 Toronto Miller 19,436 20–20–6 46
47 January 21 Buffalo 2 – 6 Phoenix Thibault 16,981 20–21–6 46
48 January 24 Buffalo 2 – 1 Dallas Miller 18,532 21–21–6 48
49 January 29 Buffalo 4 – 2 Tampa Bay Miller 18,920 22–21–6 50
50 January 30 Buffalo 1 – 0 Florida Miller 14,024 23–21–6 52

*Played at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York.

February[edit]

Record: 8–4–3; Home: 5–3–2; Road: 3–1–1

# Date Visitor Score Home OT Decision Attendance Record Pts
51 February 1 Buffalo 4 – 5 Atlanta SO Thibault 17,064 23–21–7 53
52 February 5 Buffalo 4 – 2 Boston Miller 13,427 24–21–7 55
53 February 6 New Jersey 2 – 3 Buffalo SO Miller 18,690 25–21–7 57
54 February 8 Boston 3 – 2 Buffalo SO Miller 18,690 25–21–8 58
55 February 10 Florida 3 – 5 Buffalo Miller 18,690 26–21–8 60
56 February 12 Buffalo 5 – 1 Ottawa Miller 19,564 27–21–8 62
57 February 13 Toronto 0 – 1 Buffalo Miller 18,690 28–21–8 64
58 February 16 Buffalo 1 – 5 NY Rangers Miller 18,200 28–22–8 64
59 February 17 Pittsburgh 4 – 1 Buffalo Miller 18,690 28–23–8 64
60 February 20 Tampa Bay 3 – 4 Buffalo OT Miller 18,690 29–23–8 66
61 February 21 Buffalo 5 – 1 Toronto Miller 19,467 30–23–8 68
62 February 23 NY Rangers 4 – 3 Buffalo Miller 18,690 30–24–8 68
63 February 25 Philadelphia 4 – 3 Buffalo SO Miller 18,690 30–24–9 69
64 February 27 Nashville 4 – 8 Buffalo Miller 18,690 31–24–9 71
62 February 29 Montreal 6 – 2 Buffalo Miller 18,690 31–25–9 71

March[edit]

Record: 6–5–3; Home: 3–4–2; Road: 3–1–1

# Date Visitor Score Home OT Decision Attendance Record Pts
66 March 2 Detroit 4 – 2 Buffalo Miller 18,690 31–26–9 71
67 March 4 Buffalo 5 – 2 Philadelphia Miller 19,516 32–26–9 73
68 March 5 Washington 3 – 1 Buffalo Miller 18,690 32–27–9 73
69 March 8 Buffalo 3 – 4 Carolina OT Miller 18,808 32–27–10 74
70 March 10 NY Rangers 3 – 2 Buffalo SO Miller 18,690 32–27–11 75
71 March 12 Buffalo 3 – 7 Pittsburgh Miller 17,132 32–28–11 75
72 March 14 Carolina 1 – 7 Buffalo Miller 18,690 33–28–11 77
73 March 15 Buffalo 6 – 2 Toronto Miller 19,462 34–28–11 79
74 March 19 Tampa Bay 4 – 7 Buffalo Miller 18,690 35–28–11 81
75 March 21 Toronto 4 – 1 Buffalo Miller 18,690 35–29–11 81
76 March 25 Ottawa 6 – 3 Buffalo Miller 18,690 35–30–11 81
77 March 27 Buffalo 4 – 3 Ottawa SO Miller 19,883 36–30–11 83
78 March 28 Montreal 4 – 3 Buffalo OT Miller 18,690 36–30–12 84
79 March 30 Boston 1 – 2 Buffalo OT Miller 18,690 37–30–12 86

April[edit]

Record: 2–1–0; Home: 0–0–0; Road: 2–1–0

# Date Visitor Score Home OT Decision Attendance Record Pts
80 April 1 Buffalo 4 – 3 Toronto SO Miller 19,288 38–30–12 88
81 April 3 Buffalo 1 – 3 Montreal Miller 21,273 38–31–12 88
82 April 5 Buffalo 3 – 0 Boston Thibault 17,565 39–31–12 90

Playoffs[edit]

After winning the Presidents' Trophy in the 2006–07 NHL season, the Sabres failed to qualify for the playoffs.

