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Leafs wary of Sabres being fired up by coaching change

By John Vogl

TORONTO -- The biggest unknown for tonight's game between Buffalo and Toronto is how the Sabres will respond to the firing of coach Lindy Ruff.

Will they be fired up and eager to show they can play?

Will they be too stunned to perform?

Will they just keep shuffling along as they've been doing and play like a 27th-place club?

The Maple Leafs are banking on the first option.

"Especially with a new coach coming in, they're going to be fired up and want to show him what they've got," forward Nazem Kadri said today in Air Canada Centre.

The Leafs have their own motivation: to make the playoffs. They haven't reached the postseason since 2004, but they are in position now. They are tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference with 20 points from a 10-7 record. They are 5-2 in the last seven games.

Now they just have to hold off the Sabres.

"We know they're going to come hard," center Tyler Bozak said. "There's a lot of season left."


Toronto Maple Leafs
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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 |

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 |

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 |