No great protests from Lindy Ruff today about Zdeno Chara's Game Six suspension being lifted by the NHL. The Sabres coach seemed disappointed but said he knew about the ruling early this morning.
"I said last night you run the risk of being suspended,' Ruff said today in HSBC Arena. "The league's interpretation is what it is. I was arguing for the instigator. That's why I stayed on the bench. I had Rivs [Craig Rivet] go over and say, 'That's an instigator.'
"It really doesn't matter what I think. It really doesn't. I don't think that little slash [from Paul Gaustad] hurt him though. An instigator is an instigator. The referees deemed he was the instigator. I can find lots of little slashes in the game if you want me to find that."
Asked if Chara was getting kid-gloves star treatment, Ruff said, "I've heard that argument before and I'm not even going to go down that road."
The Sabres were off today. Ruff said Thomas Vanek was skating with a couple players and the team's callups at the Amherst Center while the Sabres conducting their press conferences downtown. Vanek will go through "battle drills" to see if there's any way he can play Monday.
"We'll get a pretty good idea of where he's at," Ruff said. "You run the risk when you get him involved physically, that you can set him back. I hope today is a good day and he gets through it and we can ramp up the type of practice that he can go through."
Rivet said he also expected Chara's suspension to be pushed aside by the league.
"I'm not really surprised," Rivet said. "It's something I expect at this time of year. I think the action would have to be a lot worse to get a suspension. He was a little bit frustrated at the end of the game but I don't think it was really cause for a suspension."
Audio from today:
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff:
Sabres captain Craig Rivet:
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