It took Lindy Ruff just over 1,000 games to tie Toe Blake of the Montreal Canadiens at 500 wins with one team. It took him one game to overtake the record and become the coach with the most wins with one team in the history of the league.
If the Buffalo Sabres used their best game of the year in San Jose the other night in order to get Lindy Ruff to 500, they used a very sloppy game to get him to 501.
While it looked like, at least through the first 20 minutes, that the Buffalo Sabres were easily going to treat the Sabres friendly crowd in Phoenix to an easy win, the game quickly turned into what I had been claiming was missing from the Sabres repertoire all season; Ryan Miller bailing the offensively challenged team out.
The Phoenix Coyotes took over for the rest of the game, and not only dictated play, were often at times so in control that the Sabres looked like they were ready to get back on the plane and sleep in their own beds. Thanks to Drew Stafford, with just a minute and a half remaining in overtime, ensured that the flight back will be filled with sweet dreams and pleasant thoughts.
The Buffalo Sabres could have gotten some help from the Boston Bruins or Montreal Canadiens tonight, but there contest went into overtime as well, Montreal picked up two points to keep the Buffalo Sabres eight behind them, and Boston was able to earn a point to stay in control of the division, despite being tied with Montreal (Boston has two fewer games played).
The Buffalo Sabres complete their Western Conference tilt gaining five out of a possible six points. More importantly, at the halfway point of the season, the Buffalo Sabres have reached a .500 record. They will need to play much better than .500 in the second half of the season if they are going to entertain thoughts of extending their season this year.