NHL – Buffalo Sabres’ 2013 Season

11 Feb

As the 2012 NHL season wound down last year, and it became apparent that the Buffalo Sabres were again going to miss the playoffs, I wrote 2 different posts on this blog, one titled “Why Lindy Ruff Should Be Fired” and “Lindy Ruff’s Last Stand”, both calling for the coach to be relieved of his duties, as that seemed to be the only way this stale franchise could be revived. Unfortunately, both Ruff and GM Darcy Regier are still running the show, and owner Terry Pegula, instead of following through on his promise to pursue the Stanley Cup, has remodeled the team’s locker room and built a monument to the French Connection line, a fitting tribute to the linemates who thrilled fans in past years, but also never won a Cup.

The French Connection 


My comment on Ruff after last season was that he should be fired, but that Pegula was obviously enamored with him so he’d be back this year, but would be on a short leash as fans would accept nothing less than a fast start and a team that contends for a playoff spot. Instead, the Sabres have been wildly inconsistent, and have been guilty of all kinds of defensive breakdowns while playing Ruff’s defensive “system”. The roster was remade to Ruff’s liking, as tough guys like Steve Ott and John Scott were added.  The results have been the same, as the team continues to struggle and ranks in the bottom of the NHL standings. In the lockout-shortened 48-game season, no team can afford to play as inconsistently as the Sabres have and expect to make the playoffs. I also noted in that season-ending post that the players were grumbling on locker cleanout day about the way Ruff treats them – the biggest complainer, Derek Roy, was traded to Dallas for Ott – and that the players were grown men and certainly didn’t appreciate being treated like 5 year olds by their coach, with his childish punitive punishments for making mistakes.  I had to shake my head when I read that during a practice session recently, if the players didn’t cover a shooter in time, they were forced to do push-ups. Ruff insisted it wasn’t “punishment”, and none of the players publicly complained, but I guarantee you they’ve had enough of that type of treatment. They need their coach to come up with some answers, which he hasn’t. It’s a shame but it looks like the Sabres will muddle through to another non-playoff year. I can’t see Pegula rationalizing that away and continuing to support his coach and GM when the organization just keeps spinning its’ wheels.


Posted in Hockey

  1. Noel Lawrence

    June 11, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Well, the Sabres faced the Bruins and they won. They won big. We saw the Sabres play like they haven’t played during this season.

  2. Gracie Bray

    June 7, 2013 at 2:38 am

    Ruff is a tough-love coach, and players have long thought he could be too hard on them. Ruff acknowledged that and changed his style a bit this season, and Regier said communication with players was never better.

  3. Elmo A. Schwartz

    May 26, 2013 at 4:44 am

    If you heard Ryan Miller in his “locker clean out – end of season” media session…he talked about this team getting the swagger back and he has talked about that before. It’s easy to point to the players to get that swagger back but sometimes it’s the coach that is the problem.

  4. Fritz Frank

    May 8, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Ruff gave the team a system to play, however, his players weren’t responding to it. At the end of the season last year, they went on a hot run. Everyone around the league thought that they would sneak into the eighth seed. Ultimately, they would fall short to the Ottawa Senators by just three points in the standings.