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Giving the NHL a Ruff Ride for the 400th Time
by November 30, 1999 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Oct 16th 2008 5:34PM by Tom Luongo (author feed)
Filed under: Rangers, Sabres, NHL GeneralLast night the Buffalo Sabres defeated the New York Rangers to advance to 3-0-0 on the new season, ending the Rangers bid for their best start in that franchise’s history. But, the big story of the night was not the emergence of a Devils-like commitment to defense by both teams and the singularly boring hockey it produced, but rather that this game marked the 400th career win of Head Coach Lindy Ruff. We can all read the news wire about where that places him in the grand scheme of things (23rd all time in wins). What makes the story, of course, is that he’s done it all with one team, the one where he played most of his professional career. While 125 other guys (after today’s action) have been hired, fired, scapegoated or only retired, Ruff has made it work in Buffalo as part of a management group that stands as a model for stability even if the ownership hasn’t been.

This is a guy so well loved by the fans in Buffalo that when he was fined by the league for the brawl vs. Ottawa after the side-swipe Chris Neil put on Chris Drury in 2007 that the local businesses raised the funds to cover it. Ruff, of course, didn’t accept it, but rather had the money donated to charity.

For me, Ruff is the face of this franchise, not Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek or Jason Pominville. When Ruff speaks, I listen, and listen carefully. I may talk about the things that Regier does in terms of personnel more, mostly because it’s easier, but what Ruff does with those players to convince them to play at the level they do is what’s most impressive to me. I’m consistently awed by how badly ex-Sabres play when they leave Buffalo, and I keep wondering when the other GM’s are going to realize just how much they’re being duped and stop buying up our UFA’s or trading us their unpolished diamonds.

*cough* Briere *cough*Continue Reading


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