Ruff to be back, but plenty of help needed

‘Ruff said he was a bit worried Connolly had only one practice before the playoffs. “I don’t need to sit here and make excuses,” Ruff said. “I was the guy who chose to dress him and play him.”’

Sabres brass say losing takes an emotional toll

‘"We do have to alter some things," Regier said. "Exactly what? Do I have some thoughts? Yes. … The answer is yes, I think we have to make some changes. What exactly they will consist of, it’s too early to know."’

Sabres’ post-mortem examines heart failure

‘If the Sabres are going to improve and make a run for a Stanley Cup at some point in the next few years, they need more players who despise losing. No need to rehash Chris Drury’s departure and examine his numbers with the Rangers. His attitude is what the Sabres missed most. It’s why they signed his alter ego, Mike Grier.’

Sabres retain Ruff for 2010-11

‘The longest tenured coach in the league and winningest coach in franchise history, Ruff has a 483-379-122 ledger with 78 ties as Sabres head coach. He guided Buffalo to the Stanley Cup Finals in just his second season of 1998-99, losing to the Dallas Stars in six games. His playoff record with the club stands at 54-41.’

Sabres retain Ruff; set sights on improving roster

‘“I don’t know,” Regier said, when asked if he expects Connolly to remain a member of the team. Regier then clarified himself by noting Connolly has one year left on his contract, but added that the entire roster will be evaluated.’

End of the year press conference: Part I

‘Our inability really, to kill a penalty at the start of the third period in Boston, I thought hurt us. Our strength during the year was playing with the lead and how well we played with the lead. We made some errors that allowed Boston some momentum in this series. I don’t think it had anything to do with bigger or stronger. I thought physically we were fine in that series. I actually thought we were the harder team.’

End of the year press conference: Part II

‘How much of a red flag is it that both Portland and Buffalo went out early in the first round of their respective playoffs? REGIER: I wouldn’t… Portland is a very different animal. That is about developing players and that is about process. That team, briefly, we had eight rookies on that team. They and the coaching staff there, that team from the trainers to the coaching staff, that organization, the ownership, did a tremendous job in their development of those kids. You saw Tyler Ennis. He had a terrific year, won Rookie of the Year in the American Hockey League. Nathan Gerbe was there, we have a group of I think very good, young defensemen coming. And that’s part of the process for them so everything there is very positive.’

Sabres search for positives after collapse

‘“On one side,” he said, “it’s good. On the other side, talking about wrapping up a season at this time of year is really painful, because we had a lot of good things in place. We were making progress where we felt we needed to. I felt we needed to make some changes to our approach. We did that, and it ended up being good for us. It’s too bad it wasn’t good enough.”’

Sabres&#8217 Rivet opts for surgery

‘“The whole season I played with a brace that felt like a straightjacket,” Rivet said inside HSBC Arena, where the Sabres cleaned out their lockers following their first-round playoff loss to the Boston Bruins. “I was never Nicklas Lidstrom to begin with, but I think I’m a better player than what I’ve shown. Just throughout the season, the wear and tear on it, the loss of strength, it took away from a lot of the things I was able to do. It kind of feels like I’m giving you an excuse for my season, and I don’t think there is an excuse,” he said. “I think I can be a lot better player, though.”’

Sabres turn focus forward

‘"I think there’s a great amount of talent on this team. I still really do believe that. You just have to find an approach mentality and live it, be it, own it, do it."’

Regier must weigh his options

‘Regier has talked repeatedly about his core players being an asset, but the core hasn’t been good enough. If they have core players, it’s the fresh-faced kids who tried rescuing veterans who backed down in the playoffs.’

Kaleta, Kennedy await fallout in WNY

‘"I’ll have to deal with it," Kennedy said of the chatter he might overhear in South Buffalo. "Some people won’t have the best opinion of what we did and how it ended. That’s why they’re fans. I understand. I’m from here. I’ll hear it more. All we can do is come back and show them we have what it takes."’

Sabres offseason – The marriage must end

‘Regier gets married to his players too and that’s where the problem lies. This year’s Sabres were near as inconsistent as the past two years. That was proven by winning the division, but when times got rough and the playoffs began, the guys that have been groomed to be the key players failed miserably.’

Miller laments that Sabres season ended too soon

‘Miller was troubled by how Buffalo failed to build on the momentum of its regular season and fell flat against the Bruins in what amounts to another learning lesson.’

Glum’s the word in Sabreland

‘"We made some mistakes during the series, some mistakes that we’d like to have back. Overall, it wasn’t good enough. That’s just the bottom line."’