Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
(Patrick) Kaleta was injured just three minutes into the Sabres’ 4-3 shootout victory over Montreal. Kaleta was playing the puck along the wall in the Buffalo zone when Maxim Lapierre hit him in the back and drove the winger headfirst into the boards.
Lapierre was given a two-minute boarding penalty. Kaleta played a few more shifts before retiring to the dressing room.
“Their doctors deemed him to have a concussion,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “That’s disappointing. When a player’s got his back turned, it’s disappointing. He took a tough blow there. You hope that it’s dealt with.
“That’s serious. Head injuries are serious. It’s been a big topic. It’s been talked a lot about. He was defenseless on the play. I don’t like it. I don’t think we should like it. I think the players need to respect each other a little more….”
From Herb Zurkowsky at The Montreal Gazette:
When Lindy Ruff was named the 15th head coach in Buffalo Sabres’ history in July 1997, Alain Vigneault was coaching the Canadiens.
Today, 11 seasons later, Ruff remains behind the Sabres’ bench. But during that time, the Canadiens have been coached by Michel Therrien, Claude Julien, Bob Gainey, Guy Carbonneau and Gainey again. And there’ll likely be someone new next season.
“I keep saying I’ve been lucky,” Ruff, 49, said prior to Saturday night’s game against Montreal at the Bell Centre. “We’ve had a couple of changes in ownership, and I’ve been lucky enough to make it through the transition.”
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
With the Sabres having missed the playoffs last season and in danger of doing it again, no one knows the importance of reaching the post-season this time around more than Sabres coach Lindy Ruff.
It means increased revenues. It means more demand for season tickets. And it means keeping the Sabres relevant in a city where the Bills have become Boss once again.
“It is extremely important we make the playoffs,” Ruff said during a phone interview last night. “We are sometimes the heartbeat of the city and have been, given that the Bills haven’t made the playoffs (since Jan. 8, 2000).
“We NEED to make it.”...
The Sabres needed a huge third-period comeback Wednesday to defeat the Florida Panthers 5-3, a turnaround that Ruff feels could ignite his team on a much-needed winning streak.
“I think those types of periods can give you momentum,” Ruff said. “And so does having Ryan Miller back.”
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
Not going to get into the whole thing about what happened tonight, anyone who watched or looked at the scoresheet can figure that out. This was a devastating loss for the Panthers, although the wings in the locker room smelled so good a few guys seemed to get over it real quick.
And I’ve never seen the scratched players escape a postgame locker room as fast as tonight’s trio of guys did. And I sure don’t blame them.
Speaking of blame, coach Pete DeBoer had plenty for goalie Tomas Vokoun, even though a couple of those goals were flukey. But the one that tied it sure wasn’t.
continued and watch the game highlights below…
added 3/26/09 at 8:21am, Watch the Horton hit on Afinogenov below too…
from Bucky Gleason at Sabres Edge,
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff was candid today when facing questions about all the criticism he’s been getting and scrutiny he’s been under over the past several weeks. Ruff expected as much and acknowledged that it comes with the territory.
“When you’re not playing well, they’ll point at the coach,” Ruff said. “I think it’s fair. We’ve had some players who haven’t performed to where we want, and that’s my responsibility. I don’t think there’s any ducking that.”
continued and watch the post-practice interview with Ruff below…
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
You can’t help but wonder if Regier and Ruff are inching closer to the door with every loss the Sabres suffer down the stretch. Something needs to give. That much was obvious after watching the Sabres mope through the final 25 minutes Friday night in a 6-4 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Have the players quit on their coach?...
Regier has two seasons remaining on his contract. Ruff is signed through next season. They are the longest-tenured GM-coach combination in the NHL. Quinn reiterated Friday night that his first instinct is to keep both, but he wanted to wait until the offseason. He’ll huddle with Golisano before making a final decision.
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
The Sabres are just 1-4-1 in the last six games, an ugly number in itself. It’s even more hideous when the Sabres look at what the slump has done to their spot in the Eastern Conference.
On March 7, prior to the collapse, the Sabres were in every postseason conversation. They were tied with Carolina for ninth place with 73 points. Florida, Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers had 74. Only one more point and the Sabres were in sixth place.
Now? Sixth place seems further than Siberia. Heck, eighth place may as well be England.
The 10th-place Sabres are five points out of a playoff spot and seven back of sixth. They have 11 games left, starting tonight with a visit to the Rangers in Madison Square Garden.
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
They figured once Ottawa broke a 2-2 tie in the final period Tuesday, a loss was inevitable.
“We haven’t dealt well with some adversity in games. I think guys got scared,” Ruff said Wednesday while replaying the 4-2 defeat to Ottawa. “They saw a loss coming again, and we got on our heels, and it’s tough to pull out of that.”
It’s little surprise the Sabres folded in the third period of a tie game. They are among the NHL’s worst in that situation.
The Sabres have been tied entering the final period 14 times. They have earned points in just six, a percentage of .429. The only teams below them are Colorado (.412) and the New York Islanders (.400), who happen to be dead last in their respective conferences.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
Following what has to rank as one of the more bizarre defeats of his 12 years as coach, Ruff aired out his team after it took nine mostly-foolish penalties to turn a two-goal lead into a 4-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place.
“The message [from Ruff] we can’t really talk about right here,” said defenseman Henrik Tallinder. “It was not really good words.”
When Ruff emerged to meet the media, he lasted three questions and exactly 54 seconds. But his words were crystal clear.
“Very disappointed. Embarrassed,” Ruff said when asked how exasperated he was with this group. “I’m embarrassed for our fans, embarrassed for the way we played the last 40 minutes. It’s not acceptable this time of year.”
Tomas Vokoun of the Panthers with a great glove save on Thomas Vanek of the Sabres. Buffalo did defeat Florida 3-1.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com