1971–72 Buffalo Sabres season

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1971–72 Buffalo Sabres
Division 6th East
1971–72 record 16–43–19
Home record 11–19–9
Road record 5–24–10
Goals for 203
Goals against 228
Team information
General Manager Punch Imlach
Coach Punch Imlach
Captain Gerry Meehan
Arena Buffalo Memorial Auditorium
Average attendance 15,324
Team leaders
Goals Rick Martin (44)
Assists Gilbert Perreault (48)
Points Tie: Perreault, Martin (74)
Penalties in minutes Al Hamilton (105)
Wins Roger Crozier (13)
Goals against average Roger Crozier (3.51)

The 1971–72 Buffalo Sabres season was the Buffalo Sabres second season of operation in the National Hockey League (NHL).

Offseason[edit]

An $8.7 million (approximately $51.4 million in 2017 dollars)[1] renovation took place after the 1970–71 inauguration of the Sabres and Buffalo Braves franchises. The arena's roof was raised 24 feet, making room for a new upper level. This raised the total capacity of the arena to over 17,000 for basketball and 15,858 for hockey, making it a more suitable home for the NBA and NHL.[2]

Regular season[edit]

For the second consecutive season the Sabres had a breakout rookie performance by their first round draft pick. Rick Martin would score 44 goals breaking the NHL rookie scoring record of 38 set the previous season by Gilbert Perreault.[3] Despite the efforts of their young phenoms the Sabres would finish with a worse record than their inaugural season and again miss the Playoffs. During the season Eddie Shack was traded to Pittsburgh for Rene Robert.[4]

Final standings[edit]

East Division[5]
GP W L T GF GA DIFF Pts
1 Boston Bruins 78 54 13 11 330 204 +126 119
2 New York Rangers 78 48 17 13 317 192 +125 109
3 Montreal Canadiens 78 46 16 16 307 205 +102 108
4 Toronto Maple Leafs 78 33 31 14 209 208 +1 80
5 Detroit Red Wings 78 33 35 10 261 262 −1 76
6 Buffalo Sabres 78 16 43 19 203 289 −86 51
7 Vancouver Canucks 78 20 50 8 203 297 −94 48


Schedule and results[edit]

