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Beyond The Boards


Friday, 09.16.2011 / 5:09 PM ET
By Kevin Snow - (@kwsnow) / BEYOND THE BOARDS
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Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff met with the media this morning, as the players went through on-ice testing at First Niagara Center during the first official day of training camp. Here are some of the key highlights from Ruff’s session:

On the health of the team:
“Everybody is good, we didn’t have one issue through medicals this morning.” That includes Jason Pominville, who Ruff said “skated well through the testing day.”

Discussing newcomer Ville Leino and his possible linemates:
“He’d be good with a goal scorer; he’s the type of guy who hangs on to the puck and prefers to make plays versus shooting the puck. I’d like to try him with Staff … We definitely have some good options, even throwing a guy like Brad Boyes out there with Ville.”

Talking about other possible line combinations:
“I’d like to go back to Vanek with Pominville and Roy to start with … … I love writing down stuff on paper because I can just crumple it up and throw it out. I call them paper lines because they look good on paper, but when they get on the ice, they just don’t gel.”

How he plans to manage Jhonas Enroth in the backup role:
“Part of my job is that I have to keep Jhonas ready to play. It’s easy to get him in if you’re playing four games in six nights. But again, I’m gonna make decisions that if he’s really playing well, we’ll keep him going irregardless of the fact that we have Ryan.”

Commenting on a visibly leaner and stronger Drew Stafford:
“Coming into last year, I think he got himself into exceptional shape. He went with the same program and tried to build off that. He may be a few pounds lighter, but he’s even stronger. He’s got himself where he thinks he can play at an elite level. Last year was a great year, and with a little better conditioning this year, we hope he can build on that.” Ruff said that Stafford’s physical change was very obvious – “I noticed it when he first came to town. It was one of those when the eyebrows go up.”

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