|Lindy Ruff (Photo: Buffalo Sabres) |
It can be argued that goal scoring was not among Lindy Ruff’s trademarks.
The gritty defenseman spent 13 years in the NHL, including 10 seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, and collected 105 goals through 691 career games.
But while tenacity and staunchness were the traits that defined him, there was one memorable game where Ruff’s offensive prowess was showcased, accomplishing a feat that only one other player before him in franchise history had.
On December 15, 1985 at Memorial Auditorium, Ruff joined Rick Martin as the only other Buffalo player to score four goals in a single game as the Sabres went on to defeat the Quebec Nordiques 6-2.
“The fans in Buffalo were nuts. It was something I knew I would never feel again, probably something I would never come close to again,” Ruff told ESPN in an interview last year. “It was just a night when the puck went in the net in rapid succession for me and I thought I was a goal scorer for a while.”
Martin had accomplished the feat on four occasions in his career with the Sabres – He also led the team in scoring for four years.
Ruff, however, was never touted for his offensive production, and only reached the 20-goal plateau once during his NHL tenure.
“The excitement in the building was cool for a guy who didn't score a lot of goals,” Ruff continued in the interview. “I remember Andreychuk saying to me, ‘Just keep shooting, I had a night like this in Junior!’
“Clint Malarchuk was the goalie for Quebec and I ended up playing a year with him in San Diego in the International League. I told him that I owned him for at least a game.”
To this day, there have only been five players in franchise history to have scored four goals in a single game – joining Ruff and Martin were Dave Andrechuk, Alexander Mogilny and Miroslav Satan, respectively. BONUS VIDEO:
LINDY RUFF POST-GAME INTERVIEW WITH MIKE ROBITAILLE