Don’t Blame Lindy For This ‘Ruff’ Stretch


I know I know Buffalo, this season hasn’t gone quite the way we wanted it to go. What I once thought was a slow star,t has now started to linger almost half way into the year. To make matters worse the injury bug has infested the Sabres new locker room and players can’t walk anywhere without stubbing their toe and landing themselves on the shelf for weeks at a time.

With 35 points and in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, people around the city have been starting to call for people’s heads. Don’t be mad or upset at Lindy Ruff, this recent period of tough losses has less to do with Ruff then people think.

I’ve heard all the talk that Ruff’s time has run its course. I’ve heard people say that the team has stop responding to him and that his 13 year tenure as a coach in Buffalo should be over. The skeptics and doubters of Ruff look at his time with the Sabres and don’t see much. A few playoff appearances here and there but the big elephant in the room is that there is no Stanley Cup title in the resume.

I agree with some of the points that are floating around. I can’t dispute that he hasn’t won the Stanley Cup in 13 years but who has he actually had to coach in his career? When, before this year, has he been given the pieces by the front office to go after that holy grail. Besides the year with Briere and Drury who else have  we given Ruff to work with? Mike Grier? The other Niedermayer? Oh I’m sorry I’m forgetting about the stand out studs of Tim Connolly, and Ales Kotalik? All the elite defense we have given him like Craig Rivet, Toni Lydman and Jaroslav Spacek. Every year the Sabres NEVER go out after top of the line NHL talent and instead give Ruff, and the coaching staff, washed up players who have enough trouble tying their skates, let alone scoring. But what has Ruff still been able to do more years than not… still make the playoffs. With all the nobody players that have gotten dressed in Buffalo over the years, Ruff has continued to put out a competitive team. Do you think teams were mad or worried when Chris Gratton, Curtis Brown or Andrew Peters resigned with Buffalo?

But even the rag-tag bunch of hockey players, Lindy Ruff has kept his head above water somehow and made runs in the playoffs year after year. Also, you could make a case that Ruff would have a Stanley Cup in Buffalo if it wasn’t for a staph infection breaking out in the locker room during the Eastern Conference finals in 2006. But I digress

The point is, for the first time Terry Pegula rewarded Ruff with top of the line NHL talent. The Sabres went out and improved the team in a big way and even gave Ruff and extension to boot. Think about it, if Ruff can win with garbage he is going to be able to win with the new improvements. All of a sudden the Stanley Cup is a real possibility. But what happens… EVERYONE GETS HURT. Ruff isn’t coaching the new acquisitions he’s coaching the Rochester Amerks! How are you suppose to beat NHL talent with a minor league hockey team?

The Sabres injury report looks like a phone book: Myers, Boyes, Gerbe, Ennis, Miller, Leopold, Leino, Hecht, McCormick and Kaleta. Are you kidding me? And your going to blame the coach for why they are losing? Besides Kassian and Foligno had any Sabres fans heard of: Paul Szczechura, Brayden McCnab, TJ Brennan, Corey Tropp, Joe Finley or Derek Whitmore? Come on…

You have to let Ruff coach with a full, healthy line up for more than three weeks to see if he can get the job done! He’s won 500 games with Buffalo and he will win plenty more.

In Ruff I Trust…

{PS.. sorry for not posting for a while. I have been working on a new blog at: facetofetes.wordpress.com}

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About dfetes415

Aspiring sports journalist. Current sports writer for Bylinesports.com. I believe in the Atlanta Braves, Buffalo Sabres and Tim Tebow

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