In 1997, Lindy Ruff took over the bench for the Buffalo Sabres. In that same time frame, the Hawks have had 9 head coaches. It appears the longest coaching tenure in all major professional sports is about to come to an end. The Sabres are the definition of bad money. No one is taking the albatross Ville Leino or Christian Ehrhoff contracts off their hands. Ryan Miller isn’t going anywhere. There is simply too much money invested in this team to blow up the roster after a couple bad months.
Unfortunately, Lindy Ruff will likely be the first domino to fall in the 2011-2012 Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo looked interested for about 15 minutes and then disappeared as soon as the Hawks scored their 3rd goal. Sabres Owner Terry Pegula can’t fire his entire roster; so instead his head coach and his general manager will be the first ones on the chopping block.
For the Hawks, they stepped on the Sabres throat when they needed to. And that was that.
–Dave Bolland had such a Dave Bolland celebration on his goal that even Dave Bolland would be impressed…if that makes any sense. When Bolland scored, he nonchalantly avoided all of his on-ice teammates and glided to the bench where he high-fived the bench. I can’t imagine how he’ll ever top that short of scoring a goal and stripping naked.
–So much has been made of Andrew Shaw and Jimmy Hayes and rightfully so. They have had as good of a debut as two rookie role players since the ’07-08 season when the Hawks brought up the likes of Dave Bolland, Kris Versteeg, and Jake Dowell (remember that?). Probably even better.
The important thing to remember is that neither has played more than 10 games so writing any roster spot with their name in ink would be a bit premature. I will say Shaw is far more likely to stick into April as Quenneville is already playing him in all situations. His obsession with Shaw is reminiscent of how he felt towards Versteeg when he took over.
Hayes is a good finisher but he still makes too many mistakes in the neutral and defensive zone for Quenneville to trust him in the latter parts of the season. But I suppose we can only wait and see.
–I wish Patrick Kane would just score a goal already so every moron can stop playing amateur psychiatrist.
–It didn’t really make a difference in the game but the NHL has to change their reviewing policy. Marcus Kruger had a goal taken away because the referee called a hand pass on Andrew Shaw even though replays showed otherwise. Kruger banged home the rebound but because hand passes aren’t considered reviewable, there was no call to Toronto.
An easy solution would be to make all scoring plays reviewable no matter what. And that includes getting rid of the idiotic intent to blow the whistle rule. It’s only going to take one controversial call in the playoffs that costs the team their season for it to come under greater scrutiny. By then, it will already be too late.