By John Vogl
Lindy Ruff has slipped up a few times and said "we" when referring to the Sabres. He'll open the NHL stats booklet to Buffalo occasionally instead of Dallas. It's probably what to expect from a guy who spent half his life in the Sabres' organization before becoming coach of the Stars this season.
But does he find himself rooting for the Sabres?
"Not tonight I can't," said Ruff, who will face the Sabres in First Niagara Center. "I can root in between games. They’re in the East and I root for the city and I root for the team. I want to see them do well."
The Sabres are last in the NHL and in much worse shape than when Ruff was fired in February, but he can see the plan.
"I understand what has happened," he said. "I’ve watched my share of games. I watched games on the way here. I watch some of the young players play, and I understand where they’re at. It’s tough to see where the team is at in the standings, but I watch how these players play and how some of the young players play, and I think there’s a lot of promise there. I know it is really tough, but I understand where they’re at."
Dallas is 4-5-1 this season, so it hasn't been easy sailing for Ruff, either. He says he's made some changes to his coaching style, but at least one thing hasn't changed.
"He’s trying to have fun every day," Stars defenseman Sergei Gonchar said. "He’s very serious about what he does. He’s a professional, but at the same time he’s trying to have fun. I think that carries on to the team."
Ruff, who's said he'll always remain a Western New Yorker, let his new Texas roots show at the end of his chat.
"Thank you," Ruff said. "Great seeing y’all. Y’all."