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Lindy on giving up short-handed goals: 'I'm not going to coach the game scared'

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- With no morning skate today, Lindy Ruff just held his pregame session with the media upon his team's arrival at the XCel Energy Center for tonight's matchup against the Minnesota Wild. On the injury front, Ruff said Jochen Hecht and Mike Grier were both day to day and Grier was feeling better today. So that's a good sign.

In the wake of yesterday's win in Philadelphia, I asked Ruff about his club's continued penchant for giving up short-handed goals and what adjustments the Sabres might make. Frankly, I'm of the ilk to scrap four-forward alignments, especially with Tim Connolly at the point, and spend more time just using two defensemen back there.

The Sabres have scored only two shorties and have given up an NHL-high 12, with Kimmo Timonen's goal yesterday coming after Ruff called a timeout hoping his power play would produce a 4-2 lead. But they're plus-11 on the season in all other goal situations. Ruff would have none of my thought of going a little more defensive at times as the season winds down.

"I'm not going to coach the game scared if we get scored against because we're trying to score goals in key situations," he said. "The appropriate measure in yesterday's game was to try to make sure we get the fourth goal. If we change our power play unit, all it does is send a message that we don't want to score and we're going to take a safer approach. I don't think we're at that place at this time of the season."

Hard to argue with that. Ruff wants to go for it. I really liked the answer. It was a defiant, push-forward attitude reflective of how this team has played lately.

A point today finally puts Buffalo into eighth place. The Sabres are 4-0-2 in their last six overall and 7-1-1 in their last nine on the road. Going back even more, they're 17-7-4 since Dec. 28 and 28-16-6 since Nov. 5.

I guess he can say who am I to argue, right? We'll see.

Stay tuned for today's live blog.

---Mike Harrington


Sabres | 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 |

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 |

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 |