With another pair of coaches getting the axe in the NHL, Lindy Ruff has now seen 166 coaching changes since he began his career with the Sabres.
With the Washington Capitals canning Bruce Boudreau and the Carolina Hurricanes gassing Paul Maurice, Ruff’s longevity looks more and more impressive. While Ruff hasn’t reached the promised land yet, he is widely considered to be a coach who would get a job the minute he was to be fired. Despite some debate that his message may be growing tired, you can only point to the recently fired coaches as a testament to that argument being false.
Boudreau was fired after his team of superstars stopped skating for him. Never has a team quit on a coach in the manner that the Capitals did for Boudreau. They were laying down against most opponents, the last straw being Saturday’s loss at the hands of the Sabres – a team with nine regulars out of the line up.
Maurice just couldn’t get his team to win. Their stars are struggling and things just aren’t going right in Raleigh. Since blowing up the team is never really an option, bringing in a new voice behind the bench is the best option. Just look what has happened in St. Louis.
Despite all the arguments that Lindy Ruff isn’t the right man for the job anymore, never has he had a team quit the way the Capitals have. Nor has Ruff fumbled with mediocre talent. Sure, the Sabres missed the playoffs in 2007-08 and 08-09, but Ruff had his team in the hunt, a team short on star power and with a limited budget.
No matter who was signed by the Sabres this offseason, I had heavy doubts that this team could turn around and win a Cup on their first try. However, with a willingness to break the bank to get the right players, I have to think a shot at the Cup won’t be too far off. Especially with Ruff at the helm.