After running practice yesterday, Lindy Ruff was relieved of his duties.
In talking to reporters, Darcy Regier explicitly stated that the move was made because they could not get any traction defensively, it had nothign to do with him losing the team. maybe the last words of a man trying to save face for his friend, who will most likely be looking for another gig in the National Hockey League.
We will see how the team responds tonight as they try to climb out of the basement of the Eastern Conference with interim coach and former Rochester Americans bench boss Ron Rolston at the helm. Rolston was able to move the struggling Amerks to within the conference top spot after hovering close to the bottom, Buffalo has to be hoping that he can spark some magic in the parent club as well.
You can’t get much worse than the Buffalo Sabres right now, and the Toronto Maple Leafs are hoping to capitalize on that.
So far the teams have split the season series, both winning a game in each other’s barn. That bodes well for the Buffalo Sabres, who will open up the post-Lindy Ruff era on the road, after being booed off the ice at home in their last contest. Rolston will get his first home game against the New York Islanders on Saturday.
The meager Toronto Maple Leafs made a change at general manager before the start of the season, and they are playing in unfamiliar territory. Normally the bottom dwellers of the division, the Leafs are playing better than .500 hockey, and sit in the middle of the division. The Sabres sit seven points back on the failing Ottawa Senators – who are in injury trouble for the season.
Tonights game is scheduled for 7PM – we will see how the team responds to an emotional shakeup, that was probably long overdue. Just shy of the halfway point on the season, the Buffalo Sabres may have time to turn it around, but may have to settle for sneaking into the playoffs.