Regular season results
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 W October 10, 1971 2–1 Pittsburgh Penguins (1971–72) 1–0–0
2 L October 12, 1971 1–9 @ St. Louis Blues (1971–72) 1–1–0
3 L October 14, 1971 2–6 @ Boston Bruins (1971–72) 1–2–0
4 L October 16, 1971 3–9 @ Montreal Canadiens (1971–72) 1–3–0
5 L October 17, 1971 2–3 Minnesota North Stars (1971–72) 1–4–0
6 W October 20, 1971 7–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1971–72) 2–4–0
7 L October 21, 1971 2–5 Chicago Black Hawks (1971–72) 2–5–0
8 L October 23, 1971 1–5 @ Minnesota North Stars (1971–72) 2–6–0
9 L October 24, 1971 2–3 St. Louis Blues (1971–72) 2–7–0
10 W October 27, 1971 3–2 @ Los Angeles Kings (1971–72) 3–7–0
11 T October 30, 1971 4–4 @ Vancouver Canucks (1971–72) 3–7–1
12 T October 31, 1971 2–2 @ California Golden Seals (1971–72) 3–7–2
13 T November 4, 1971 4–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1971–72) 3–7–3
14 W November 5, 1971 5–2 Philadelphia Flyers (1971–72) 4–7–3
15 T November 7, 1971 3–3 Detroit Red Wings (1971–72) 4–7–4
16 L November 11, 1971 2–4 Los Angeles Kings (1971–72) 4–8–4
17 L November 13, 1971 2–5 @ New York Rangers (1971–72) 4–9–4
18 T November 14, 1971 2–2 Montreal Canadiens (1971–72) 4–9–5
19 L November 18, 1971 5–7 California Golden Seals (1971–72) 4–10–5
20 L November 21, 1971 3–4 Toronto Maple Leafs (1971–72) 4–11–5
21 L November 24, 1971 3–5 @ Los Angeles Kings (1971–72) 4–12–5
22 L November 27, 1971 2–5 @ Vancouver Canucks (1971–72) 4–13–5
23 L November 28, 1971 3–5 @ California Golden Seals (1971–72) 4–14–5
24 L December 1, 1971 2–7 @ New York Rangers (1971–72) 4–15–5
25 W December 2, 1971 2–0 Los Angeles Kings (1971–72) 5–15–5
26 L December 4, 1971 1–5 @ St. Louis Blues (1971–72) 5–16–5
27 W December 5, 1971 3–1 Minnesota North Stars (1971–72) 6–16–5
28 L December 9, 1971 1–3 Chicago Black Hawks (1971–72) 6–17–5
29 T December 11, 1971 3–3 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1971–72) 6–17–6
30 L December 12, 1971 2–4 Toronto Maple Leafs (1971–72) 6–18–6
31 L December 15, 1971 1–2 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1971–72) 6–19–6
32 L December 16, 1971 0–5 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1971–72) 6–20–6
33 L December 18, 1971 1–8 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1971–72) 6–21–6
34 W December 19, 1971 5–1 Vancouver Canucks (1971–72) 7–21–6
35 T December 23, 1971 4–4 Boston Bruins (1971–72) 7–21–7
36 T December 25, 1971 4–4 @ St. Louis Blues (1971–72) 7–21–8
37 W December 26, 1971 6–3 St. Louis Blues (1971–72) 8–21–8
38 L December 29, 1971 3–7 Detroit Red Wings (1971–72) 8–22–8
39 T December 31, 1971 3–3 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1971–72) 8–22–9
40 T January 2, 1972 4–4 California Golden Seals (1971–72) 8–22–10
41 L January 6, 1972 2–5 Boston Bruins (1971–72) 8–23–10
42 L January 9, 1972 1–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1971–72) 8–24–10
43 L January 13, 1972 2–5 New York Rangers (1971–72) 8–25–10
44 L January 15, 1972 2–6 @ Montreal Canadiens (1971–72) 8–26–10
45 W January 16, 1972 4–2 Montreal Canadiens (1971–72) 9–26–10
46 W January 20, 1972 1–0 Vancouver Canucks (1971–72) 10–26–10
47 L January 22, 1972 2–3 @ Detroit Red Wings (1971–72) 10–27–10
48 T January 23, 1972 3–3 @ Boston Bruins (1971–72) 10–27–11
49 L January 26, 1972 1–5 @ New York Rangers (1971–72) 10–28–11
50 L January 27, 1972 1–3 Detroit Red Wings (1971–72) 10–29–11
51 T January 30, 1972 2–2 Los Angeles Kings (1971–72) 10–29–12
52 L February 3, 1972 2–4 New York Rangers (1971–72) 10–30–12
53 T February 5, 1972 3–3 @ Minnesota North Stars (1971–72) 10–30–13
54 W February 6, 1972 8–2 Boston Bruins (1971–72) 11–30–13
55 L February 10, 1972 2–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1971–72) 11–31–13
56 L February 12, 1972 1–5 @ Boston Bruins (1971–72) 11–32–13
57 T February 13, 1972 4–4 Philadelphia Flyers (1971–72) 11–32–14
58 L February 17, 1972 0–2 Pittsburgh Penguins (1971–72) 11–33–14
59 L February 19, 1972 1–4 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1971–72) 11–34–14
60 L February 20, 1972 0–4 Montreal Canadiens (1971–72) 11–35–14
61 W February 23, 1972 2–1 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1971–72) 12–35–14
62 W February 24, 1972 5–3 Chicago Black Hawks (1971–72) 13–35–14
63 T February 27, 1972 4–4 California Golden Seals (1971–72) 13–35–15
64 L March 1, 1972 1–4 @ Montreal Canadiens (1971–72) 13–36–15
65 L March 2, 1972 3–4 New York Rangers (1971–72) 13–37–15
66 L March 5, 1972 2–6 St. Louis Blues (1971–72) 13–38–15
67 L March 8, 1972 3–6 @ California Golden Seals (1971–72) 13–39–15
68 L March 10, 1972 2–3 @ Vancouver Canucks (1971–72) 13–40–15
69 L March 11, 1972 3–5 @ Los Angeles Kings (1971–72) 13–41–15
70 W March 14, 1972 4–3 @ Minnesota North Stars (1971–72) 14–41–15
71 T March 16, 1972 3–3 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1971–72) 14–41–16
72 L March 17, 1972 2–6 Vancouver Canucks (1971–72) 14–42–16
73 T March 19, 1972 3–3 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1971–72) 14–42–17
74 W March 22, 1972 4–3 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1971–72) 15–42–17
75 T March 23, 1972 4–4 Minnesota North Stars (1971–72) 15–42–18
76 T March 26, 1972 2–2 Pittsburgh Penguins (1971–72) 15–42–19
77 L March 30, 1972 1–3 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1971–72) 15–43–19
78 W April 2, 1972 3–2 Philadelphia Flyers (1971–72) 16–43–19

Playoffs[edit]

The Sabres failed to make the playoffs in the 1971–72 season.

