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Beyond The Boards


Sunday, 10.2.2011 / 9:12 AM ET
By Kevin Snow - (@kwsnow) / BEYOND THE BOARDS
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MANNHEIM, GERMANY --- Just hours after landing in Germany, Lindy Ruff put the Buffalo Sabres through a spirited one-hour practice at the SAP Arena. The team touched down at 8:50 a.m. local time (2:50 a.m. ET), and was at the rink two hours later. Ruff said it was important to keep the players in a constant state of motion as they prepare for Tuesday’s exhibition game against Adler Mannheim.

“I think to just get the legs underneath you, and break up what’s going to be a long day. We want to try and stay on schedule, and make sure that everybody stays up and gets back on what would be our North American schedule,” he explained. “We have stressed the importance of staying on schedule, and not laying down and ending up with a three-hour nap and then you can’t sleep during the night.”

Ruff was very pleased with how the Sabres reacted to the lengthy skate.

“I actually thought they looked pretty good. We kept it a little on the lighter side. But overall I thought the boys skated pretty well.”

Thomas Vanek referred to the international sized ice surface at SAP Arena as an “ocean,” but doesn’t foresee any adjustment problems for the Sabres.

“We come out of the corners back home and it’s a scoring chance. Whereas over here, you’re still a mile away. But I think it’s going to be fun. We’re a good skating team and I think we’ll get used to it pretty quickly.”

Ruff tinkered with the lines somewhat at practice. Nathan Gerbe moved up to play with Derek Roy and Drew Stafford, while Brad Boyes took Stafford’s spot on the Leino/Ennis line. Luke Adam centered Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville; and Patrick Kaleta skated with a four-man group that also consisted of Paul Gaustad, Matt Ellis and Cody McCormick. Jochen Hecht skated in a non-contact role, and isn’t expected to play in Tuesday’s exhibition against his former German club team.
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