The Sabres had an optional workout today in HSBC Arena. The chatter focused mostly on staying out of the penalty box and taking advantage of the atmosphere in the arena Monday night for Game Three against the Flyers.
Coach Lindy Ruff had a passionate set of answers for reporters standing at the podium in the arena interview room. Ruff said he's looking forward to having the energy from the fans feed his team. Of course, he wants his scorers on the ice and not on the bench while his special-teams units are killing penalties.
The Sabres were short-handed for an incredible 15 minutes, 49 seconds of Saturday's 5-4 loss and that hurt the ice time of players like Thomas Vanek, Tyler Ennis and Nathan Gerbe. Ruff said those guys have to be ready to perform whenever called, even if it's been a while.
"I need every guy when they go on the ice to not have an excuse for not being involved," he said. "I don't care if you sit there for four minutes, five minutes. It's go out there, be ready, stand on the bench and do jumping jacks if you have to because you know the next shift might be the most important shift of the series. Let's throw all the excuses in the trash can and just say, Man this next shift I'm going to be the difference maker.' "
Ruff loves how this team has competed for the last four months. The Sabres have yet to lose two straight under Pegula and tomorrow would not be the time to start.
Joked Ruff: "We knew that we couldn't afford to go on any type of two-game, three-game little slide or I wouldn't be standing here and they wouldn't be in the dressing room and you guys would be doing baseball stories right now."
For Ruff's complete interview, including more thoughts on Terry Pegula and the new owner's first home playoff game, click below.