Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

February 13, 2012

Sabres agitator Kaleta earning more ice as he alters his style

(Continued)

BUFFALO —

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Eight days after breaking three ribs during practice, Ruff hopes he can go back behind the bench tonight. He’s been watching from the press box and letting assistant James Patrick run the show at ice level.

If Ruff goes back down, he’d need help.

“There’s situations there where I still can’t vocalize loud enough, especially with the crowd and react quick enough to have people ready,” Ruff said. “I think if I go back there, I’ll have James sort of in the same role.”

Ruff counted four pucks that went behind the bench Saturday. He said one hit assistant Teppo Numminen.

Would Ruff consider moving from his normal spot to the tunnel area?

“I’d like to laugh about it, but I don’t want to get hit,” he said. “At the same time, I think if I hung out by the tunnel, I’ll probably get hit. If I stay in the same spot I normally do, I won’t.”

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Ruff said winger Cody McCormick (upper body) is feeling better. The winger missed practice Monday, however.

Meanwhile, concussed center Jochen Hecht underwent a neck procedure and is doing “OK.”

“We haven’t gone one way or the other yet,” Ruff said.

Hecht, who’s had three concussions in 10 months, isn’t out for the season, Ruff said.

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