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RUFF SPEAKING VOLUMES AT PRACTICE

Thursday, 03.04.2010 / 2:54 PM / News
By Erin Pollina  - Sabres.com
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RUFF SPEAKING VOLUMES AT PRACTICE
Lindy Ruff (Getty Images)
While there may not have been 18,000 fans at HSBC Arena on Thursday afternoon, it was still relatively noisy as the Buffalo Sabres hit the ice.

Head Coach Lindy Ruff had returned for his first non-game day practice following a two-week Olympic break. And after back-to-back losses to Pittsburgh and Washington, the boss wasn’t too happy with what he saw from his players:

Break downs in the system and overall loss of cohesiveness were partially to blame, but the chief concern was loud and clear – a lack of communication.

“Do the Slovaks talk?” Ruff asked Andrej Sekera. “Are you ready?” Ruff barked to another. “I said, are you ready?” He harped on players to get to the front of the net and demanded others talked to their linemates. When they didn’t – his response was simple: “Louder!”

“Part of our play in the first 30 games stem from; puck support, knowing where people are at, hearing another guy’s voice,” Ruff said following the 45-minute workout. “Watching the game again this morning, I would swear half the team had muzzles on.

“It makes it tough. When you’re under pressure, the only thing you can trust is somebody else’s voice, and the fact that he has to be in a certain place for us. The support has to be there.”

But is the message getting through?

“They get it,” Ruff said. “We’ve got a meeting with our core group after this. There is concern, but we know we’re a good team. We know we’ve got a goaltender that can win us games, we’ve got a group of forwards that can put the puck in the net enough to win games and we’ve already proven that we can defend with the best teams, and against the best teams.”

Ruff opted for a new look to help the team do so.

Tim Connolly centered Thomas Vanek and Drew Stafford while Tim Kennedy was bumped up a line, in between Jochen Hecht and Mike Grier.

The Sabres’ newest addition, Raffi Torres, skated alongside Derek Roy and Jason Pominville, while Adam Mair, Matt Ellis and Pat Kaleta rounded out the fourth unit.

“Its been two weeks off,” Ruff said in returning. “I’ve been gone for 10 days of practice and I don’t care what you say, when the substitute teacher is there when you were in school, you goofed off.

“Now its back to focus and determination to play the system… and play it hard.”

The Sabres play the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night, 7:30 p.m. at HSBC Arena. The Sabres are encouraging fans to Go Red For Women. For more information click here.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82