“No More Pond Hockey”
Following last night’s loss to Carolina, head coach Lindy Ruff committed to changing three out of four lines in preparation for Sunday’s game in Washington.
As practice took place today, we would find out that Ruff was not joking in the least bit.
Thomas Vanek was absent for practice, as expected, but there seems to be no reason why he would miss Sunday’s game.
With Vanek missing the practice lines may not be the exact lines for tomorrow, but we can begin to get a good idea what direction Ruff is heading in.
Marcus Foligno replaced Thomas Vanek on the top line, with Cody Hodgson and Jason Pominville.
Tyler Ennis would be seen centering a line flanked by Jochen Hecht and Patrick Kaleta.
Steve Ott and Drew Stafford were being centered by Mikhail Grigorenko.
Nathan Gerbe was centering the fourth line that consists of a mixture of John Scott, Matt Ellis and Cody McCormick on the wings.
Many expect a faster, harder team than seen in the past two games. The Sabres have not struggled getting shots on goal, averaging over 40 in the last two games. The forwards have just struggled with getting pucks in the net though, averaging 2.75 goals per game, which ranks them 16th in the league after four games.
Lindy Ruff, seemingly the motivator, had another gem of a quote out of practice this morning.
With these line changes, the Sabres forwards will be out of their comfort zone but that brings hope that someone, besides the HPV line, can get going against the Capitals on Sunday afternoon.