November 5, 2010 - 8:30 AM
Lindy Ruff's job status is becoming a hot-button issue around North America, not just in Buffalo. The Sabres' dire straits have become a topic on ESPN.com and on Canadian television via TSN. Here's another view courtesy of the Toronto Globe & Mail's podcast, featuring veteran Calgary-based writer Eric Duhatschek (who also is a regular on Hockey Night in Canada) and the Globe's James Mirtle.
Click below to listen to the part of their show concerning Ruff, Ryan Miller and Tyler Myers.
November 4, 2010 - 7:22 PM
Coach Lindy Ruff isn't having much fun with his last-place team, but he insisted today the Sabres haven't tuned him out.
"Not at all," he said. "Not at all. We’ve had real communication with all of them. I don’t think there is any tuning out. That approach comes from being belligerent with players, but there is none of that."
He also thinks the system can succeed, though it hasn't yet.
"I don’t think there’s any doubt," he said. "You can look at the games we dominated and lost games. You can go to three or four of our road games that we absolutely dominated and we lost the game. If you make a mistake and give the team a breakaway, or four-on-four you give up a wide pass and they get a breakaway, that has nothing to do with system."
November 4, 2010 - 3:48 PM
Ryan Miller, who missed Wednesday's latest loss with a lower-body injury, says he's feeling better. It doesn't look like he'll be ready to play Friday against Montreal, though.
Miller continually talked with athletic trainer Tim Macre inside Northtown Center in Amherst today while the Sabres practiced. The goaltender winced at times while turning and going down to one pad.
"I feel a little better," Miller said. "We’ll just keep going day-by-day to see how things are feeling. It’s improving, so we’ll wake up tomorrow and go from there.
"I’m just trying to sense where I’m at," said Miller, who did a lot of splits and stretches. "It’s not so much stretching to try and loosen it up. It’s just like, 'OK, where is it at?' It’s something where I want to feel like I’m comfortable.
"It’s basically been since training camp. A guy falls on my knee and then you’re playing not entirely comfortable. I don’t want to do that all year. I want to get it back to where it’s feeling good."
November 3, 2010 - 10:18 PM
Lindy Ruff was agitated, and Craig Rivet was angry and disappointed following Wednesday's 5-2 loss to Boston. Hear their chats below.
November 3, 2010 - 6:57 PM
Are you feeling desperate? Hate to think the Sabres have to feel that way on Nov. 3 but that's the fact as they meet the Boston Bruins tonight in HSBC Arena. The Sabres are 3-7-2 overall, they're 0-4-1 at home, they're 29th in the NHL. Yes, 29th.
The Bruins, meanwhile, are 6-2-0 and have allowed an astounding 11 goals in eight games. Tim Thomas has an 0.50 goals-against and a .984 save percentage -- allowing just three goals on 185 shots and leading the league in both categories. Tuukka Who?
It's going to be Jhonas Enroth's second NHL game in goal with Ryan Miller out. Enroth's first was against the Bruins last year in TD Garden, a 4-2 loss. Craig Rivet and Jason Pominville are back while Chris Butler, Mike Weber and Nathan Gerbe are scratched. Memo to the Sabres: With the kid in goal, you better stay out of the penalty box.
The special teams battle looks like a mismatch: The Sabres are 20th on the power play (13 percent) while Boston is ninth (21.9). It's much worse on the penalty kill with Boston leading the league at 93.1 percent (27 of 29) while the Sabres are 27th at 74.5 percent (38 of 51). The Bruins are the only team in the league to not give up a power-play goal on the road (12 for 12). The Sabres are 25th at home at 75 percent (12 of 16).
8:53 p.m.: We're under way. The folks here are thrilled.
15:03 left: Another power play chance for Buffalo as Shawn Thornton goes for tripping.
13:40 left: Sabres get a two-man edge for 37 seconds as Bergeron goes for tripping. Sabres call their timeout.
13:02 left: Roy can't stuff it in an empty net off a Vanek feed .. and Connolly then loses the puck -- again -- and gets booed off the ice.