Player statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Scoring
Player GP G A Pts PIM +/- PPG SHG GWG
Martin, RickRick Martin 73 44 30 74 36 −38 19 0 5
Perreault, GilbertGilbert Perreault 76 26 48 74 24 −40 11 0 1
Meehan, GerryGerry Meehan 77 19 27 46 12 −28 4 0 2
Hamilton, AlAl Hamilton 76 4 30 34 105 −12 1 0 1
Shack, EddieEddie Shack 50 11 14 25 34 −11 4 0 0
Atkinson, SteveSteve Atkinson 67 14 10 24 26 −22 3 0 0
Lorentz, JimJim Lorentz 33 10 14 24 12 −11 2 0 1
Evans, ChrisChris Evans 61 6 18 24 98 −20 2 0 0
Goyette, PhilPhil Goyette 37 3 21 24 14 −10 3 0 0
Luce, DonDon Luce 78 11 8 19 38 −18 0 0 1
Lawson, DannyDanny Lawson 78 10 6 16 15 −23 0 1 0
Byers, MikeMike Byers 46 9 7 16 12 −20 3 0 1
Ramsay, CraigCraig Ramsay 57 6 10 16 0 5 0 0 2
O'Shea, KevinKevin O'Shea 52 6 9 15 44 −19 0 0 0
Robitaille, MikeMike Robitaille 31 2 10 12 22 −14 1 0 0
Hillman, LarryLarry Hillman 43 1 11 12 58 −21 0 0 0
Pratt, TracyTracy Pratt 27 0 10 10 52 0 0 0 0
Robert, ReneRene Robert 12 6 3 9 2 −5 3 0 0
Watson, JimJim Watson 66 2 6 8 101 −33 1 0 0
Wyrozub, RandyRandy Wyrozub 34 3 4 7 0 −2 0 0 0
Barrie, DougDoug Barrie 27 2 5 7 45 −21 0 0 1
Duff, DickDick Duff 8 2 2 4 0 −2 0 0 0
Anderson, RonRon Anderson 37 0 4 4 19 −10 0 0 0
Zaine, RodRod Zaine 24 2 1 3 4 −14 0 0 1
McKay, RayRay McKay 39 0 3 3 18 −12 0 0 0
Keenan, LarryLarry Keenan 14 2 0 2 2 −3 0 0 0
Deadmarsh, ButchButch Deadmarsh 12 1 1 2 4 −10 0 0 0
Gould, JohnJohn Gould 2 1 0 1 0 −1 0 0 0
Ball, TerryTerry Ball 10 0 1 1 6 −7 0 0 0
Mickey, LarryLarry Mickey 4 0 1 1 0 −1 0 0 0
Smith, FloydFloyd Smith 6 0 1 1 2 −3 0 0 0
Crozier, RogerRoger Crozier 63 0 0 0 10 0 0 0 0
Dryden, DaveDave Dryden 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Terbenche, PaulPaul Terbenche 9 0 0 0 2 −13 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO
Crozier, RogerRoger Crozier 3654 63 13 34 14 214 3.51 2
Dryden, DaveDave Dryden 1026 20 3 9 5 68 3.98 0
Team: 4680 78 16 43 19 282 3.62 2

[6]

Awards and records[edit]

The Sabres were not awarded any individual or team awards in the 1971–72 season.

Transactions[edit]

Date
Details
May 25, 1971 To Detroit Red Wings
Joe Daley
To Buffalo Sabres
Don Luce
Mike Robitaille
November 16, 1971 To Philadelphia Flyers
Larry Keenan
To Buffalo Sabres
Larry Mickey
December 16, 1971 To Los Angeles Kings
Doug Barrie
Mike Keeler
To Buffalo Sabres
Mike Byers
Larry Hillman
January 14, 1972 To New York Rangers
2nd-round pick in 1972 (Larry Sacharuk)
Buffalo Sabres
Jim Lorentz
March 4, 1972 To Pittsburgh Penguins
Eddie Shack
To Buffalo Sabres
René Robert
March 5, 1972 To St. Louis Blues
Chris Evans
To Buffalo Sabres
George Morrison
2nd-round pick in 1972 (Larry Carriere)
March 5, 1972 To New York Rangers
Phil Goyette (Negotiating Rights)
To Buffalo Sabres
Cash