MONTREAL -- Marc-Andre Gragnani has known since Saturday night he had a rough game against the Penguins. The Sabres' defenseman learned for sure today that it won't cost him a spot in the lineup.
Gragnani will again be on the blue line for the Sabres tonight when the visit the Montreal Canadiens. Buffalo has Mike Weber waiting for a chance to play, but he'll keep waiting.
"You don't want a player to be in a situation where it's one poor game and you've got somebody sitting there you're waiting to put in," coach Lindy Ruff said after the morning skate in Bell Centre. "He has been a difference maker for us in a lot of situations, and he needs to bounce back. It might have been one of his toughest games, especially puck possession-wise, and we're just hoping he can show us in a game and a city that I think he's going to like playing in that he can bounce back and play well."
Gragnani, a Montreal native, likes that one bad showing doesn't equal a spot in the press box, but even he's not sure it's a sound policy.
"I don't think I have any leeway. I'm not saying that it shouldn't be like that, but that's how I feel," Gragnani said. "Being the only rookie on defense, and look at the guys that we have on this team, it's a hell of a D corps, so if I'm not performing like I should be, it's only right that I shouldn't be in the lineup. He obviously puts the six D that he thinks he has the best chance to win, so if I'm not up and ready to perform like I did last year and I did in the first three games of the season, I shouldn't be playing."
To hear Gragnani's interview and Ruff's marathon session with the media, click the audio files below.