Ar you displeased with the Sabres play over the last two games? Think they're being too sloppy with the puck, or soft in the offensive zone? You're not the only one.
Head coach Lindy Ruff laid down the quote of the year so far at this afternoon's short practice, saying "Every single puck is going to go deep. No more of this pond hockey sh*t." One of the Sabres Achilles heels over the past few seasons has been trouble entering the offensive zone, as they often try to use fancy stick work or hero passes rather than the dump and chase. It'll be interesting to see what effect this has on tomorrow's game at Washington.
Later in the practice, Ruff continued laying down the thunder, chastising the team for their soft defensive play as well, saying, "If they want it, they go through us to get it....It's all real hockey." Thank goodness, I've been getting sick of this fake hockey we've been seeing the past two games.
The other big news from practice aside from Ruff using naughty language (!) was the absence of Thomas Vanek. We heard yesterday that he would get the day off today, but he left a hole in the lineup that resulted in some line juggling. Here's how the forwards were teamed up today.
Of note is Mikhail Girgorenko's move up to the second line to play with Ott and Stafford. The Sabres coaching staff could be giving him every chance to earn that roster spot tomorrow, but Ruff also said that he regretted using Grigorenko last night, and may actually sit the young center to buy more practice time before his five games are up.
Were Vanek to return tomorrow (Ruff is hopeful) I would expect him to stay with Hodgson and Pominville, and either Foligno or Ott to move down to the third or fourth line, unless Grigorenko were to sit.