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Lindy Ruff still roots for the Sabres -- but not tonight

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."

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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 |