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Lindy Ruff and Jason Pominville look back on the year as a “wasted season”

Apr 9, 2012, 9:21 AM EDT

Lindy Ruff Getty Images

There’s plenty that could be said about Buffalo’s season that wasn’t. After an offseason that saw owner Terry Pegula open the wallet to let GM Darcy Regier spend like a mad man and turn the Sabres into a team that needed a furious finish to just miss the playoffs, you could say things in Buffalo aren’t too happy.

As John Vogl of The Buffalo News finds out from Sabres coach Lindy Ruff¬†he didn’t mince words with how to describe the season.

As they clean out their lockers and conduct exit meetings today, the Sabres have to look at the 2011-12 season for what it really was. It was a wasted season. It was a lost season.

“For sure,” coach Lindy Ruff said. “I think you’ve got to look at it that way. You can’t look at it any other way.”

That cuts to the core. Do the players feel the same way though? Jason Pominville sure does as he tells Vogl that “it feels like another wasted year.” Another sad, depressing end to a season in Buffalo but there are reasons to have hope for next season.

Tyler Ennis emerged as an exciting playmaker and goal scorer while Marcus Foligno turned into a power forward with a nose for the net.¬†Should Buffalo get complete seasons from Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek, there’s reason to be excited. They just might have to keep Terry Pegula away from his wallet this summer to be safe.

  1. pftbillsfan - Apr 9, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Erhoff was the best Sabres d man by a mile, that signing was incredible. leino will fill the two way forward void vacated by Hecht, so the money spent wasnt wasted at all. Miller cost the Sabres the season, if you looked at his stats they were just his mediocre career averages. My god, one good Olympic run and this guy is all of a sudden not average….amazing

    • drewsylvania - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:19 PM

      Every time I saw Ehrhoff, he was turning the puck over or failing to keep it in the offensive end. Maybe that’s just a small sample, but he’s never seemed like a great defenseman to me.

  2. rabidbillsfan - Apr 9, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    What are you talking about? It was because of Miller this team was on the cusp, and you kind of contradict yourself when you say Ehrhoff was the best Sabres D-Man in a while, yet crucify Miller on his numbers. Miller was stellar to start the season, then “The Hit” and after that it was bad, real bad. Then it clicked again, and he had the best run of any goalie post All-Star break. Had he gotten this team to the playoffs, without poor showings against Pittsburgh and Toronto, he would have been in the Vezina discussion. Wouldn’t have won it, but for sure his name would have come up. I’ll put blame on the guys who score the goals before I ever blame Miller for a bad season. Vanek vanished after his injury. Who is Brad Boyes again? Injuries forced Adam back to Rochester becuase he couldn’t find chemistry with any other forwards. Enroth was painfully pedestrian while replacing Miller. Had Enroth stolen 2 games, which he did far more of last season, this team would be Post-Season bound. But, he regressed, and I thought it was wrong to keep him up in Buffalo rather then let him keep working in Rochester.

  3. lucicfan603 - Apr 9, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Buffalo sucks glad to see that they didn’t make the playoffs. Ruff is going to be fired, Miller is traded and all the other sabers cowards will suck next season as well. Besides Montreal buffalo is second among cowards and divers in the NHL

    • miketoasty - Apr 9, 2012 at 12:46 PM

      Coming from a Boston fan? I’m shocked.

  4. rabidbillsfan - Apr 9, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Buffalo sucks? So why are you glad to see them out of the Playoffs? It wouldn’t have anything to do wtih the fact that Buffalo plays Boston the toughest of any of the teams they will face in the first few rounds. Either way, Boston will not get past the Caps. Thomas is gassed and the Caps are flying high, even with a Backup’s backup in Goal. How can you let a team sleep walk through an entire game and let them beat you in OT? Caps in 5.

    • drewsylvania - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      If you’d mentioned Carolina as the Bruins’ toughest opponent, I’d have agreed.

