You should have known what was wrong with the Sabres. It’s obvious, really: They didn’t stick to the system.
OF COURSE! The system! WHO CAN FORGET THE GOD DAMNED SYSTEM!?! It’s what we clung to last year despite fundamental flaws in the team, and it’s what we’re going to blame for everything now. Let’s roll through the cliche, blase comments just so we’re clear with what Lindy is saying.
“You’ve got to be smart. We weren’t smart enough to win the game in Boston,” he said. “We came out aggressive enough and set a pretty good tone but we weren’t smart enough throughout the game.”
And you wonder where Jason Pominville got his vernacular from. These two are peas in a pod when it comes to pointless oration.
Listen, I trust Lindy to handle his team, but blaming things on a slip in “the system” is a sore subject around these parts. Last year “the system” was a sinking ship of poor defensive play and zero accountability, and I’m not ready to blame a few bad games on it this year. This team is going through some growing pains, but overall they should be beyond all this “forgetting the system” nonsense.
However, I did like this quote:
“You have to hold the lines accountable. I didn’t like what the [Derek] Roy line did and the [Adam] Mair line had a tough time. It gave up a lot of opportunities. It’s one thing if you are giving up opportunities because you’ve created scoring chances – you’ve made a great play and the rebound gets out and you have to chase some people down… but we had no regard for our transition, no regard for late shifts.”
How many times did you hear Lindy Ruff call out a specific player last season? (Other then Dimitri Kalinin, who he appears to have murdered at some point in February) So many times last year he said they were an “immature” group, but never a specific player, and rarely even a specific line. It’s encouraging to hear players and coaches say something other than “we need to be better” or “smarter” or all the ordinary garbage that appears to mean something but really doesn’t.
Accountability really is key, and it’s good to see the coaches and players really apply it, even if it has been sparingly thus far. Hopefully the words we want to hear are translated into actions on the ice soon enough. For now, let’s hope there really is something to this system thing. It appears to be all the rage, and coach gets pretty mad when we forget about it.