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BTB BLOG: RUFF: "OUR BIG GUYS HAVE TO BE BETTER"

by Brian Wheeler / Buffalo Sabres
Beyond the Boards is written by the Buffalo Sabres Website Manager, Brian Wheeler. Joining the Sabres prior to the 2003-04 season, Wheeler is the main contact and content editor for Sabres.com. He has worked in the NHL, NFL, AHL and NLL over the past 11 years.  Click here to send him an email.


 
Lindy Ruff (photo: Getty Images)
Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff is starting at the top of the lineup and he's sending a message.

Whether or not Ruff will rearrange the lines when Buffalo faces Carolina is unknown following the team's subpar performance in a 7-3 loss in the Melon Arena to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.

What is certain is that Ruff wants more out of his stars and he wants it now.

Buffalo needed nearly 40 minutes of play Wednesday night to rally together a solid effort.  By that time, it was too late.  

"I think you can blame [the loss] on special teams and we had a couple lines that weren't going well," said Ruff.  "The Roy line [Thomas Vanek and Drew Stafford centered by Derek Roy] basically did nothing.  And that was all three of them.  I had to break them up.

"You've got to get more.  Those guys have to give us more.  It wasn't just three guys.  Even our top two defensemen: [Toni] Lydman and [Henrik] Tallinder.  There were a couple of plays that you want them to make better decisions on.

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Listen to Ruff's entire post-game interview by clicking below.

Ruff Post-Game 
"Our big guys - the guys we're going to have to count on now with guys out of the lineup - have to be better.  

"That's just the bottom line.  If they're not better, we'll struggle."

With 11 games remaining in the Sabres regular-season schedule, the Sabres trail the Philadelphia Flyers by four points for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
 
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