  5. riles1008 - Apr 9, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    The guy who said Miller sucks is an idiot. He is the reason the Sabres turned it around because he was awesome down the stretch. This lucicfan is clearly one of the most ignorant people on the planet. Idiots like you give not only hockey, but mankind a bad name. What a surprise you’re a fan of the Boston Bruins. Total scumbag team.

  6. riles1008 - Apr 9, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    It speaks miles when Sidney Crosby says Miller is the smartest goalie in the world. Agreeing he’s one of the best in the world as well.

  7. govtminion - Apr 9, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    I honestly can’t believe they missed the playoffs. After they tarred and feathered the Caps a couple of weeks ago I figured that was the end of the Capitals, and the Sabres were in. Incredible. I expect Ruff to return, but I’ll be interested to see what choices the team makes in this offseason. They’re too talented to be on the outside like this next year.

  8. pftbillsfan - Apr 9, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Riles your correct Im obviously an idiot because I disagree with your opinion. However lucky for me stats are on my side, Miller has had career save pct, and GAA in top 10 how many years? Look it up pumpkin.

  9. tarotsujimoto74 - Apr 9, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    If we can just find some joker to take the Leino contract off our hands…Perhaps Tallon can find use for him.

    • sizzle299 - Apr 9, 2012 at 8:24 PM

      Worst move ever for you guys.

  10. wez99 - Apr 9, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Miller was at the top reason we made it that close to playoffs, ehroff deff became our best all around d man by far, while regehr was our best defensive d man, the man would rarely make mistakes, now if we can get rid of Sekera and roy, we will be in much better shape, this team will easily be better next year with the chemistry improvement, but isn’t Boston the team who cheap shots other teams??? They only have the biggest rat in the game in Marchand

  11. pftbillsfan - Apr 9, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    I would like to point out it is very easy to randomly dismiss points without anything whatsoever to use as reason. RILES however seems to have went quiet when he looked at Millers career numbers, which to reference are on par with Marty Biron and Ty Conklin. Please dont say it’s due to the number of games, there is a rule of thumb in statistics and that is the more the sample size the easier to hide poor performance where is smaller samples reflect poor games more accurately. Trade Miller and Roy, get a number 1 or 2 center and your fine.

    • eyecorporations - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      Great idea! Take the goalie who is currently #15 in GAA and #9 in SV% among active goalies and replace him with…. who??

  12. billsin20xx - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    When is this fascination with Ruff (and Regier) going to end? In the easiest pro league to do it, they have only made the playoffs 4 times in the last 10 years. How many other teams would keep this duo employed with the records they have? How many other coaches allow their teams to start both seasons and games as bad as the Sabres do?

    Get a new GM (Dudley!) in here, and let him get a coach he wants, ASAP!

    • billsin20xx - Apr 9, 2012 at 11:07 PM

      New respect for Roy tonight. He said on TV that Ruff did too much criticizing in public instead of personally to each player.

  13. donfocker89 - Apr 9, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Starts with ownership. Terry Pegula state “The Sabres purpose of existence is to win the Stanley Cup.” (Not word for word, but i tried) He will not achieve that goal with Regier and Ruff still running the show. 15 years for a coach and not a lot to show is mooooore than enough time. Yeah you can say Regier was hand cuffed from Donahoe with spending, but he will not fire Ruff, so you need to get rid of them both. The only thing I disagreed with this offseason was the Leino signing. Miller is a top average goalie and he needs defense (It showed when Myers and Erhoff both went down. whom we have for the next 7 years together.)

    And I say we need to trade Roy and/or Vanek. Trade Roy no matter what, but if Ruff his still here then trade Vanek. Its the coaches job to get the most out of his players, and he cant seem to do that with these guys.

    P.S. Terry, if your reading this. Zach Parise…….Please

    • bornthesamedayasthesabres - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:33 PM

      YES…Zach Parise, please. Renegotiate Vanek into the 4.5 to 5 million range were his production says he should be. Get guys with heart.

      • bornthesamedayasthesabres - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:33 PM

        *oops where not were.

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