Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff gets it rough with three broken ribs -NHL Update
Buffalo Sabres head coach, Lindy Ruff, was in extreme pain after a collision with defenseman, Jordan Leopold, during a team practice session on Monday, February 6, 2012, which resulted in the veteran unable to make it the next day after being told that he
had suffered three broken ribs.
The incident came after Leopold lost his balance while skating and colliding with Ruff while he was looking the other way, forcing the head coach down hard on his side and experiencing severe pain straight away.
Ruff stayed home and barely managed to get any sleep, which activated Buffalo general manager, Darcy Regier, in naming assistant coach, James Patrick, as the interim coach to take over the affairs of the team till Ruff is able to return.
"Based on this morning, it's certainly very painful. He was in a lot of pain," Regier said Tuesday morning before the team’s practice session. "But he was in good spirits"
Now in his sixth straight season with the Buffalo Sabres, Patrick is focused on keeping Ruff’s vision and strategy as the team continues to practice on a daily basis on the same schedule.
"We're going to prepare the team like normal," Patrick said. "We're going to do everything we can to get ready to win a game tomorrow. And if (Ruff) isn't behind the bench, we're confident that we can handle it."
For the team, losing Ruff due to such an incident is certainly very painful to see but facing the reality is the only thing they can do at the moment.
"I thought he was kidding for about the first 5-7 seconds," Patrick said. "And then when he wasn't getting up, I said, `Holy smokes, that's got to be painful because he is as tough as there is."
Buffalo Sabres are currently sitting at number 14 in the Eastern Conference with 50 points and a 22-24-6 record. The start of the season had been a major turnaround for the team but now, they sit way below the playoff line and with another blow to the club
with Lindy Ruff out, it will be interesting to see where they head from here onwards.