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Ruff says Sabres need more from Gragnani with McNabb out; Finley called up

UNIONDALE, L.I. -- Sabres defenseman Brayden McNabb is still in Buffalo after suffering a possible concussion Friday night, so the team has called up blue-liner Joe Finley for tonight's game against the New York Islanders.

Coach Lindy Ruff, though, will have his eyes on defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani.

Gragnani has played 9:03 or less in the last three games. With McNabb out, someone will need to play more. Ruff wants Gragnani to earn it.

"I need him to play harder defensively," Ruff said this evening in Nassau Coliseum. "His minutes went way down because his battle … we know what he can bring offensively, but his battle on the defensive side of it wasn’t good enough. He’s on the ice for too many scoring chances that he himself can do something personally about. The minutes dropped down.

"I think that was the reason he didn’t get here sooner [spending four seasons in the minors]. His battle was better last year when he got here, and it needs to get to a higher level because we’re at a desperate stage right now."

McNabb, meanwhile, is still feeling the effects of a collision with Toronto's Nazem Kadri.

"He’s still not doing well today," Ruff said. "It’s going to be a little bit."

The full audio of Ruff's chat is below.

---John Vogl

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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 | [email protected]

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 | [email protected]


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 | [email protected]

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