11:00 left: Quite the primal scream from down below us, followed by a "Timmy, you (stink)" The fans have seen enough of Connolly too. Why hasn't Ruff?
7:30 left: Connolly getting booed every time he touches the puck -- more than Chara. Folks here know the deal.
6:54 left: Rivet for tripping on the back end of a Sabres' 4-on-1. Didn't see it. Rivet was bemused too.
4:34 left: Sekera on a backhander through Thomas' legs. Pretty soft goal. 4-2, Bruins. B's have clearly just been trying to run the clock and get out of here.
2:25 left: Shots are 33-25 for Sabres (12-5 in 3rd). They better not try to sell this as a good battle over the last 30 minutes.
2:07 left: Lucic into an empty net to make it 5-2. Way too easy.
1:48 left: Vanek for hooking. You should see how empty this place is, especially the 100 level.
Mercifully, it's over: A passionless 5-2 loss extends the losing streak to four and deepens the crisis. Final shots were 35-26, as if that tells any part of the story.
Notes: Sabres had a 16-3 edge in faceoffs in the first eriod and Gaustad won all nine of his draws. Like that matters. And like stats matter. Connolly is credited with one giveaway. What a joke. Stafford is minus-3 and Leopold, Connolly and Gaustad are minus-2. The Sabres came on to the ice with less than 55 seconds left in the break. Some paint chipped off the wall perhaps? Lalime is now in goal.
17:49 left: Ryder makes it 4-0, outmuscling Niedermayer down the right wing and beating Lalime on a shot near the glove that had to be stopped.
14:40 left: Myers goes for roughing. Hey, at least it's not Craig Rivet's fault.
12:04 left: Those stupid scoreboard blooper reels are back. Guess the desperation set in and they need to show the fans something to laugh at other than the pathetic play of the home team. "Bloopers and Blunders"? That's the title for this game.
8:03 left: Finally some life from this club as Mark Stuart gets nailed for roughing Kaleta and was working him over with a cross-check -- and McCormick sprints across the ice and pounds Stuart with a big right. Looks like McCormick is gone on the instigator. Still waiting for the call. At least McCormick has a pulse. Stuart gets two and five. McCormick gets two, five and 10. Guess there is no instigator rule anymore. If that's not it, what is?
5:02 left: Wheeler goes for slashing the stick out of Ennis' hand.
3:21 left: Stafford breaks the shutout on the power play stuffing it past Thomas on the edge of the crease. Bruins, 4-1. Puck came in from Connolly at the left point. Sure sounded like the crowd was booing No. 19 every time he touched the puck.
2:53 left: Lucic bumps Grier from behind near the Buffalo bench and Kaleta emerges bloody in the face from the scrum with Lucic and Nathan Horton. Kaleta gets roughing and a 10-minute misconduct.
1:18 left: Tyler Seguin for hookins so Sabres have a 4-on-3.
42.3 left: Thomas with a great save on Pominville from in tight after a pair of bullet point shots, one by Connolly, go wide. Gotta hit the net in this situation.
End-2nd: Boston holds its 4-1 lead. Shots were 12-8 for Buffalo and 21-20 for the Sabres in the game. Mighty deceiving.
Pregame notes: The Sabres' starters are Sekera-Rivet on defense with McCormick-Gaustad-Grier up front. Let's just say there was underwhelming applause when the team was announced to take the ice. Plenty of empty seats in the corners as you would expect.
17:11 left: Ryder goes for hooking, a silly play against the boards in front of the Buffalo bench. The lines have gone like this: McCormick-Gaustad-Grier, Hecht-Roy-Pominville, Vanek-Connolly-Kaleta and Ennis-Niedermayer-Stafford
16:28 left: Just a brutal, brutal play by Connolly, whose back pass to the point goes right by Pominville and sends Brad Marchand off on a breakaway from the Boston line down. Marchand beats Enroth off the post to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. Just a couple seconds before, Connolly didn't pass to a wide-open Stafford in front of the Boston net. It's Marchand's first NHL goal.
15:00 left: Great play by Leopold to break up a 2-on-1.
