If you have any doubts about Lindy Ruff's coaching ability, it's time the naysayers take notice.
Coming off of a two game home stand where the Sabres were outscored 10-4 and posted consecutive losses, Lindy Ruff stated that their play and inherent results were unacceptable, and that they would need to make some improvements.
After two days of intense practice, they did just that.
The Sabres came roaring back with a 5-0 shutout against the Washington Capitals last night. Some will say that was probably the most complete game the team has played all season, and Ruff couldn't be happier about the shutout.
"The last seven minutes I said we were playing for our goaltender," Ruff said in the post-game interview. "We locked it down and didn't give up that great opportunity. Guys were real responsible all game, and that was important." Miller made saves on all 29 shots that were thrown at him, posting his eighth career shutout.
"Those [hard practices] aren’t fun but on the other hand, it worked," Pominville said. “That’s what he wanted. He wanted to send a message and everyone understood." Pominville scored his third goal of the season midway through last night's contest.
Thomas Vanek continued his hot streak, posting two more goals to make his total 11. "Right now, I'm just trying to stay hot," said Vanek when asked how it felt to be leading the NHL in goals.
This has seemed to be a breakout season for the young star, who has had his talent questioned by many after suffering mediocrity after the losses of Daniel Briere and Chris Drury.
Tim Connolly returned from the injury report last night, and showcased why the Sabres have kept him around despite his injuries.
He posted an assist and looked sharp on the pass and fore-check. He was also instrumental in puck movement and retaining control of the offensive zone.
The Sabres next test comes on the road against a New Jersey that as of late, has had Buffalo's number. But Lindy Ruff has faith in the team, and their ability to win. And after watching how resilient this team has been under him, we're all starting to believe just a little bit more.