Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
But unless some ridiculous offer comes their way, the Sabres shouldn’t do anything at the deadline other than plan for the future. Doing nothing shouldn’t be a chore for Regier, who has been ripped royally for doing exactly that. This year, though, doing nothing makes the most sense.
The Sabres have their core players locked into long-term contracts. If they can land a good player who will be under contract for the next several years, fine. Otherwise, dumping dead weight or hefty salaries should be the goal. And that, alone, is a tall order because of the salary cap.
From Eric Duhatschek in the Globe & Mail:
“People ask me about fighting and I really don’t know sometimes what I want,” said Regier. “I believe that things are going to happen over time, where I don’t think society is always going to accept (fighting).
“I see it in Canada now. There was a poll about fighting (conducted by the Harris-Decima firm, in which 54 per cent of Canadians surveyed favoured a unilateral ban on fighting, while 40 per cent wanted to retain the status quo). If you go back 10 years, I don’t think those numbers would be anywhere close to where they are right now.
“So I think it’s going to be more of a statement of the position of society – and I’m talking about true hockey fans, and their culture.”
From Pierre LeBrun at ESPN (h/t to Sabres Insider):
Coach Lindy Ruff was more blunt: The trap is back.
“Most teams now have four, five guys back,” Ruff said. “It’s a 1-4 now. They’re lining up, a five-man group in the neutral zone.”
So the Sabres also felt the need to tighten up. But hey, let’s not get carried away here. The Sabres remain a skilled and entertaining team, underlined most recently by a 10-2 drubbing of the Edmonton Oilers. But if there’s an overwhelming reason for Buffalo’s turnaround, it is that Ruff has finally gotten through to his players about defensive awareness after pounding them with the message since training camp.
from the CP via the Sporting News,
Lindy Ruff figures there’s no way to put together this kind of streak without a little good fortune.
As the longest-tenured man in a volatile profession, the Buffalo Sabres coach doesn’t get surprised when he hears that another member of the fraternity has lost his job. It’s something he’s seen happen time and again.
There have been 137 coaching changes in the NHL since Ruff was hired by the Sabres in July 1997, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. While that number alone is staggering, consider the anecdotal evidence - Craig Hartsburg has now lost three NHL head coaching jobs over that period.
All the while, Ruff keeps plugging away with the Sabres.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
We can’t help but harp back to the Edmonton angle. Not only would the Oilers not have Penner on their hands right now if the Sabres had not matched, but they would have an elite forward to play with star winger Ales Hemsky, something the local Edmonton media has pointed out as a major issue with right now.
For as much heat as former Oilers GM/now team president Kevin Lowe got around the league in the summer of 2007, give him credit on this point—he was right about Vanek being worth the money.
more and some Pogge talk too…
from Kevin of BfloBlog,
Via press release, the Sabres confirmed what their schedule has shown for some time - that the next four Sabres games will not be televised.
“Out of our 82-game schedule, the MSG Network has broadcast rights to 70, and the Versus Network has rights to a maximum of eight,” said Larry Quinn, Buffalo’s minority owner/managing partner. “As such, we needed to select four games to be radio only. We chose these west coast games due to their late starts.”
Very clever, LQ. It’s MSG’s fault! But you were the one who negotiated the deal with MSG in the first place. You negotiated away the four road games. No city in America draws higher ratings for hockey than Buffalo, but we surely wouldn’t stay up past 10:00 to watch our team, right?
(I’m sure it has nothing to do with cost though…)
But not to fear, we at least get them on the radio, right?
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Teppo Numminen will be sidelined indefinitely after undergoing minor surgery this morning for a small fracture of the jaw.
Numminen was injured in the first minute of the second period Saturday night in HSBC Arena when he was struck flush in the face with the puck after a shot by Carolina defenseman Tom Gleason. Numminen returned to play eight more shifts in the second period but did not play in the third.
“He’s going to be out for a period of time,” coach Lindy Ruff said today following practice in the Amherst Pepsi Center. “We don’t know exactly how long but it’s weeks versus days. ... It’s a fracture that had to be fixed. He feels good but it’s just kind of a freak accident.”
Buffalo Sabres Head Coach Lindy Ruff updated the status of defenseman Andrej Sekera following Saturday’s morning skate.
The blueliner will be out at least two weeks after sustaining an ankle injury Wednesday night in Chicago. Sekera took a hit from Blackhawks’ winger Dustin Byfulgien in the second period of Buffalo’s 4-1 loss and did not return.
“We’ll just evaluate it [after] at least a couple of weeks. Maybe longer,” Ruff said.
Sekera has 13 points (1+12) in 43 games for the Sabres this season.
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
After Buffalo’s Drew Stafford leveled defenseman Duncan Keith in the Sabres’ zone and appeared to get his elbow up in the process, Ben Eager drew penalties while retaliating. The Hawks controlled the Sabres’ power play, limiting Buffalo to just one shot.
Keith was wobbly after the hit and didn’t return to the game after making his way to the bench. But afterward, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said he was OK.
The Hawks killed off all seven of the Sabres’ power plays, but it was Stafford’s hit that had the most impact.
“I thought it was a completely dirty hit,” Eager said. “That team has been through it. They have seen their fair share of head shots, and that guy doesn’t have many hits all year. He’s a skilled guy, so I’m sure [the league] won’t do anything to him. I’m sure if I was the one who hit him I probably would be sitting out for a while.”
more on the game last night and watch the Stafford hit on Keith below…
added 12:55pm, via Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,
Watch the replay of Drew Stafford’s hit on Duncan Keith and it’s clear his elbow caught the Hawks’ defenseman in the head at the last minute.
Referees Paul Devorski and Brian Pochmara blew it by not penalizing Stafford, who said after the game Keith should have had his head up.
Shots to the head continue to be ignored by the NHL. A head shot should be an automatic penalty, whether it’s intentional or not.
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
Campbell’s new team meets his old one tonight in the United Center, where the atmosphere will mimic that of HSBC Arena three years ago. Fans who stayed away for a generation are lining up to fill the building, standing alongside newcomers who want to be part of the ride. A bunch of kids are winning and igniting the city’s spirit, and Campbell is there to tell them how special the moment is.
“It’s a lot like Buffalo was right out of the lockout,” Campbell said Tuesday. “The only difference is this started right at the start of the year, while Buffalo took about 10 games before it just was blowing up. There’s so many similarities that I see in my head about these guys that it’s unbelievable. It’s nice to relive it again that way.”
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.
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