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Ruff's Press Conference Transcript (5/23)

Tuesday, 05.23.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
Buffalo Sabres | Press Release
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Ruff\'s Press Conference Transcript (5\/23)
Below is the transcript from Lindy Ruff's morning press conference with the media at HSBC Arena.

Q: How is Teppo [Numminen] doing?

A: Um, Teppo is still day-to-day, he feels better today, and we'll see tomorrow.

Q: Lindy, How about Mair and Connolly? I know Mair is in Pittsburgh today, I think, getting checked over.

A: Yeah, if the doctors there clear him [Mair] for playing, he would be available to us tomorrow. And Connolly is still day-to-day.

Q: You gave the odds of Teppo playing in Game 2 at 50-50... are they any better now?

A: Yeah, probably 60-40 now.

Q: How about Kalinin?

A: He's still week-to-week.

Q: Is Tim [Connolly] at least making progress?

A: Uh, yeah. He's making progress. Yeah.

Q: Is there physical activity for him?

A: Yeah. He's getting some exercise.

Q: But he hasn't skated at all...

A: No, He's been on the ice...

Q: Can you talk a little about how the treatment of concussions has changed from when you played until now, with the baseline testing and the seven-day rule?

A: There was no testing. You know, you got knocked out cold, and when you felt better, you played again. Uh, you know, it's a tough area. You know, I got knocked out a couple of times, and had teammates knocked out, and there wasn't much for a follow up and much known about them at the time. Players are bigger, stronger, faster, the impacts are a lot greater, and I think it's an area that we as a league and as coaches need to be responsible for our players and put their health and safety ahead of anything else.

Q: Is it a case of without it [baseline testing] they'd want to come back and probably in most cases they'd be playing?

A: Yeah. I think in most cases, yeah, and that's the mentality of the athlete. Players are being pretty honest when they're coming out of those symptoms, or they have symptoms or don't have those symptoms.

Q: Can you give us a sense of Teppo's experience?

A: Well, I think you miss it. You can't replace the 18 years of experience, the poise he shows under pressure. He's a great outlet-passer that can find people when you're under pressure. But we've been a team that hasn't used excuses all year and we're not going to use excuses now for losing a hockey game.

Q: Lindy, was there a sense that this team showed some frustration for the first time yesterday where things didn't go your way and maybe you didn't have enough patience to ...

A: Well, you know, I've said we've been the model of a team, and if you want to take all the collective parts, last night we weren't that good. Did we get frustrated? Yeah, we got frustrated. Uh, I think that, uh, we did some things that weren't characteristic of our team that you have to push aside... You know, that all the chips are on the table, and you want to move forward, and when things don't go right you get a little frustrated. We talked about that frustration this morning. If somebody had said before we left on this trip we'd come back 1-1, I think everybody in this town would have been happy, the coaches would be happy, but it's how we ended up 1-1, after winning the first game playing the way we did, which you know, we're not going to question anybody in that room. We're going focus on Game 3 in our building with our fans, and I think you are going to see a totally different team.

Q: Is it necessarily or maybe not necessarily a reminder of how good Carolina is and how good they can play?

A: I think it was a very good reminder, you know, they beat two very good hockey teams, and they're in the Eastern Conference Final for a reason, that they're a very good hockey team. We might have caught them a little napping, maybe, in Game 1 at times, but they didn't have much down time in Game 2. And I would expect a likeness of that out of our team tomorrow.

Q: [inaudible]

A: We talked about some situations but yeah, their lines were better than ours, we gave up odd-numbered situations that we never give up, and some of it was just not playing our system. And I think if you're going to take them for granted, you're going to see that, those kinds of situations against us, and I thought we did at times.

Q: Do you think that you're going to go with Derek [Roy] back on left wing, is that a look that you like, going with him on left wing?

A: No decision on that yet, no. We may do it, we may not, we took a little peak at it today but we haven't made a decision on that yet.

Q: Would that be more you'd rather see him [Derek Roy] there than Thomas [Vanek] not being in the lineup like you did against Ottawa, is that what you are thinking there?

A: I'm not going to speculate on what I was thinking there... it would take too long.

Q: When it comes to the odd-man rushes going the other way, is that all tied to what you just mentioned?

A: Yeah, I think as a team we were out of sync, I think we just got frustrated. We should... I still gotta give credit, because at the start of the third, we came to play. They came to play, and they got some good calls with their diving antics early in the game, and when we came to play, we earned a few calls and got back a little bit in the game, and if it wasn't for them rescuing one early, we might have made a game of it, even in the third period.

Q: [Inaudible]

A: Well, I am going to lay it in the hands of that line that they've got to be better, but you've got to understand, they've got a big target on that line too, just like we've got to target the Forsberg line or target the Spezza line, you know, give them credit, they're going to try their best to shut down what they believe to be our best line, and we've got to ask our best line to be even better than they were.

Q: Did you warn your players that they seem to leave their feet when they hit, that that may be coming, I think they got called for that once, that they may leave their feet in a dangerous situation like that?

A: Well, you know, I thought they had a few that just their feet for no reason at all, and the leaving their feet, leaving their feet and hitting, that's got to be called, uh, I though overall the game had some strange moments when it came to that.

Q: The other coach said the same thing last night about you ...

A: Well yeah, what I think we tried to do was take a page from them, you know, we found a couple of their players, especially early in the game, you know, you don't even have to touch them and down they go. You've got to fight fire with fire... He ought to be worrying about his players... I got that from [Philadelphia Flyers Head Coach Ken] Hitchcock, too...

Q: How much of a factor is that, where they're coming after your guys and you know?

A: Well, I think this is the time of the year, where when you're the coach, you play whatever card you can play. They know we've got two of our top defensemen out, and if they can get another one, obviously that would sway in their favor. So that's it, this is anything goes.

Q: And the elbow in the head to Campbell or whatever it may be?

A: Yeah, you know, I think that's to be expected, I have no beef with that. I think that, uh, there was desperation in Game 2, when a guy like Stillman can throw that, I think that just tells, there's a guy who's won a cup and was going to send a message that we're coming to play, and I've been there before, and I'm going to lead the way. And I think that was a pretty good statement by him, so I don't have a problem with it.

Q: You mentioned that earlier, it was in their building with their fans, how is that going to translate to tomorrow?

A: Yeah, we'll see, It's going to be interesting, I think our guys are going to be jacked up, It'll be our fans, we played a pretty humbling game, and I think it's our turn to respond.
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