Thursday, December 30, 2010

What the Hell is Lindy Ruff Doing?

The ice-time breakdown for the Sabres in their game against Edmonton:

1). Jordan Leopold - 25:37 - Rightfully so.
2). Andrej Sekera - 25:23 - It bothers me that people are just starting to notice how good Sekera has been for all but the first three games of the season.
3). Steve Montador - 21:18 - Again, rightfully so.
4). Mike Weber - 21:00 - Kid had a good game.
5). Jochen Hecht - 18:06 - Um...okay...

And the bottom five:

14). Cody McCormick - 12:38 - Alright, these are solid minutes for McCormick.
15). Thomas Vanek - 12:33 - Uh what the hell, the objective of the game is to score goals...
16). Shaone Morrisonn - 12:25 - Meh, whatever, average defenseman.
17). Tyler Ennis - 11:44 - About that scoring thing...
18). Nathan Gerbe - 11:29 - Good riddance, I hope you get hit by a tiny bus.

Now to be fair, it is just one game, and there is a possibility that there were extenuating circumstances at work.  For example, a few fans have posited that Tyler Myers' flu that kept him out of the lineup might have been affecting other players as well, notably Vanek, Ennis, and Stafford (who only had 12:45 of icetime himself) and that actually sounds like a decent explanation.  (Then again Vanek rooms with Sekera who had no trouble piling up minutes.)  And hey, we won so clearly something worked, but it makes you wonder just what the hell it is that keeps the teams most talented players from seeing the ice in favor of guys like Jason Pominville or (at times, and most obnoxiously) Paul Gaustad.

The top three forwards in terms of ice time per game for the Sabres are Roy, which makes sense since he had been the best forward most often, Pominville, which doesn't make sense because he's been pretty forgettable, and Vanek, who should probably be higher.  Vanek comes in at 17:18 per game which, quite simply, isn't enough for a player of his caliber.  Yes, he doesn't play on the penalty kill which has a negative effect on his ice time, but neither does Marian Gaborik and he still finds a way to notch 19+ minutes in New York.

Even more frustrating is that Lindy Ruff only seems to leave his lines together when they suck, or that he too often moves away from something that is working.  Now I don't profess to be an expert (sorry Andy Sutton), but what happened to Vanek on the penalty kill?  What happened to Vanek on the point on the power play?  What happened to the Ennis - Roy - Vanek line?  Frustratingly, Lindy didn't stick with any of these things for very long, instead preferring to treat us to Gerbe - McCormick - Vanek for an entire game.

Nathan Gerbe is cute and all as a five game a year call-up when he can bust his ass and not score and no one cares.  If he's going to be doing that for an entire season, well we had a guy for that already who wasn't tiny and a complete liability on the ice called Matt Ellis.  At least Ellis isn't so much of a dumbass that he can't see that getting Thomas Vanek the puck on a two on none break is probably a great idea.  After almost forty game this year, I want to fire whoever thought that Gerbe was an NHL talent, especially over guys like Tim Kennedy and Matt Ellis and Mark Mancari (rather have big and useless than small and useless), and I want to fire Lindy Ruff for putting him with Thomas Vanek.

1 comment:

  1. I really want to know what was going on in Gerbe's head when he was on that two-on-nothing. Just know his thought process. Maybe his brain froze up or he blacked out.

    You should compare Lindy's terrible decisions of when to properly use the backup goaltender...