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Ruff: Hitting "doesn't do any good (if you don't get the puck back)"

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01-10-2012, 11:27 AM
  #1
puckish66
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Ruff: Hitting "doesn't do any good (if you don't get the puck back)"

The Sabres have been at or near the bottom of the league in hits since the lockout (and not much higher before the lockout). They were dead last the last two seasons, and are 28th this season.

(Usual caveat about how hits are defined and counted in the various arenas.)

There were some very interesting quotes on the topic in the News today. http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/sa...icle703128.ece

Patrick Kaleta said, "...yeah, we can be a more physical team.... To be physical, it helps the team as a whole to be harder to play against." (emphasis mine)

Jochen Hecht remembered the Boston "revenge game" (39 hits) as the Sabres' best game of the season. "We were physical. That's the way we're going to win games," Hecht said.

"You can always be more physical as a way to wear the other team down," left wing Nathan Gerbe said. (emphasis mine) "That's what we'll try to do."

It may not be what Ruff has in mind.

"You want to be physical? It's got to be puck battles, who comes up with it. You can run around and hit all you want. If you don't get the puck back, it doesn't do any good," Ruff said. (emphasis mine)

I think this cuts right to the core of why people dislike this team. Ruff has these guys playing like robots, slaves to a system and a philosophy of physical play that might be correct technically but ignores what has always been known about hockey and what Ruff has apparently forgotten: it's a game of intimidation and passion and gaining momentum and feeling alive in your skates and getting the crowd to its feet.

Three players at least know that hitting is about more than gaining possession of the puck. Until the coach thinks otherwise, it apparently won't matter.


Last edited by puckish66: 01-10-2012 at 11:34 AM.
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01-10-2012, 11:31 AM
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Yeah, that's a clear problem. The benefit of finishing a check is simple -- it is so much easier to recover the puck, defend, or attack when someone on the other team has to get up off the ice. And to borrow from Bob Gainey, when asked how to neutralize someone was "finish every hit". That was a key to him winning half-a-dozen Selke trophies and being the best shutdown player for a solid stretch of time.

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01-10-2012, 11:32 AM
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Can he go away now?

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01-10-2012, 11:33 AM
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Keep these awesome quotes coming right on in guys.

I'm in a ****ing fantastic mood today!

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01-10-2012, 11:34 AM
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Keep these awesome quotes coming right on in guys.

I'm in a ****ing fantastic mood today!
This. I can't wait until Feb 24. If they haven't made any changes I'm going to boo my ass off.

"I'm a joke. A joke. I'm the definition of a joke." - Lindy Ruff

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01-10-2012, 11:35 AM
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Watching Torts on 24/7 has made me... well, want Torts as our coach. Or someone like him. I am obviously not privy to what goes on behind closed doors with the team and Ruff, and I don't know what he's like in the locker room, but in the absence of wins, I'd like to see some passion at least, and coaches like Torts provide that.

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01-10-2012, 11:36 AM
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I think the Sabres need a refresher in PR class.

Just like Roy --- I see what Ruff is getting at (I think), but WOW does it come off bad, especially given recent play...

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01-10-2012, 11:38 AM
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Players get it , coach doesn't.



WTF

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01-10-2012, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Zman5778 View Post
I think the Sabres need a refresher in PR class.

Just like Roy --- I see what Ruff is getting at (I think), but WOW does it come off bad, especially given recent play...
It's more than just wording and perception though. Ruff's various statements on this topic and the stats clearly show he doesn't value the importance of a physical game, other than to occasionally win a puck battle. And oftentimes that's not the result of physicality, but smarts -- positioning your body, using your stick and skates, etc.

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01-10-2012, 11:41 AM
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BackGroundMusic
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Originally Posted by Zman5778 View Post
I think the Sabres need a refresher in PR class.

Just like Roy --- I see what Ruff is getting at (I think), but WOW does it come off bad, especially given recent play...
But how many players have come to the Sabres with a reputation for physical play that suddenly disappeared in Buffalo? Kassian, Paille, even Kaleta has lost his hitting.

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01-10-2012, 11:42 AM
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Except the players that make checks like Ellis, Kaleta, and Goose actually come up with the puck after checking and players like Roy, Leino, and Stafford don't come up with the puck when they don't check

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01-10-2012, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by iciclesonapapershelf View Post
But how many players have come to the Sabres with a reputation for physical play that suddenly disappeared in Buffalo? Kassian, Paille, even Kaleta has lost his hitting.
Ask Bruins fans how much they love Paille.

Its sickening.

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01-10-2012, 11:47 AM
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Ask Bruins fans how much they love Paille.

Its sickening.
The guy was voted Hardest Working and Best Checker in the OHL. He looks like that guy in Boston. What happened in Buffalo?

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01-10-2012, 11:48 AM
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Fire Ruff

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01-10-2012, 11:54 AM
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"'You want to be physical? It's got to be puck battles, who comes up with it. You can run around and hit all you want. If you don't get the puck back, it doesn't do any good,' Ruff said. (emphasis mine)"

You're highlighting a selected part of a sentence and ignoring the context the rest of the sentence provides. If you look at the whole sentence, what he is commenting on is hitting by itself does no good. You still have to win the puck. That's an entirely different thing.

