Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) -- Rejuvenated from a day off the ice, the Buffalo Sabres and head coach Lindy Ruff got back to work at First Niagara Center with a bit of a different tone.
Not willing to put the downfalls of the team through 14 games on the players any longer, Ruff instead pointed the finger at himself for how to turn things around this season.
"We'll find it. There's guys. We've gone through it. We knew we were a little young down the middle, but it'll come. I'm confident it'll come," Ruff said after Thursday's practice. "It's all on me to clean this mess up. I'm not done trying."
The Sabres have dropped nine of their last twelve contests and sit in 12th place in the Eastern Conference with only 11 points total. Despite quite a losing streak, Buffalo is only three points out of the playoff picture.
Attempting to look ahead to a three-game home stand, Ruff ran his players through one of their hardest practices of the season -- partially due to not having a break in the schedule like this one until now.
"I think the attitude of the players has been awesome. The attitude today out on the ice has been great," the head coach said. "I liked the energy. We got to work on three or four things that you don't normally. We did a lot of battle drills, a lot of offensive zone stuff to get people in better spots."
Now it's all about translating that mentality in to the games. Once again, Ruff put the onus on himself for making sure his team is mentally prepared.
"The team will feed off my energy," he said. "I came in here, we had a couple of good meetings. We talked about things we gotta get going a little bit better, talked about getting the team in the right mood today. And that's up to me."
The Sabres take on the Boston Bruins at First Niagara Center on Friday. You can hear the complete play-by-play coverage on WGR Sports Radio 550.