What's that old saying? While the cat's away, the mice will play? That's kind of how Lindy Ruff seems to feel about his team's practice ethic while he was gone at the Olympics. Ruff cracked the whip today in HSBC Arena, barking for much of the 50 minutes for his players to be more vocal on the ice.
"Part of our play in the first 30 games stemmed from puck support, knowing where people are at, hearing another guy's voice, leaving the zone under control and being a five-man unit coming out of the zone," Ruff said. "Watching [Wednesday's 3-1 loss to the Capitals] again this morning, I would swear that have the team had muzzles on. That makes it tough. When you're under pressure, the only thing you can trust is somebody's voice and the fact he has to be in a certain place for us."
The Sabres have opened the post-Olympic break schedule with back-to-back losses and Ruff wants things turned around by Friday night's visit from Philadelphia.
"It's been two weeks off," he said. "I've been gone for 10 days of practice. And I don't care what you say. When the substitute teacher is there when you were a kid, you goofed off. We had four or five players missing. Now it's back to focus and determination to play the system and play it hard."
Click below to hear Ruff's complete session with the media, including his comments on Raffi Torres' first day with the team:
taggedNHL trade deadline | Sabres | Sabres coaching