With two straight losses, a 4-5-2 record in the New Year and a 14-13-3-0 mark in their last 30 games, the Sabres find themselves caught in an Eastern Conference No Man’s Land, teetering seven points from first place and now just seven points from ninth and a seed on the living room couch for the playoffs.
Archives for January 24, 2001
As he’s been prone to doing recently in games against Buffalo, no matter what jersey colors he wears, veteran goalie Ron Tugnutt stuffed the Sabres on several close-in chances and really prevented any rebounds from landing at his doorstep with 22 saves.
‘At Monday’s practice, Ruff pleaded with his players to give a better offensive effort. He also shuffled the lines and defensive pairings to find some long-lost spark. Despite a second-period lead on a goal by fourth-line center Erik Rasmussen and another fine goaltending effort from Dominik Hasek, the Sabres couldn’t keep it together.’
‘Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff has been requesting, demanding and pleading for two things from his team lately: passion and offensive production. He got both Tuesday night, in the form of Rob Ray.’
‘Geoff Sanderson and Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre made triumphant returns to a city they used to call home. Neither scored a point against his former teammates, but neither cared. Both played well, and a win is a win is a win.’
‘Serge Aubin, C, Blue Jackets: No empty-netters tonight, baby. Aubin tied the score with a wicked slap shot and redirected the go-ahead goal past Dominik Hasek. Not a bad night’s work.’
‘"We should win 90 percent of these games and we need these points," Hasek said. "If we want to compete against teams like Toronto and Ottawa we can’t waste any more games like that."’
‘"We have gone through it before," said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff. "You have got to work to get your bounces. We’ve got a lot of players struggling and it’s frustrating."’
‘Only Peca, however, has accepted an invitation to play for Canada at the Sweden Hockey Games 2001, a five-team event to be played in Stockholm and Pardubice, Czech Republic, from Feb. 6 to 11. It will feature teams from Canada, Sweden, Czech Republic, Finland and Russia.’