Ruff expecting 'a storm coming' with Bruins


Ruff expecting 'a storm coming' with Bruins

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres held an optional skate at the First Niagara Center ice on Sunday morning after arriving in Buffalo just a handful of hours earlier after a road tilt on Long Island.

Robyn Regher and Tyler Myers were among the Buffalo skaters taking part in that skate, and it appears Ryan Miller will get the start in net as Jhonas Enroth was the goaltender on the ice for the morning walk through.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff was in the middle of controversy in the last meeting with the Bruins in Boston after calling a timeout late in the third period while up by three goals in a contentious game. Brad Marchand called the move to put John Scott on the ice in the final seconds "disrespectful" after the game was over. Scott had already had a one-sided tilt with Shawn Thornton and thrown a few elbows at the heads of Bruins players.

With all that in mind as Buffalo and Boston ready for the divisional rematch on Sunday night, the longtime Sabres coach said he's expecting a response from a proud bunch of Bruins players.

"I think the expectation is that a storm might be coming (with the Bruins) tonight," said Ruff.

That storm might consist of more Bruins-like defense along with the kind of swaggering, physical hockey that the Black and Gold are know for. But Ruff's assumption that the 7-1-1 Bruins will have some sort of response for the upstart Sabres should be completely accurate.

The hard-nosed Regehr looks to be returning to the lineup for the Sabres in Sunday night's collision course with the Bruins, and he similarly expects an unkind game from the Black and Gold after embarrassing them on home ice in Boston.

"Being the opponent that it is tonight in Boston I'm sure it's going to be a physical and an emotional game," said Regehr. "I don't think they've played for a number of days with their game postponed, so they were sitting here waiting for us. So we need to make sure that we're ready to play the way we know we can.

"Matching their start will be very important because I'm expecting a very big start from them."

There's little doubt the start, middle and end will all be important to the Bruins entering the Sabres' barn on Sunday night.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.