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William C. Altreuter
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

I wonder if the Sabres 1975 Stanley Cup loss might be the most traumatic loss in Buffalo sports history. On the national (or even international) stage the Wide Right Super Bowl loss was probably the most memorable, and of course for many the run of Super Bowl losses considered cumulatively may be what defines Buffalo sports, but my sense of it is that bottom line Buffalo is a hockey town. That means that the 1999 No Goal Stanley Cup has to be a contender, but for people my age that 1975 loss could well have been the moment. O.J. Simpson was the most prominent local sports figure at the time, but the Bills were a middle-of-the-pack team for most of his tenure. The Sabres were still fresh on the scene, having entered the league in the 1970-71 season. They made the playoffs in 72-73, fell short the following season, then went on a run all the way to the sixth game of the final. Rick Martin was a big part of why they were suddenly so good, and I completely understand why the whole town is in mourning-- that Sabres team, and particularly that French Connection line would have been a thrilling thing to see day in, day out.

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