Player statistics[edit]

Skaters[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/- = Plus/minus; PIM = Penalty minutes

    Regular season  
Player # GP G A Pts +/- PIM
Derek Roy 9 78 32 49 81 +13 46
Jason Pominville 29 82 27 53 80 +16 20
Thomas Vanek 26 82 36 28 64 -5 64
Jochen Hecht 55 75 22 27 49 +1 38
Brian Campbell* 51 63 5 38 43 -1 12
Ales Kotalik 12 79 23 20 43 -5 58
Tim Connolly 19 48 7 33 40 +4 8
Drew Stafford 21 64 16 22 38 +3 51
Paul Gaustad 28 82 10 26 36 -4 85
Daniel Paille 20 77 19 16 35 +9 14
Jaroslav Spacek 6 60 9 23 32 +7 42
Maxim Afinogenov 61 56 10 18 28 -16 42
Toni Lydman 5 82 4 22 26 +1 74
Henrik Tallinder 10 71 1 17 18 +5 48
Adam Mair 22 72 5 12 17 -2 66
Clarke MacArthur 41 37 8 7 15 +3 20
Steve Bernier* 56 17 3 6 9 +1 2
Nathan Paetsch 38 59 2 7 9 +3 27
Andrej Sekera 44 37 2 6 8 +5 16
Michael Ryan 37 46 4 4 8 -4 30
Dmitri Kalinin 45 46 1 7 8 -7 32
Nolan Pratt 4 55 1 6 7 +1 30
Patrick Kaleta 36 40 3 2 5 +1 41
Mike Weber 34 16 0 3 3 +12 14
Andrew Peters 76 44 1 1 2 -4 100
Ryan Miller 30 76 0 1 1 N/A 6
Teppo Numminen 27 1 0 0 0 E 0
Marc-Andre Gragnani 17 2 0 0 0 -2 4
Michael Funk 3 4 0 0 0 -3 0
Jocelyn Thibault 35 12 0 0 0 N/A 0

*Stats reflect games played with Buffalo only.

  • Note: Goaltenders are not assessed plus/minus ratings.

Goaltenders[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; TOI = Time on ice (minutes); W = Wins; L = Losses; OTL = Overtime losses; GA = Goals against; SO = Shutouts; SV% = Save percentage; GAA = Goals against average

    Regular season  
Player # GP TOI W L OTL GA SO SV% GAA
Ryan Miller 30 76 4474 36 27 10 197 3 .906 2.64
Jocelyn Thibault 35 12 507 3 4 2 28 2 .869 3.31

Awards and records[edit]

Records[edit]

Milestones[edit]

Regular season
Player Milestone Date achieved
Jason Pominville 100th NHL point October 13, 2007
Derek Roy 200th NHL game October 19, 2007
Mike Weber 1st NHL game[24] October 26, 2007
Jochen Hecht 300th NHL point[25] October 26, 2007
Andrej Sekera 1st NHL assist
1st NHL point[26]
October 26, 2007
Tim Connolly 400th NHL game October 27, 2007
Andrej Sekera 1st NHL goal[27] November 28, 2007
Maxim Afinogenov 500th NHL game[28] December 26, 2007
Thomas Vanek 200th NHL Game December 29, 2007
Drew Stafford 1st NHL hat trick[29] January 18, 2008
Patrick Kaleta 1st NHL goal[30] February 10, 2008
Ryan Miller 100th NHL win[31] February 10, 2008
Thomas Vanek 1st NHL hat trick[32] February 12, 2008
Marc-Andre Gragnani 1st NHL game February 23, 2008
Mike Weber 1st NHL assist
1st NHL point[33]
March 12, 2008
Thomas Vanek 100th NHL Goal March 21, 2008
Ryan Miller 200th NHL Game March 25, 2008
Coach Milestone Date achieved
Lindy Ruff 800th NHL game February 23, 2008

Transactions[edit]

The Sabres have been involved in the following transactions during the 2007–08 season.

