Lindy Ruff: A Look Back
I’m going to do this entry because I don’t want to be one of those people that rubs it in everyone’s face when they wrote something that came to fruition, and conveniently forgets when they wrote something that grew increasingly off-base.
A few weeks ago, I wrote two articles about Lindy Ruff and the apathy of the Sabres. As the Sabres pile up wins in response to their atrocious start to the season I look ever more (dare I say it) wrong. Now I don’t want to overreact to a series of good games in the way that I might want to overreact to a series of bad games, but let’s look at what’s occurred the past two nights.
The Sabres made a very good Washington Capitals look like absolute dog crap. Ovechkin had one shot in the entire game. The talent-heavy Capitals didn’t even break thirty shots and Carlson and Holtby are still searching for their jockstraps. (The HSBC rafters are a good place to start, but Thomas Vanek probably already added them to his personal collection.)
Fast forward to tonight’s game. Do you know what the Canucks looked like for large stretches? They looked like we did to start the season. Their passing was terrible, they couldn’t get the puck out of their own zone, and they let Thomas Vanek skate all over them like the Running of the Bulls on ice at a little person convention. The Sedins put up a ton of points, but for some reason I never felt like they were all that dangerous. And finally, the extremely talented Canucks power play looked like the Sabres with blindfolds on when it mattered most.
It’s still early, but maybe…just maybe Ruff’s career in Buffalo isn’t petering out. Maybe the team isn’t under-talented and coming off a season in which it over achieved. Maybe the start to this year’s season is merely last season’s pre-olympics rough patch happening at a different time and Lindy was right. “We’re going to get through this. We’re a playoff team.”
What do I hope Lindy’s future looks like? Who cares? As Herb Brooks said, “The name on the front is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back.” (Or the one behind the bench, or in the ownership box.) But right now that future is looking a whole lot better.