I witnessed something during Thursday night’s 7-2 embarrassment at the hands of the injury-depleted Philadelphia Flyers that had me all at once amused and disgusted.
During a second period power play for Buffalo, the Sabres took a too many men on the ice penalty, which ultimately led to a Flyers power play goal by Wayne Simmonds. The too many men on the ice penalty seemed like it was the direct result of an unfocused Drew Stafford hopping onto the ice as the sixth skater. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff is a proponent of “if you caused us to be down a man, then you serve the two minutes”, and sternly ordered Stafford to the box.
After the Flyers scored, and Stafford returned to the Sabres’ bench, Ruff started reading him the riot act. During the coach’s tongue-lashing, Stafford yelled something back at Ruff – which only seemed to incense him more – and the verbal beating continued. Stafford, looking like a teenager being scolded by a parent, then rolled his eyes and shook his head as if to say “whatever, dude”.
Stafford has always seemed like a player who went to the beat of his own drum, but if he is tuning out the coach so blatantly that he is willing to show him up in front of his whole bench, and in front of an audience of thousands (I’m sure he didn’t realize a camera was rolling during this entire exchange, but he still has to know that he’s “on stage”), then what do we really have here? Could this have been an uncomfortable exchange between two people who are just so sick of losing, that frustration got the better of them? Or is this a legitimate case of a player not giving a damn what the coach thinks?
There have been many who have called for Ruff’s head, saying he has run his course here, his message has gotten stale or that his team has tuned him out. If we are to believe reports, Terry Pegula is not one of those who believes the coach is the problem.
If that’s the case, there’s only one course of action for this organization to take. Cut out the cancers, eliminate the bad seeds, and ship out the players who think its OK to lose, so long as they’re getting paid.
Stafford should have sat there and, since he may have been at fault for the penalty, taken it like a man. You don’t show your coach up, much like you don’t show up your defensemen by rolling your eyes and shaking your head every time a puck happens to deflect off one of them and into your net.
That last part was for you, Ryan Miller.
It seems to me that what we may have here is a bad mix of players and personalities bringing this team down. If the team can’t mesh together on or off the ice, then the coaches and management must find out who the problem children are and ship them out, ala Miroslav Satan.
If Ted, Terry, Darcy, Lindy and “Captain Cliche”, Jason Pominville, keep telling us that everything’s roses in Hockey Heaven, we’ll know they’re all liars, too.
And, don’t forget about the OptionIt contest. All you have to do is register for free, indicate the Sabres as your favorite team, and you are entered to win tickets to the Sabres/Maple Leafs game on April 3rd.
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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Darcy Regier Drew Drew Stafford Flyers Power Play Jason Jason Pominville Lindy Ruff Pegula Philadelphia Flyers Stafford Stafford Ruff Ted Ted Black Terry Terry Pegula Too Many Men On The Ice Waynes Simmonds