Sabres coach Lindy Ruff is debating whether to reinsert defenseman Chris Butler into the lineup for Sunday's visit to the Rangers. The second-year pro was scratched Friday for the first time this season.
"I don’t think he’s played well enough," Ruff said today. "He’s a real good player, but I think there’s been some complacency in his game. There’s been a lack of desperation in his game. For a young man at the start of his career, if you get a little bit complacent or you get a little bit comfortable, I think your numbers end up where they’re at."
Butler is a team-worst minus-12. He was minus-2 during Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to Washington.
"I sat down with him for a good period of time," Ruff said. "His numbers are what they are. I went through the history of almost a Brian Campbell, and how I didn’t want Brian Campbell to be a minus player. I said, 'You can look at the numbers any way you want to look at them, they’re still you’re numbers.'
"I said, 'Your goal now is to be a plus player the rest of the year.' The message has been sent."