Ruff ride for Sens goalie

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

Say this about Lindy Ruff: He's up on his current events.

Especially those that involve Ottawa and certain Senators.

The Sabres coach was quick and sharp when asked about comments made by Ray Emery, who said in Tuesday's Sun that he's not thrilled about having to spend off-days in Buffalo and joked on TSN's Off The Record that he might pass his spare time this week hanging out at TGI Friday's.

"He'll find things to do," Ruff said with a chuckle after the Sabres practiced yesterday.

"Rent a Hummer truck ... go for a ride, go for a drive, drive around a little bit."

Emery, you'll remember, was charged with an illegal lane change after hitting another vehicle in his haste to catch a team flight he ultimately missed last Friday.

Maybe Lindy will offer to take him on a tour then have him to the Ruff household for dinner on Friday's off-day.

THIS AND THAT

One of those warm, family snapshots that would make your girlfriend go "awwwww" was on display at Scotiabank Place this week when Garth Phillips and Ben Phillips were in the stands watching Chris Phillips practise with his teammates. Grandfather and grandson were wrestling and clearly enjoying each other's company while the Senators' No. 1 defenceman (dubbed so by GM John Muckler on radio earlier this week) was hard at work with his teammates. Yesterday, CBC's Dan Seguin mentioned to Chris Phillips that his four-year-old son has a favourite player. It is not No. 4. "It used to be Mike Fisher," Chris said, not surprised by the news, "and now it's Chris Neil. I'm second or third down the line. It's okay, I'm a big fan of those two guys, too." ... Peter Schaefer has dyed a strip of his hair blond. "Just a bar," he said. "Change things up a bit." When asked if he was going to follow suit, Jason Spezza laughed. "I tried that in junior," he said of the colouring. "We lost in the first round." ... Loser of yesterday's Juice Boy, which sees the loser of a penalty shot competition serve Gatorades up to his teammates following practice, was Brian McGrattan. "Where is the ice?" Spezza said, refusing to accept to the drink. "I'm not taking it without ice. That's the deal." McGrattan told him to forget it, or words to that effect.

SNAP SHOTS

Mike Comrie did not practise for the second day in a row, although Murray said he'd be on the ice today. Patrick Eaves, who is recovering from a head/neck injury he suffered April 15, skated yesterday in Comrie's spot alongside Fisher and Schaefer. Murray said Eaves doesn't automatically get his spot back should he be given the green light -- he's happy with Oleg Saprykin, Eaves' replacement on the fourth alongside Dean McAmmond and Christoph Schubert. A decision will be made if and when Eaves is declared fit ... Ruff used to work for Murray, when the latter was the GM of the Florida Panthers and the former was an assistant coach. When asked what he saw in Ruff back then, Murray talked about their profession. "Coaching is all about relationships with people, players and staff members," said Murray. "I liked his personality around the players, he would talk to them and take a little of the pressure off. And if I felt like I wanted some insight on anything, Lindy was a willing guy to talk to." Murray has noticed a change in Ruff, however. "Before he became a head coach, he was a funny guy," said Murray. "Now he's not funny." ... Murray has his moments. Asked about coaching in front of family and friends, the Shawville native replied: "I don't have lots of friends. I've got lots of neighbours, and I've got a lot of people in the neighbourhood and at the grocery store that are being very friendly and complimentary.

"I don't know if they'd be quite the same if we lost in the first round."


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