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by Kevin Snow / Buffalo Sabres

No more media scrums. No more press conferences with the same questions being asked over and over. The time for talking is done. As they say in the WWE … “time to play the game.”

The Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins square off tonight at First Niagara Center in their first meeting since the infamous Ryan Miller/Milan Lucic collision on November 12 in Boston. This is the second of six meetings between the Northeast Division rivals, and the Bruins come into the contest on a nine-game winning streak.

Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff had his game face on during his normal pre-game press conference, appearing stern and business-like throughout the unusually-brief three-minute game day gathering. The regular crop of local media was joined by several Boston scribes and a handful of Canadian national outlets such as TSN and CBC.

It was apparent early that Ruff wasn’t about to stoke the fire.

When asked what he was expecting from his team tonight, Ruff simply stated: “I’m expecting our team to come out real hard … in all areas.”


Ruff wouldn’t comment on Brendan Shanahan’s statement that there will be a “heightened awareness” by the league on tonight’s game, only saying that he hasn’t spoken to the team about the discipline czar’s comments.

Ruff also didn’t mince words when he was questioned about the team’s lack of response in light of the hit on Miller

“I’ll answer the question one more time,” Ruff said matter of factly. “We were disappointed in our response. And that won’t happen again.”

Ruff did confirm that forward Jochen Hecht will return to the Sabres lineup tonight for the first time this season. Hecht suffered a concussion on the second day of training camp, and hasn’t seen game action since Game 7 of last spring’s playoff series in Philadelphia.

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