I know it's the common theme now to bash Ruff (and others), but taking part of a sentence out of context is not an effective way to do it.

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01-10-2012, 11:54 AM
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I guess we know why players seem to be neutered as soon as they get here. It's funny, it happened with a bunch of call-ups this season. Kassian was banging people when he first got called up, then after 2-3 games he randomly stopped and then disappeared. Funny how that works.

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01-10-2012, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BowieSabresFan View Post
"'You want to be physical? It's got to be puck battles, who comes up with it. You can run around and hit all you want. If you don't get the puck back, it doesn't do any good,' Ruff said. (emphasis mine)"

You're highlighting a selected part of a sentence and ignoring the context the rest of the sentence provides. If you look at the whole sentence, what he is commenting on is hitting by itself does no good. You still have to win the puck. That's an entirely different thing.

I know it's the common theme now to bash Ruff (and others), but taking part of a sentence out of context is not an effective way to do it.
The proof is on the ice. He says it doesn't help if you don't get the puck back, but that's false. A big hit can change momentum, I don't think anyone would deny that.

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01-10-2012, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by iciclesonapapershelf View Post
The proof is on the ice. He says it doesn't help if you don't get the puck back, but that's false. A big hit can change momentum, I don't think anyone would deny that.
Exactly.

Remember when Kaleta used to lay the body and draw like 2-3 penalties a game? Yea. Not that Lindy's woeful PP did anything with those, but we still got PPs left and right when Kaleta was playing his game.

Its obvious you can't just go out and nail people without looking for the puck, but finish your god damned checks and wear guys down just like they do to us. WTF!!!?!???!!!

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01-10-2012, 11:59 AM
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Edited the title. Context was key there.

It is disconcerting to see these players lose their mean streaks, though. Certainly doesn't help the whole "Sabres are cotton candy-soft" perception, either. Sigh.

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01-10-2012, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BowieSabresFan View Post
"'You want to be physical? It's got to be puck battles, who comes up with it. You can run around and hit all you want. If you don't get the puck back, it doesn't do any good,' Ruff said. (emphasis mine)"

You're highlighting a selected part of a sentence and ignoring the context the rest of the sentence provides. If you look at the whole sentence, what he is commenting on is hitting by itself does no good. You still have to win the puck. That's an entirely different thing.

I know it's the common theme now to bash Ruff (and others), but taking part of a sentence out of context is not an effective way to do it.
Which is still wrong. You're telling me finishing your checks does no good? Finishing a check typically won't turn the puck over since the pass or shot has already been made. So that kind of play isn't helpful? Lindy's plainly wrong.

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01-10-2012, 12:01 PM
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BackGroundMusic
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Which is still wrong. You're telling me finishing your checks does no good? Finishing a check typically won't turn the puck over since the pass or shot has already been made. So that kind of play isn't helpful? Lindy's plainly wrong.
Exactly.

Basically, I'm reading this as Lindy saying that he doesn't understand what it takes to win in the playoffs.

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01-10-2012, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clock View Post
Edited the title. Context was key there.
Even in appropriate context, it's an awful, awful quote.

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01-10-2012, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by iciclesonapapershelf View Post
The proof is on the ice. He says it doesn't help if you don't get the puck back, but that's false. A big hit can change momentum, I don't think anyone would deny that.
Yup and the results back it up, just look at the W column. Let the guys loose and finish their checks - smartly - and see what happens. What can it hurt at this point?

I'm getting sick and tired of guys peeling off an opponent just after that player passes the puck. If you finish your checks all the time it gets the other team thinking and that is when turnovers happen. Bam! And you didnt even have to win a one on one battle to get the puck.

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01-10-2012, 12:03 PM
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This is what we're going to get as long as he's the coach. He desperately wants to be Babcock, who frequently lobs media grenades at hockey purists who want the Wings to get more physical or be more retailiatory in nature. The difference is, of course, is that the Wings have a lineup littered with future HOFers, have superior skill, are tremendous defensively, have amazing puck possession, and have a bunch of guys willing to go to dirty areas to score. Do we have much or any of that? Not really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Myllz View Post
I guess we know why players seem to be neutered as soon as they get here. It's funny, it happened with a bunch of call-ups this season. Kassian was banging people when he first got called up, then after 2-3 games he randomly stopped and then disappeared. Funny how that works.
In fairness, Amerks fans have been ripping Kassian all season for not being physical enough. Kevin Oklobzija was making jokes when he got called up that you could count the number of Kassian hits on one hand. I think the bigger problem with Kassian is that the organization as a whole has tried to get him to tone things down since some of his suspensions in junior, and I think that runs deeper than Ruff. Does anyone think Boston would try to get him to town it down? No way.

I think the better example is McNabb. He was lining up a player per night for thunderous, open-ice checks, and that has since subsided the longer he's been up here.

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01-10-2012, 12:04 PM
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I truly enjoy how so many positions I've held for years (and would get berated for) that are now becoming accepted...

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