Trades[edit]

June 23, 2007
To Calgary Flames
116th overall pick in 2007 (Keith Aulie)
To Buffalo Sabres
139th overall pick in 2007 (Bradley Eidsness)
147th overall pick in 2007 (Jean-Simon Allard)
February 26, 2008
To San Jose Sharks
Brian Campbell
Seventh-round pick in 2008
To Buffalo Sabres
Steve Bernier
First-round pick in 2008

Free agents[edit]

Player Former team Contract terms
Jocelyn Thibault Pittsburgh Penguins 1 year, $760,000
Nolan Pratt Tampa Bay Lightning 1 year, $550,000[34]
Player New team
Danny Briere Philadelphia Flyers
Chris Drury New York Rangers
Dainius Zubrus New Jersey Devils
Ty Conklin Pittsburgh Penguins

Draft picks[edit]

Buffalo's picks at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft in Columbus, Ohio.[35]

Round # Player Position Nationality College/junior/club team (league)
2 31 T.J. Brennan Defenseman  United States St. John's Fog Devils (QMJHL)
2 59 Drew Schiestel Defenseman  Canada Mississauga Ice Dogs (OHL)
3 89 Corey Tropp Forward  United States Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)
5 139 Bradley Eidsness Goalie  Canada Okotoks Oilers (AJHL)
5 147 Jean-Simon Allard Center  Canada St. John's Fog Devils (QMJHL)
6 179 Paul Byron Center  Canada Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)
7 187 Nick Eno Goalie  United States Green Mountain Glades (EJHL)
7 209 Drew MacKenzie Defenseman  United States The Taft School (USHS)

Farm teams[edit]

Rochester Americans[edit]

The Rochester Americans remain Buffalo's top affiliate in the American Hockey League in 2007–08. It is expected to be the last year of the two teams' long affiliation and the teams are expected to part ways at the end of the season.

Roster[edit]

2007–08 Buffalo Sabres Roster
Goaltenders

Defensemen

Wingers

Centers

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Average attendance figure only accounts for games at HSBC Arena. It does not include the 71,217 in attendance at Ralph Wilson Stadium for the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic on January 1.
  2. ^ National Hockey League (2010). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book/2011. Triumph Books. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-60078-422-4. 
  3. ^ Briere signs 8-year $52 million deal with Flyers
  4. ^ Rangers sign free-agent centers Gomez and Drury
  5. ^ Devils sign free agent Zubrus
  6. ^ Sabres retain Vanek by matching Oilers' $50 million offer
  7. ^ Sabres shore up goaltending, sign Thibault; re-sign forwards Peters, Ryan
  8. ^ Pittsburgh Penguins sign goaltender Ty Conklin to one-year contract
  9. ^ Sabres to rotate captaincy this season
  10. ^ Toni Lydman named captain for November
  11. ^ Campbell Named Sabres' Captain for November
  12. ^ Spacek is Captain January
  13. ^ Max Re-Injures Groin; Hecht Captain For February
  14. ^ Jim Lorentz announces his retirement
  15. ^ Harry Neale joins Sabres broadcast team
  16. ^ 2008 Winter Classic
  17. ^ Sabres to Host Winter Classic House Party
  18. ^ Campbell named to NHL All-Star Team
  19. ^ Sharks acquire Campbell from Sabres
  20. ^ http://www.hockey-reference.com/boxscores/200801180BUF.html
  21. ^ http://www.hockey-reference.com/boxscores/200701040BOS.html
  22. ^ http://www.hockey-reference.com/boxscores/200601140BUF.html
  23. ^ NHL.com - Recap: Sabres 6, Flyers 5, SO
  24. ^ Notebook: Weber solid in first game
  25. ^ Recap: Buffalo @ Florida - 10/26/2007
  26. ^ Buffalo Sabres - Team: Andrej Sekera Official Player Page
  27. ^ Recap: St. Louis @ Buffalo - 11/28/2007
  28. ^ Senators pour it on in 2nd period to end Sabres' win streak
  29. ^ Stafford, Roy hat tricks helps Sabres stop 10–game skid
  30. ^ Buffalo Sabres Notebook - 02/10/2008
  31. ^ Sabres' Roy scores twice as Panthers fall for second time in six games
  32. ^ Vanek nets first career hat trick in Sabres' rout
  33. ^ Crosby sits; offense thrives
  34. ^ Buffalo Sabres and free agent D Nolan Pratt agree to terms on contract
  35. ^ 2007 NHL Entry Draft Results nhl.com