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Ruff blasts Sabres after playoff elimination: “You can’t like losing it the way we did”

Apr 7, 2012, 1:22 PM EDT

Lindy Ruff AP

The day after a loss to Philadelphia dashed their postseason hopes, the Buffalo Sabres got an earful from their head coach.

Lindy Ruff put his team through the paces on Friday, conducting an hour-long practice — “their longest in weeks if not months,” according to the Buffalo News — while reading his players the riot act.

“Today’s not a good day,” he said afterward. “You can’t like losing. You can’t like getting close and losing. You can’t like leading after two periods and losing the game. And you can’t like losing it the way we did.”

Clearly, Ruff was still miffed over Robyn Regehr missing a check on Philly’s Matt Read to set up the winning goal on Thursday. That anger came shining through when the Sabres coach took aim at his veteran players.

“I thought our young players played well,” he explained. “I thought some of our veteran players didn’t get the job done in Philly for us.

“The play that lost us the game is a play that can’t be made. It can’t be made. You can’t accept that. You can’t accept that. You can’t like it.”

These comments suggest the frustration of a long, disappointing year finally caught up to Ruff. Over the course six months his team was besieged by injury and faced questions about toughness following the Ryan MillerMilan Lucic incident. Ruff also broke a bunch of ribs after a painful practice collision and Buffalo’s seemingly improbable playoff push — the Sabres were in last place in the East at the All-Star break — ended in heartbreaking fashion.

As such, he went on a pretty impressive — and, some would say, deserved — rant.

“Don’t ever like losing. Don’t ever like making the mistakes you made,” Ruff said. “The chance to make a difference and you didn’t make a difference. You get an opportunity. You’re paid to either score goals or prevent them if you’re a defender.

“We had two-on-ones we didn’t score. We had a two-on-one we went offside. That’s unacceptable. It’s game-on time. It’s difference time. We’ve talked about this for a good period of time. We’ve had guys push through and make a difference. In the biggest game, we weren’t able to push through.”

  1. cableguymike - Apr 7, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    I picture CoHo’s reaction to all of this being something along these lines…

  2. phillyphever - Apr 7, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Yeah…too bad he might be out of the job pretty soon.

    • warchief65 - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:57 PM

      Wrong . The owner already said that he’s back for next year . Which I said , we won’t make the playoffs again ! This is the reason they lost , the same reason he can’t coach . 15 YEARS AND DIDN’T WIN ONE CUP . 6 Year of playoffs , with only 3 times going longer that the first round . And making the wingers play center , and centers at wings . Need I say any more ?

      • phillyphever - Apr 12, 2012 at 6:41 AM

        Nope, I feel your pain. We have the same thing going on in Philly with the football coach.

  3. irm780 - Apr 7, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Might be time for the organization and Lindy to part ways, he’s an effective coach, but 15 years in one spot is an eternity in pro sports, perhaps things have gotten too stale.

    • rabidbillsfan - Apr 7, 2012 at 2:25 PM

      I would agree with you if our tenured guys had put of poor numbers all season, but that wasn’t the case. Pominville exploded this season in a more advanced role that Ruff gave him. Ruff constructed the Ennis-Stafford-Foligno line, and the most amazing part about it is that Ennis is centering it! This one isn’t on the coach, this season falls square on shoulders of the players. Sure, the injury bug hit, and it hit hard. Heck, if Myers and Ehrhoff had played, this probably would be a warm up game for the playoffs, but this season was filled with missed opprotunities on the part of the Players. You can say that Lindy has had 2 teams in the past 2 years start slow and then turn on in crunch time, but the 2 teams the past 2 years are apples to oranges. This years team was full off, not Super-Star talent, but plenty of names that are known outside of Buffalo. Last year was a bunch of Vetran guys literally on their last legs that willed this team into the playoffs with leadership, not skill. I’m willing to give Ruff one more year, to take full advantage of the newly blossomed talents in Ennis, Foligno, Adam, McNabb, Gerbe, Hodgson and Tropp. This team needs addition by subtraction this off-season, cutting ties with Boyes and Roy (Unless he’s willing to take a pay cut). This team reminds me of the Post-Lockout team, Ennis playing the role of Briere, and Pommer growing into a Chris Drury.

      • warchief65 - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:12 AM

        What did ever Gerbe did as a player ? NOTHING . It took over 3 years to get his first goal . And , he ends on his can more than on his skates . Ruff doesn’t know how to play his players , and centers play wingers , and wingers at center . This is the half of the season where he had Ennis at winger , and the only reason he played him at center was when Gerbe was hurt . And Ennis is a nature center . I ‘m surprised that he had Hodgson at center . I think that Black make him do it . Foligno and McNabb were only brought in to fill the hurt player . I don’t know what why he traded Kass , but he was not getting the time he needed in the role that Ruff gave him . He was to true two way player . Ruff is not coach , I can tell you that much .

