Is Ruff Enough?

With the Sabres holding an abominable — sarcasm — 2-3 record through five games, I’m reading an awful lot about how Lindy Ruff needs to be removed from his post as head coach. After all, he ruins all European players (except Thomas Vanek and most of the other Euros he’s coached) and the 18-year-old kid that 11 other teams passed on hasn’t scored yet (BUT HE’S RUSSIAN, NICK).

So why is Lindy Ruff still the coach of the team? I mean, the team has missed the playoffs thrice since the lockout and a few times before that. He hasn’t won the Stanley Cup and has only developed several players that other teams totally discarded (Daniel Briere and Jason Pominville among them. BUMS).

Well the reason is, Cups aside (and I acknowledge this is a major point of emphasis), he’s good. He’s consistent. And while Sabres fans who like Ruff are “settling for mediocrity,” let’s hit some numbers up:

 

I’d like to get point on Ruff without getting into all the specifics of which teams suffered major injuries or other anomalies, because let’s face it: all teams including the Sabres have dealt with issues. In terms of “consistency” (Column: TOTAL), the Sabres are the fifth best team since the lockout. They fall behind New Jersey, the Rangers, Pittsburgh and Washington. It kinda shocked me to realize the Penguins have only been to two conference finals like Buffalo. The two teams share the lead in Eastern Conference Finals appearances with Philadelphia and Carolina. While no team has made the playoffs in all seven seasons since the lockout, Buffalo does fall behind a resounding 8 teams who have made the playoffs in more seasons than Buffalo.

What’s the major difference? Well, we’ve been through this before… A BUNCH. Buffalo hasn’t bottomed out. Every team ahead of them had the opportunity to select an absolute top-notch prospect (like Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek) since the lockout. Philadelphia and their Rathje Monoliths bottomed out. Pittsburgh did it for several years and even got the benefit of the NHL rigging the lottery because Mario Lemieux’s a crybaby.

So that’s why you won’t find me calling for Lindy Ruff’s head any time before the end of the season. If he misses the playoffs for a second consecutive year again, let’s roll with the new. But the fact of the matter is that Buffalo’s 2-3 five games through a 48-game season, tied with 100,000 other teams for the Nos. 6-13 seed and when they beat the Leafs in a couple days… well, they’ll be rolling into Boston and we’ll be talking about their chances at a division title. Bummer, right?

Email: nick@fcbuffalo.org

2 Responses to Is Ruff Enough?

  1. Bill says:

    Well Said nick!

  2. ST says:

    The glare of the bright side can cause serious blindness when squinting exposure lasts for too long. That said…

    I’m not panicking. Because, well, I never panic over anything, least of all a sports team. But, I can too easily see this oh-don’t-worry-about-it 2-3 start becoming an officially slooooow 2-6 start. I hope that Sabres fans aren’t counting on an automatic “W” against Toronto. The Leafs aren’t good. But, they want this next game bad. Especially because it’s at the Effin Center. They will come to play. Hard. And there will be fights. I mean, other than the ones in the stands.

    Then, it’s two roadies at BOS and MTL.

    2-6, very possible, in my opinion. If so, should Lindy be fired? The question is moot. He will NOT be fired. Not as long as Pegula is on the plane home. And even if the Blue & Gold should miss the playoffs again this year, it is still going to take a jackhammer to remove Ruff’s nameplate from the door to his office as Head Coach.

    Terry simply loves him some Lindy. Sabres fans prayed for a savior as their new owner. Well, prayers were answered. They got a guy with local roots, a gazillionaire, and, a puppy love struck stubbornly loyal…

    Fan.