First let me start by apologizing for my absence from the site the past couple of days. Sometimes things pop up without any notice but coolman has been here to keep you updated. I had already planned on writing someting tonight but the recent developments regarding Ruff and Regier prompted me to change the topic.
If you read my post about Lindy Ruff the other day, you are probably expecting me to rip the Sabres for keeping him. Well I'm not going to do that in this post. In fact, I am fine with the Sabres keeping Lindy Ruff in his current job. I admit that when I first read the news I was a little upset but I thought about it and I read this story from the Buffalo News.
There were a couple of quotes in that story that helped me come around on keeping Ruff and there were some other interesting quotes as well.
How could I change my mind after being so critical of him? This quote changed my mind...
"We know them real well," Quinn said in a phone call with The News. "The issues that we had were not about their abilities. We wanted to see if they had the energy, the vision, if they could still keep it fresh, if they could honestly look at what went wrong, if we get people to look at it and go along for the ride."
I have publicly stated on numerous occasions that Lindy Ruff is a good hockey coach. I just thought that he tried a little bit too hard this season and maybe he did a little bit too much thinking. If Ruff can figure out what he did wrong this season and correct those mistakes, he may be the man to lead this team back to the post-season.
There was another interesting quote from Larry Quinn that really made me start thinking.
"We just know who the players are that are critical to the success of this team," Quinn said. "Players have got to be involved if we’re going to have success. It’s not a case of the inmates running the asylum, but if we’re going ask them to step up and assume leadership, they have to be part of the process."
It made me start wondering who those players are. Is he talking about Derek Roy, Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, Ryan Miller? Is it some combination of those players? The Sabres have committed to those players financially and you have to think that they want to get maximum production from those players.
Nobody is going to question the production of Ryan Miller but the other three were all questioned at times this season. Lindy Ruff criticized Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek many times and often kept Vanek on the bench at crucial moments of the game.
I don't know if anyone knows or will ever know the answers to these questions but this should make for an interesting off-season. As we watch the NHL Playoffs get underway, we have plenty of time to wonder about the Sabres.