      • rabidbillsfan - Apr 12, 2012 at 3:17 PM

        Wow, after trying to read your butchered post, I totally disagree with you. Not one thought or point you made was valid. Gerbe is not a natural center, he is way to small and is better suited at wing. Where are you getting your facts from? Gerbe has played in 2 full season, this season and last, pretty sure he scored goals these last 2 seasons. The season before that, (’09-’10) he had 5 points in 10 games, 2 goals there too. He is one of the hardest workers on the ice, maybe not as talented as Ennis or Vanek, but his goals are the dirty ones, and those are the goals that usually win games. Why are you suprised Hodg was at center? That is his natural postion, he has the size to play it. Wow, would you rather have Kassian or Foligno? Considering Foligno Hits, Skates, Scores, Assits and everything else and Kassian never once threw his body around, he used it to make plays but he wasn’t physical enough. And you say Ruff didn’t give him a chance to suceeed, so your saying that he could have been better but he would have to of taken a spot from Ennis, Stafford, Vanek, Pominville, Roy, or Leino for him to show it? That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. You give a bad rap to all NHL fans, not just those of the Buffalo Sabres. You have no clue, don’t even back up your points with facts, and then type so illegible that you cause physical pain to the eyballs of this thread.

  4. obamablowz - Apr 7, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Move this crap franchise out of Buffalo!!!

    • bigmike120 - Apr 7, 2012 at 5:20 PM

      It’s people like you that should have their ability to post comments on a website banned.

      • obamablowz - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:22 PM

        and it’s people like you who drink the Kool Aide and keep supporting this trash franchise. Congrats big mike!

    • applecool1981 - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:14 AM

      The Sabres have been in the top half of the teams in the NHL for the last 10-15; unlike football, playing hockey here can’t be questioned.

      • warchief65 - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:17 AM

        I don’t know about that one . The last 15 years they only made the playoffs 6 times , and only make it to the out of the first round 3 times . They also make the playoffs over the top 5 ,3 times .

      • applecool1981 - Apr 12, 2012 at 11:59 PM

        1996-1997: 2cd round playoff loss to Flyers
        1997-1998: Eastern Conference Championship loss to Washington Capitals
        1998-1999: Stanley Cup Finals lost to Dallas Stars
        1999-2000: First Round Playoff lost to Flyers
        2000-2001: Second Round playoffs loss to Pittsburgh Penguins
        2004-2005: Season Lockout
        2005-2006: Lost to Carolina Hurricanes in Eastern Conference Championship
        2006-2007: Eastern Conference Championship lost to Ottawa Senators
        2009-2010: First Round loss to Boston Bruins
        2010-2011: First Round loss to Flyers

        Last 15 years, they’ve made the playoffs 9 times in the last fifteen years and have 3 first round losses and made it to the Eastern Conference Finals four times. Yes, the last ten years they’ve only made the playoffs 4 times and the lockout can be held against them.

      • applecool1981 - Apr 13, 2012 at 12:07 AM

        I made a mistake on my calculations; the 1996-1997 season doesn’t count as it was 16 seasons ago. So eight playoff birth in a fifteen year period. Still only three first round losses and four Eastern Conference Championship appearances. I also meant that the lockout couldn’t be held against them, not that it could be held against.

  5. riles1008 - Apr 7, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    This obamablowz has to be one of the most ignorant people out their. I agree with everything the guy above him said, except, unless we sign a legit center, we need Roy. Good centers are a tough thing to come by in this league, which is why Vancouver were idiots for trading Hodgson.

    • obamablowz - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:24 PM

      when you are not intelligent enough to use the correct “their” u loose all credit to debate me.

      • tedstrong0 - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:44 AM

        Um…that would be “lose” there smart guy. Feel like debating ME? Hahaha….

  6. proudliberal85392 - Apr 7, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Memo to obamablowz: You’re wrong and your screen ne is stupid.

    • obamablowz - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:25 PM

      proud to be liberal…….go hug a tree and support people who don’t want to work.

      • crazemastercraze - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:29 PM

        i.e. “Black people”…..

      • obamablowz - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:44 PM

        Nope, but that is how he won the election…..if you didn’t vote for obama u are a racist. And blacks don’t hug trees.

      • crazemastercraze - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:47 PM

        holy crap your an idiot!

      • obamablowz - Apr 7, 2012 at 7:45 PM

        bringing race into this shows how shallow you are.

      • crazemastercraze - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:07 PM

        you didn’t say it, but what else could you have meant? plus, i bet your white!

      • obamablowz - Apr 8, 2012 at 9:08 PM

        Wow, you got me!!! I’m white. Great comeback. I dislike the President because of his job performance and empty promises, not because of the color of his skin. So once again, bringing race into this shows how shallow you are.

  7. riles1008 - Apr 7, 2012 at 3:31 PM


  8. applecool1981 - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    You know a man is a selfish man when he didn’t once place blame on himself; his team lost and he’s the captain of the ship.

  9. warchief65 - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    If the Sabres what to win a cup , then they would fire Ruff . It’s that’s simple . The owner came in and told Regier to spend , he got what Ruff needed . And once again , Ruff didn’t put the players where they should have been . Sure , they got bite by the ” hurt players ” bug , but , good team play over that . Ruff only came up with excuses . 15 Years and only 6 times to the playoffs , with only 3 time going farther than the first round , that doesn’t look good . Any other team would have fired him 7 years ago .

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