The last thing the Buffalo Sabres felt like doing on this day was to go to a rally after losing the Stanley Cup. The Sabres were still smarting from the bizarre loss in the finals to the Dallas Stars, and speaking in public wasn't the players' idea of fun when it was demanded three days later.
It turned out better than anyone expected, and gave the area's hockey fans a catch-phrase that lives on today.
About 20,000 people turned out in Niagara Square that day to honor the Sabres for their memorable run.
Play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret introduced County Executive Dennis Gorski, Mayor Anthony Masiello, Sabres owner John Rigas, General Manager Darcy Regier, coach Lindy Ruff and team members.
"I know what we have to do, and we're determined to give you the tools to finish the job," Rigas said to the Sabres.
Then Ruff came to the podium. "I still have steam coming out of my ears. And you should have steam coming out of your ears," he said. "I don't think you realize what this means to the team for a party that should have been three days later."
Ruff then exited with two final words: "No goal."
-- Budd Bailey
Sports Ink blog at buffalonews.com/blogs