11:35 left: Shots are 4-2 for Boston as the Sabres continue to be jittery with the puck and in disarray in their own end. Kaleta has tried to go for a couple big hits, clearly to get some momentum going, and missed both times. The building is dead and you can hear the grumbling starting already. This could be one ugly night. At this TV timeout, a nice scoreboard salute for Mike Grier, who is playing in his 1,000th career game. He's one of just 250 players in the NHL to reach that mark. Grier salutes the crowd when he's shown on the bench on the HD board.
9:41 left: Enroth looks pretty ridiculous in goal with his black and red Portland Pirates pads and dark blue pants that don't match the Sabres' new third jersey. Guess they're thinking he's here for one game or what? This isn't the preseason. Give the kid the look at least.
8:29 left: Like every other home game this year. Booooooooooooooooring. (Shots are 6-4 for Boston).
5:45 left: Stafford strips Chara, who has been guilty of a couple giveaways tonight and it's one of the few aggressive plays the Sabres have made. Lo and behold, it leads to a penalty as Dennis Seidenberg goes for holding.
5:06 left: Connolly should be done for the rest of the night. Another giveaway in the Boston zone on the PP and the puck is in the net a few seconds later on a Patrick Bergeron wrister that snapped past Enroth. At least three Sabres were by the puck when Bergeron got it. No excuse. Two shorthanded goals. Disgrace. 2-0.
3:06 left: Is Lindy going to be here tomorrow? Blake Wheeler with a tap-in from in front as Stafford as Morrisonn do nothing about it. 3-0, Boston.
2:25 left: Nathan Horton barely misses making it 4-0.
1:49 left: Connolly for slashing. WHY IS HE ON THE ICE? Maxim Afinogenov used to get benched for far less. We forget up here. Darcy said he was a top-20 center in the league.
1:24 left: Some Bronx cheers for poor Enroth, who makes a solid glove save on a Chara laser.
End-1st: It's 3-0 Boston and shots are 12-9 for the Bruins. This could be one of the ugliest nights in recent Sabres history, folks.
November 3, 2010 - 6:28 PM
We'll have our live blog from tonight's Sabres-Bruins game when faceoff time comes at 7:05 but just wanted to send the word that Jhonas Enroth took the ice first for the pregame warmups. That almost always means he'll be the starting goaltender in place of the injured Ryan Miller.
November 3, 2010 - 12:00 PM
When the Sabres called up Jhonas Enroth to replace injured goalie Ryan Miller, it left their affiliate in the AHL, the Portland Pirates, short a goalie for their game against the Charlotte Checkers and moved David Leggio of Williamsville into the starting role.
After allowing the tying goal in the last second of regulation on Tuesday, Leggio stopped four of five shooters as teammates Luke Adam and Corey Tropp scored to claim a 4-3 victory in the shootout.
Leggio ran his season record to 5-0 with a .925 save percentage and 2.50 goals against average.
The Portland Press details the game and what the Pirates did for a backup goalie.
November 3, 2010 - 11:25 AM
The Sabres are pointing at tonight's home game against Boston as a must-win. They'll have to win without their top player.
Goaltender Ryan Miller, who has a lower-body injury, will miss the game in HSBC Arena. He took only a few shots toward the end of today's morning skate and stretched along the boards as backup Patrick Lalime and minor-league call-up Jhonas Enroth manned the nets.
"He’s not available to play today," said coach Lindy Ruff, who had no timeframe for Miller's return. "Just day-to-day right now."
Ruff would not name a starting goalie for tonight, and Lalime and Enroth ended practice at the same time to not give any clues.
Lalime played in Saturday's 4-0 loss to Dallas. He is 0-2 with a 4.04 goals-against average and .871 save percentage.
"The numbers speak for themselves," Ruff said. "I thought he got off to a good start in the Dallas game. A tipped goal goes in, a screened goal goes in. I think there’s been goals that there’s not a thing you can do about."
Enroth is 4-2 with a 3.51 GAA and .895 save percentage with Portland.
Mike Grier will play his 1,000th game tonight, while Jason Pominville will play his first since suffering a concussion Oct. 11. Audio of his morning chat is below. Defensemen Chris Butler and Mike Weber will be scratched as captain Craig Rivet returns after a two-game benching.
