Niagara Gazette

Sports

May 23, 2006

SABRES NOTEBOOK: Ruff says Buffalo took diving lessons in Carolina

BUFFALO — With a glut of tiny, shifty forwards, the Sabres have been accused of diving at opportune times by the likes of the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs.

But Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said his team was only taking a cue from the Hurricanes when players started to go down easily during the latter parts of Game 2. When told after Tuesday’s skate at HSBC Arena that Carolina coach Peter Laviolette thought the Sabres were diving, he said it was just a second act.

“I think what we tried to do is take a page from them. We found a couple of their players, especially early in the game, if you touch them, down they’d go,” Ruff said. “You’ve got to fight fire with fire. (Laviolette) ought to be worried about his players. I got that from Hitchcock.”

Ruff and Philadelphia coach Ken Hitchcock exchanged barbs through the media during the Sabres’ opening series when Ruff said Hitchcock’s team played “like idiots” in a lopsided game and Hitchcock responded with an expletive.

INJURY REPORT

Although Teppo Numminen could play in tonight’s Game 3 with Carolina, the status of center Tim Connolly, who was knocked out of Game 2 of the Ottawa series, hasn’t progressed much.

“He’s still day-to-day,” Ruff said. “He’s getting some exercise.”

Concussions, Ruff admitted, are a different animal than when he played. Ruff played 10 years with the Sabres from 1979-1988.

“If you got knocked out cold, when you felt better you played again,” Ruff said. “It’s a tough area. I got knocked out a couple of times and I had teammates knocked out and you never put a lot of thought into it. There wasn’t much for a follow-up. Players today are stronger and faster and the impacts are greater. I think it is a very serious issue.”

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