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Coach Ruff takes blame for Sabres sputtering start: 'It's on me to clean up this mess'

Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 7:05 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Coach Ruff takes blame for Sabres sputtering start: 'It's on me to clean up this mess'

BUFFALO, N.Y. - In taking responsibility for the Buffalo Sabres' sputtering start, coach Lindy Ruff remains confident the team can dig itself out of an early-season hole.

It begins with Ruff, who says it's on him "to clean up this mess."

Ruff was both upbeat and defiant on Thursday in the face of mounting criticism directed toward him, while assessing a team that's lacked identity and consistency in getting off to a 5-8-1 start.

The Sabres returned to practice after a day off. It's their first two-day break between games since the first week of the season, and it closed a stretch in which they played 14 games in 24 days.

Buffalo now prepares to open a three-game homestand Friday, when it hosts Northeast Division-leading Boston (8-1-2).

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When we started our journey we made a commitment to our fans to be relevant and to see the Chicago Blackhawks become the best professional hockey organization. There are not two finer symbols of that than Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The commitment we have made to these incredible young men is equal to the commitment they have made to our team, our fans, our entire organization and the city of Chicago.

— Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz on signing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to contract extensions