Monday, April 03, 2006

The Wrath of Ruff

Having watched his squad put in a less than enthralling performance Saturday night against the Maple Leafs, Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff showed no mercy on Sunday with a practice to remind his players that there is much work to be done yet.

With only one win in their last nine games, the Sabres found themselves on the ice for a fast paced session lasting over ninety minutes on Sunday, all in preparation for a return match against the Leafs tonight in Toronto.

Concerned about troubles in the transition game, Ruff spent a fair amount of time trying to get the message across to his players. He was particularly troubled by the lack of focus in their own end and suggested that some of his players aren’t getting the messages when they just show the tape, hence the devotion to detail for ninety minutes on the ice.

While the Sabres are presently safely placed in the playoff round, they are after all twenty points ahead of Toronto in the standings; the last nine games have shown some cracks in their once dominant game. Suddenly the Sabres aren’t controlling the play and taking the wins for granted, instead the opposition teams are finding ways to beat them now, Saturday nights game a particularly ugly thrashing that does not bode well for playoff success for the Sabres.

It’s doubtful that the Sabres will offer up the same disposition as that of Saturday night, blow out losses don’t come along every day for teams that normally play well as a unit. But if they do, they’re forewarned that coach Ruff would be very disappointed. And that might translate into another long day of skating on Tuesday.

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