By Mike Harrington
This year's shortened NHL schedule doesn't allow any game -- win or loss -- to linger, so it's probably a good thing the Buffalo Sabres had less than 24 hours to stew over yesterday's debacle in Montreal before meeting the Florida Panthers today at 3 in First Niagara Center.
The clarion calls to bench either or both of Tyler Myers/Jordan Leopold can't be heard today. Andrej Sekera's sore left ankle, struck by a shot yesterday, will keep him out of the lineup. T.J. Brennan comes in and the Sabres are down to six healthy defensemen. Ruff said the team is hopeful Sekera's injury is only a short-term item and Sekera was seen walking the dressing room hallway with no limp.
"We've really had some defensemen that have struggled," Ruff said during his pregame media briefing in the 1 o'clock hour. "That has been evident. You have to put those mistakes behind you in a real tight schedule like this. You can't dwell on those mistakes. ... We'll try to clean them up for today."
Ruff was blunt when asked how shocked he was to have a team that's given up the second-most goals in the NHL.
"[Defense] is one thing we take pride in as a team,' Ruff said. "We want to be good offensively. At the same time, we want to be a strong defensive team. We started off with a couple games where I thought we played pretty strong, got away from it, had another game where we were pretty strong. Yesterday's game is just something you want to dump in the trash can.
"You can name it, we did it. From penalties to giveaways to bad decisions. But you can't dwell on it. We've got to live for today."
In other updates from Ruff:
---Robyn Regehr (ankle) is doing better and could be back on the ice in a few days.
---Ville Leino (hip) tried to skate this morning and the coach offered a cryptic "no change" on his status. Which means he's still a long ways away.
---Ruff wouldn't tip his hand on his starting goaltender. We'll have to wait until warmups.
Click below to hear audio from Ruff's session, which also includes his thoughts on the goal-less Drew Stafford.
taggedAndrej Sekera | Lindy Ruff