CHICAGO -- Lindy Ruff is out of answers with this team. No doubt. But can you blame coaching for Ville Leino's horrific back pass Wednesday night in Chicago? Can you blame coaching for a veteran like Jordan Leopold being on the ice for eight goals against in two games? I don't know about that.
I can blame Ruff for not forcing more accountability from his players. It's my opinion Leino had to sit after his mistake. For a long time. Ruff pointed out correctly Paul Gaustad was hurt and Jochen Hecht was sick. He made some reference to Drew Stafford not playing but that wasn't clear if that was an illness or a benching. He was short on forwards and couldn't be sitting anybody.
Perhaps. But Leino needed to sit for at least a shift to send a message to this team that kind of play is far from acceptable. Especially in a tie game on the road when things were going decently for once.
As for what happened in the postgame press conference, let the record show that Ruff's abrupt departure was not any sort of epic blowup or some sign he's cracking under the pressure of the team's troubles.
I've seen Ruff far more annoyed at other press conferences -- and more annoyed at me than he was tonight. I asked a couple pointed questions, he decided he didn't want to answer and he left. No big deal really. Been there, done that with Ruff and all kinds of managers in baseball. Except for the "Mike, you coach" crack he threw over his shoulder as he headed into his office. I thought that was actually a pretty good line!
And this reminder: Ruff isn't getting fired no matter what you hear. Terry Pegula loves him. It would be a stunner if anything like that happened.
Anyway, if you haven't heard it yet through other outlets, he's the audio from Ruff and Ville Leino. On to Winnipeg. Brrrr.