The Sabres are 0-4-1 at home this season.
"I see them being focused this morning," Ruff said. "We had a good meeting before we went out there, and I think all you saw today was focus. It was quiet and determined. I think that’s part of getting ready to win a home game."
November 3, 2010 - 10:25 AM
The Sabres are taking their morning skate for tonight's game against Boston, and they are doing so with three goaltenders. Jhonas Enroth, recalled from Portland, is manning Ryan Miller's usual net while Patrick Lalime is at the opposite end of the ice. Miller, who has a lower-body injury, has been stretching along the boards.
More to come following the post-skate interviews.
November 2, 2010 - 4:02 PM
Sabres goalie Ryan Miller made it through practice today without any problems, but coach Lindy Ruff and Miller wanted to see how he reacted tomorrow morning before deciding whether he would play against the Bruins.
Miller missed practice Monday with a lower-body injury. Ruff would only say that the injury was not his groin while offering no other details. Miller took it easy for most of the workout so he didn't aggravate whatever was bothering him.
The Sabres, obviously, could use him after their worst start in seven years. Plus, they're playing a Boston team that is coming off back-to-back shutout victories. Goalie Tim Thomas has a 6-0 record with a 0.50 goals-against average and .984 save percentage.
"Thomas' numbers are frightening," Ruff said.
Jason Pominville is expected to play tomorrow night for the first time since Oct. 11, when he was pasted into the glass by Niklas Hjalmarsson. Craig Rivet also is returning to the lineup after a two-game stint in the press box. No word yet on which defenseman is coming out, but it will not be Tyler Myers.
Myers had a terrible start to the season -- sophomore slump? -- but Ruff has not reached the point with him that he prepared to bench him for an entire game.
--- Bucky Gleason
November 2, 2010 - 11:40 AM
Sabres goalie Ryan Miller returned to practice this morning in the Northtowns Center after taking Monday off to rest what was termed as a "lower-body" injury. Coach Lindy Ruff expected his No. 1 goalie to be ready for Wednesday night's game against Boston in HSBC Arena.
Ruff was vague about the injury, saying only that Miller was feeling tightness that required treatment Saturday in Dallas and again Sunday back in Buffalo. Ruff also said Miller wasn't injured in a 4-3 overtime loss to Atlanta last Friday.
The Sabres will need Miller this week. They play Boston tomorrow and Montreal on Friday with both games in HSBC Arena before playing in Toronto on Saturday.
--- Bucky Gleason
November 1, 2010 - 6:19 PM
Ryan Miller did not practice this afternoon with the Sabres while recoving from a lower-body injury that was not believed to be serious. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said Miller received treatment Saturday and Sunday and kept the goaltender off the ice after he reported soreness.
Ruff did not reveal details of the injury. Goaltending coach Jim Corsi played in one net at the Northtowns Center while Patrick Lalime played the other for the 80-minute practice. Miller is expected to be back on the ice when the Sabres get back to work Tuesday in preparation for Boston.
Winger Jason Pominville returned to full duty today for the first time since Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson buried him with a check Oct. 11. Winger Nathan Gerbe will be sidelined for a few weeks with a broken jaw, but he participated in drills today. Rookie Luke Adam was returned to Portland.
Also, the Sabres announced in a press release they had agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level deal with former first-round pick Zack Kassian, who is playing for OHL Windsor. Kassian had seven goals and 20 points in his first 13 games with the Spitfires after an extended look in Sabres' training camp.
Kassian, 19, can only be called to Buffalo in an emergency. He was the 13th overall selection in the 2009 draft.
--- Bucky Gleason
Search Sabres Edge
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.
About Sabres Edge
Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, is in his sixth season covering the Buffalo Sabres. 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.
- Nashville hires Housley as assistant coach, eliminating him from Sabres speculation
- Buffalo's Justin Bailey among the prospects who'll attend NHL draft combine
- Sabres re-sign enforcer John Scott to one-year deal
- Bucky & Sully Show: NHL playoffs, Leafs choke?
- Canisius product Conacher getting noticed for Senators
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011