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Lindy's angry

PITTSBURGH -- The Sabres had better be mentally focused for their game in Pittsburgh tonight or that day off they were planning to have Sunday could go bye-bye.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff told his players he was not happy during a team meeting this morning, and it was easy to tell when he met with the media afterward.

"There’s some areas of our game I was really disappointed in," Ruff said. "There was some mental areas where I was disappointed. I really think we need to improve. I wasn’t happy, and they know I’m not happy. I haven’t been happy for days about that, and I’m going to continue to grind on it."

He said some players, particularly his young ones, lost focus during the Christmas break.

"With younger players, it takes a while for preparation," Ruff said. "When they get away from you for two, three days, it makes it tough on you."

Then he ripped the line of Derek Roy, Thomas Vanek and Maxim Afinogenov.

"I didn’t like the Roy line, even in the second and third period," he said. "I especially didn’t like some of the things they did in the third period. That’s part of the mental part of our game that has to improve."

"I had told them going in this was going to be a one-goal game. It’ll be a one-goal game. The guys that have scored for [New Jersey] in the last two games have been [Patrik] Elias and [Brian] Gionta, with an empty net. The first star of the game had been Elias the last two games. In a 1-0 game, you’ve got to win 1-0. I felt that even in the third period we lost focus of winning a game 1-0.

"I thought we handed them some glorious opportunities to get back in the game, that’s the part that bothered me."

In other news, Ryan Miller will again get the start in goal for the Sabres. Pittsburgh will go with Ty Conklin, the former Sabres backup who is 4-0.

---John Vogl

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Sabres coaching
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | jvogl@buffnews.com

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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