The Sabres' experiments to get their power play moving will continue. They mixed the units up earlier in the week, but that didn't help as they went 0 for 3 during Tuesday's 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay. The blanking dropped the Sabres to just 1 for 17 with the man-advantage during the last six games.
The next step may be to rotate Christian Ehrhoff at the blue line. The defenseman proved during the preseason and the opening two games that his shot from the point is potent. Teams noticed and are trying to get in his shot lanes.
"His decision to try and shoot through people is something that we’d like to change a little bit," coach Lindy Ruff said after practice today in First Niagara Center. "Teams know what Christian’s strength is, and it is his shot. He had the one really good look [Tuesday], and it wasn’t much wide but it was wide. We may have to put him up top at times, give teams a little bit different look instead of having the one-timer from the side, have it from the middle of the ice. There’s different looks we can approach the game with."
The Sabres host Columbus on Thursday, and the visit by the Blue Jackets could help heal the power-play ailment. Though Columbus beat Detroit on Tuesday for its first victory, the team ranks last in the NHL in penalty killing at just 67.7 percent.
"Obviously, they went through a tough time very similar to what we went through at the start of last year," Ruff said. "That should really pick that team up, give them a little bit of boost. Beating Detroit is no easy task, so to get on the board against them is a big step in the right direction."
To hear all of Ruff's comments from today, click the audio file below.