The Sabres Observer
From Paul Hamilton of WGR-550,
"A lot of people are calling me scumbags, a dirty hockey player, but I play hard, I play on the edge. It doesn’t define me as a person, it defines one play that could be controversial either way, so that’s the way it is."
Brendan Shanahan has to make a decision on the nasty Patrick Kaleta hit from behind on Brad Richards which took place during the Rangers 3-2 shootout win over the Sabres last night. The Buffalo forward has a 3:00 p.m. hearing by phone.
If you're looking for some irrational defense of the hit from a big fan of the team, you won't get it here. There's no excuse for what Kaleta did, and any talk of whether or not Richards did some acting after he landed on the ice is ridiculous and irrelevant.
While the Sabres' ritual of giving the team's brown fur coat to their player of the game has helped lighten the mood in a tough season, a well known animal rights group was not impressed when hearing of it.
This week on Sabres Observer Radio, Joe Pinzone and I are joined by Andy Boron of Die By The Blade and Chris Ostrander of Two In The Box to discuss the sorry state of the NHL's 29th place hockey team.
Courtesy of WKBW-TV in Buffalo, here is video of Lindy Ruff's farewell press conference today:
One of my favorite Lindy Ruff clips, and a childhood memory of mine from when he was a player. Ruff attacks Islanders goaltender Billy Smith after being highsticked during Game 6 of the 1980 Semifinals.
"The hockey world knows how I and the entire Buffalo Sabres organization feel about Lindy Ruff not only as a coach but also as a person. His long tenure with the Sabres has ended. His qualities have made this decision very difficult. I personally want Lindy to know that he can consider me a friend always."
The Buffalo Sabres have announced that Lindy Ruff has been relieved of his duties. More to follow.
From Luke Fox of Sportsnet.ca,
I know Lindy Ruff is a great hockey coach, and he has been a great hockey coach for the Buffalo Sabres for a long time, but it’s stalling again. And it’s not working,” Roenick said. “It’s time for a coaching change. I don’t know if the players think so, but the record shows it.”
Buffalo isn’t a city known for feeling a lot of heat in February, but don’t tell that to Lindy Ruff and his 27th place hockey team.
I’ve spent much of my hockey time, over the past 16 years actually, defending Ruff as the right man to coach this team. But with each passing season of failure, each half-hearted effort on the ice, the hope tank has slowly been leaking.
For many, it’s now empty. One by one, some of Ruff’s most ardent supporters - fans, writers, talk show hosts, older folks who grew up watching him give his heart as a player, are raising the white flag. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard sentences beginning with “I think Ruff is a good coach, but…”
No matter how much people like and respect Ruff, and how highly they think of his abilities, everyone has a breaking point.
I confess that I’ve finally reached mine.
About The Sabres Observer
Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003. He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene. Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]