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BTB: RUFF HOPES BENCHING CAUSES REBUTTAL

Tuesday, 01.19.2010 / 3:47 PM ET / Blogs - Beyond the Boards
By Erin Pollina  - Sabres.com
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BTB: RUFF HOPES BENCHING CAUSES REBUTTAL
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Tim Kennedy (Getty Images)
Tim Kennedy is getting the Drew Stafford treatment from Head Coach Lindy Ruff this week.

The rookie centerman took a seat in the press box Monday night as the Sabres took on the Coyotes, claiming a convincing 7-2 win in Phoenix. The outing marking the first time that Kennedy has been a healthy scratch this season.

Ruff’s philosophy of benching a struggling player has worked in the past – most recently with Stafford.

The winger was scratched Dec. 27, missing a game in St. Louis. He responded the following game by scoring two goals and an assist – including one on a penalty shot – in Buffalo’s 4-3 comeback win against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“He’s had a couple rough ones,” Ruff said of Kennedy, who was limited to 9:32 minutes of ice time in his last game against the Islanders. “I came to the rink and sat down with him this morning, and talked to him about his previous game. It’s not unusual to have a young player start to fall a little bit. Sometimes to sit up there and watch how hard you have to compete and watch how well you have to play, it’s a good opportunity to bounce back.”

The team’s morning skate was optional Tuesday as the Sabres prepare to take on the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center at 10 p.m. Lindy Ruff is likely sticking with the same lineup from the game in Phoenix, so Kennedy may have to wait another game to make an impact.

Stay tuned to sabres.com for more information or click here to participate in tonight’s LIVE game blog.

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