Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff has the unenviable task of motivating his team to win down the stretch and find a way to get into the postseason and he’s got a fun way to motivate his team. Ruff tells John Vogl of The Buffalo News that the easiest way for his team to make the playoffs is to just win every game.
“Win 10 of them,” Ruff said today Tampa Bay Times Forum. “”That’s the overriding, trying to put 10 of them together.”
Ruff also says he needs his players to be difference makers and that guys missing opportunities means that making the playoffs will be a lot harder than it already is. You hear that Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek, and Tyler Myers? No pressure though guys, you just need to go unbeaten to impress the coach.
That’s not to say it’s impossible to do, but only two teams have gone on double-digit winning streaks this year (Boston and Pittsburgh). Since you’re curious, here’s how Buffalo’s schedule plays out the rest of the way:
March 19: @ Tampa Bay
March 21: Montreal
March 23: @ NY Rangers
March 24: Minnesota
March 27: @ Washington
March 30: Pittsburgh
March 31: @ Toronto
April 3: Toronto
April 5: @ Philadelphia
April 7: @ Boston
That’s not going to be an easy road to finish strong and try to make the postseason, never mind winning them all.
On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.
Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.
The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.
There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.
Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.
As was the case last season, Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer because he went unsigned over the summer and once again he has used that opportunity to extend his career.
The St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed Gomez to a one-year contract. They didn’t disclose the financial terms, but it’s a two-way deal that comes with a base salary of $575K at the NHL level, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.
In order to free up the space necessary to sign him, St. Louis moved Patrik Berglund to the long-term injured reserve list. Berglund had shoulder surgery in August and isn’t expected to be available until January.
Gomez, 35, is coming off of a resurgence campaign where he recorded 34 points in 58 games on a Devils’ team that finished near the bottom of the pack offensively. The two-time Stanley Cup champion will be bringing more than a 1,000 games worth of NHL experience to St. Louis.
He’s not the only veteran forward to make the team off of a PTO as the Blues signed Scottie Upshall on Monday.