Goals of the Year

The Sabres lit the lamp 245 times this past regular season, but here are a few that are worth taking another look at. These are not ranked or posted in any particular order.

[tab: Part 1]

Tyler Ennis and Grier connect against Montreal Canadiens – November 5th, 2010

In his 1,001st game playing in the NHL, Mike Grier teamed up with Tyler Ennis for a fabulous goal showcasing the Sabres’ veteran and rookie talent. After Ennis lofted a perfect pass on a 3-on-1 rush his way, Grier allowed for Carey Price to sprawl in desperate fashion. Grier then effortlessly stick-handled around the Habs goaltender and backhanded the puck into an empty net.

Tyler Myers’s OT Winner against Florida Panthers – February 10th, 2011

If you intend to score on Florida Panthers goaltender Tomas Voukoun with an ordinary slapshot, it has to have some serious power behind it. With barely 12 seconds left on the clock in Overtime, Myers collected the puck behind his net and was off to the races. He skated from one end of the Bank Atlantic Center to the other before firing a sheer rocket over Tomas Voukoun’s shoulder to give Buffalo the win with only 4.5 seconds left in Overtime.

Nathan Gerbe’s empty-netter against Montreal Canadiens – March 22nd, 2011

In the 2010-2011 season, Nathan Gerbe may have notched the best empty net goal in Sabres history. As Montreal tried to beat Ryan Miller and send the game into Overtime, Gerbe battled to ensure it would never happen. After backhanding the puck off the boards past James Wisniewski, Gerbe followed after it and slid into Andrei Kostitsyn, who failed to keep the puck in the Sabres zone. P.K. Suban took it at center ice, but Gerbe came charging again and wrestled the puck away from him. A shot from behind the Montreal blue line fell into the open goal and solidified the Sabres win inside a silenced Bell Centre.

Thomas Vanek’s Between the Legs against Philadelphia Flyers – April 24th, 2011

For much of the season, Thomas Vanek adopted a playmaking role to fill the gap left by Derek Roy’s injury. On Easter Sunday inside HSBC Arena, he showed that he could still tally a highlight goal when needed. While on the Power Play, Vanek took a pass from Tyler Myers, and the puck was nearly in the Trapezoid where he caught it. But with one backhand between his own legs, and an easy push in between Michael Leighton’s, Vanek had scored one of the most impressive goals of his career.

Tyler Myers’ OT Winner against Vancouver Canucks – November 15th, 2010

Even though is was a Monday night game while the team was near the bottom of the standings, the crowd inside HSBC Arena was positively amped when the Sabres took on the Canucks last November. After Thomas Vanek caused a turnover in the Canucks zone during Overtime, Myers stole the puck and skated in all alone on Corey Schneider. You could hear the 18,690 fans in attendance literally “gasp” before Myers fired the puck into the top of the net. That same crowd then erupted into one of the loudest regular season ovations ever within HSBC Arena; if you were there that night, you know it’s not an exaggeration.

Be sure to click “Part 2” at the top of the page to see more of the Sabres goals of the year!

[tab: Part 2]

Nathan Gerbe’s Spin-o-rama against Philadelphia Flyers – April 8th, 2011

Nathan Gerbe didn’t just tie the game up on Fan Appreciation Night with his insane spinning shot; he also guaranteed the Sabres an entry into the postseason with it. After taking a pass and skating into the Flyer’s zone, Gerbe suddenly twisted his whole body while at the top of the left circle. He threw a wild backhand towards the Flyer’s net, which landed in the top shelf beyond an astonished Sergei Bobrovsky.

Thomas Vanek’s OT Winner against Washington Capitals – November 13th, 2011

When Thomas Vanek dazzles, he dazzles. Vanek looked like he was heading towards the bench after reclaiming the puck in front of the Washington zone, but he fooled just about everyone playing or watching the game. He instead turned and accelerated straight at the Washington net, stick-handling around John Carlson to get all alone on goaltender Michal Neuvirth. A second series of stick work froze the young goalie, and Vanek dumped a backhand into the net to give to end Overtime and give the Sabres their first home victory of the year.

Drew Stafford’s OT Winner against Minnesota Wild – 3/6/2011

When Stafford scored in Overtime on March 6th inside the Xcel Energy Center, it was a lot like the Buffalo Sabres team itself; it wasn’t flashy, but he worked his tail off to get the job done. Stafford completely out-skated Brent Burns on his way to crashing the Minnesota net and taking Jose Theodore off guard. The famed goaltender tried to follow, but Stafford was too quick for him, as well, and buried the puck just in between Theodore’s skate and the goal post. The win that night wasn’t necessarily the one which pushed the Sabres into the playoffs, but it was one of the more memorable Spring victories for this team which gave hope that the team could claim a postseason berth.

[tab: Part 3]


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