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02 May 2007

Benching Max the Wrong Move

Lindy Ruff has made few mistakes in recent years. Unfortunately, I think he made a big one in benching Max Afinigenov for game 4. In my opinion it showed a huge sign of disrespect for a veteran who, while obviously playing poorly, is a big part of this team. I cannot help but feel that he has damaged the locker room with this slight of Max.

Hopefully he rectifies this situation in game 5. My guess is that he pulls both Paille and Drew Stafford out and relaces them with Paul Gaustad and Max. It is time to dance with the girls that got them there.

8 fanatics have replied:

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge said...

Man, the Sabres got robbed on that last call, that was a clear goal.

But, Afi's not doing as good as he should be doing.

Kotalik deserves the ice-time (right now) more than him.

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge said...

My bad, I misunderstood by your post, I thought he was benched, he was actually scratched!

Yeah, you're right, how the heck do you scratch this guy, he may be struggling, but he's lightyears better than Dan Paille.

Rob said...

Dan "only 8 shifts in game 4" Paille.

A horrible move - even when playing poorly Max generates space and makes the effort. APB out for Jochen Hecht - one of a handful of Sabres doing nothing in these playoffs.

The Sabres have miles more talent than the Rangers and should have been able to sweep this series with the added ingredient that only the Rangers have shown: effort.

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge said...

The Sabres should've easily been leading 3-1, possibly swept by now.

But hey, Hecht is shooting a lot, just not scoring.

Rob said...

at the risk of violating the famed Walter Gretzky creed of "You can't score if you don't shoot" - Hecht has a great knack for finding the goalie's crest with a mid-level wrister from the top of the circle.

Too often on an impending odd-man rush.

I'd rather see him carry the puck down low in the corner, shield it with his body, and wait for help - rather than the easy-wrister either simply gloved down or worse, steered aside for a rush back up ice.

The Ghost said...

Hecht is enigmatic to me. He has been surprisingly healthy this year (which is always a concern with him). He seems to be really susceptible to confidence loss. I don't know what to make of him. When he is confident and on he is dangerous as heck.

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge blog said...

I guess you guys are both right right there, but, what do you make of the Stafford scratching in favour of Gaustad?

Gaustad's nice and all, but is there no other way to keep that rookie breakout sensation in the lineup Lindy Ruff?

The Ghost said...

In case you didnt see the other response. I think it is a political move by Ruff. I think he may have caused an issue in the room with how he treated Max. Also, Gaustad is a very, very respected member of this team. I think it is a case of Ruff giving a nod to the veteran leadership.

I think I'll blog this topic.

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