Lindy Ruff retained for one more year


One of the off-season coaching questions that came up after the Buffalo Sabres were eliminated from the playoffs was whether or not there would be any fallout from a semi-surprising failure by the third seeded Buffalo Sabres. Head coach Lindy Ruff has been with the team since the 1997-1998 season and some fans are getting anxious about continued failure. Those fans may have to sit tight for another year if they’re eager for change, however.

Buffalo Sabres Minority Owner/Managing Partner Larry Quinn announced today the Sabres have picked up the one-year contract option on head coach Lindy Ruff’s contract. Ruff is now under contract with Buffalo through the 2010-11 season.

Unsurprisingly, Ruff is winningest coach in Sabres history and in Ruff’s 12 seasons behind the bench, the generally salary-restricted Sabres have missed the playoffs just five times and have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals four times, winning just once in the ill-fated 1998-1999 season when the Sabres lost to Dallas in the Stanley Cup Finals.

For those wondering about general manager Darcy Regier, he has one more
year left on his contract so it could be the last chance these two guys to get something done together and get the Sabres back to the Finals. That said, anyone expecting big changes from the Sabres based upon a disappointing first round loss aren’t too familiar with how the Sabres work as the last time they had any major upheaval in personnel was when former coach Ted Nolan was unceremoniously disposed of after winning the Jack Adams trophy as coach of the year in 1997.

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    No hearing scheduled for Burmistrov after Bergeron headshot

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    Winnipeg forward Alex Burmistrov isn’t in line for a disciplinary hearing for his elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron on Thursday night, an NHL spokesman confirmed to PHT.

    Burmistrov was tagged with an illegal check to the head minor late in the first period. Bergeron received a minor roughing penalty for retaliating on the Russian forward, but was able to finish the contest.

    Afterward, B’s head coach Claude Julien expressed frustration with the hit.

    “It will be interesting how that is being reviewed, and especially to an elite player in the league who’€™s had some [concussion] issues in the past,” Julien said, per WEEI. “I hope they look at it seriously. In my mind, I don’€™t see why there wouldn’t be further consequences [for] that.”

    Bergeron said that, while it was “definitely a hit to the head,” Burmistrov did come up to him afterward and apologized.

    According to sources of CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, Burmistrov received a warning from the Department of Player Safety.


    After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

    Claude Julien

    The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

    Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

    Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
    Joe MorrowKevan Miller
    Matt IrwinZach Trotman

    And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

    That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

    “I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

    But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

    “It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

    And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

    Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

    All in all, it was a tough night.

    “We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

    The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.