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Ruff: Poor defense vs. Avs ‘really falls on my shoulders’

Dec 17, 2013, 11:18 AM EDT

LindyRuff2 Getty Images

Lindy Ruff took one for the team on Monday.

Following an ugly 6-2 loss in Colorado, Ruff deflected criticism of his young, inexperienced defense by saying he needed to do a better job of preparing them.

“Our defense were a step slow — they were a step slow on the coverage,” Ruff said postgame. “I’m going to work with them. They’ve got to play in big situations against big players and they’ve got to make those plays for us.

“It really falls on my shoulders to get them there. Because they’re the guys that are going to have to play.”

Without injured  veterans Trevor Daley and Stephane Robidas, Dallas leaned heavily on the likes of Jamie Oleksiak (20 years old) and Kevin Connauton (23), more so after another veteran — Aaron Rome — was lost to injury after playing just 2:36 in the opening period.

Things blew up in the second period, as Colorado scored four times in an 11-minute span to put the game out of reach. All four goals came at even strength with Oleksiak on for one and Connauton on for two.

In protecting his youngsters, Ruff re-iterated that it’s on the coach to get them ready for the speed and pace of the NHL.

“We got some young defense that are playing in some bigger places,” he explained. “I’ve got to get them in a better spot.”

  1. pizzaman77 - Dec 17, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    I like how the default picture isn’t even from behind the Stars bench

    • Mike Halford - Dec 17, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      I didn’t even realize that was Teppo in the background. Good eye. Switched out to a more appropriate pic.

  2. skr213 - Dec 17, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    And that’s why this guy was loved in Buffalo for so many years. It’s called class and professionalism. There are a few coaches out there who could learn a thing or two here.

  3. 19to77 - Dec 18, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    Sends a great message to the young guys on the roster, hearing the coach stick up for you like that. He was a very good choice for a young team like the Stars. Making the playoffs this season is a bit of a long shot, but his experience and some more seasoning for the kids will improve this team quickly. They have some impressive potential.

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