February 20, 2013
Ruff and Leafs a 'sworded' tale
By LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

The Leafs are probably glad to see Lindy Ruff gone from behind the Sabres bench. (REUTERS)

There have been 170 coaching changes in the NHL since Lindy Ruff was hired by the Buffalo Sabres in 1997, including five in Toronto.

The football Bills made eight such moves playing fewer than 20 games a season. Heck, the city’s hockey arena changed its name more frequently than the man behind the bench.

But no matter how badly things looked in Buffalo, Ruff could usually look up the QEW and find some solace in making life harder on the Maple Leafs. In eight of the 13 seasons the teams shared the Northeast Division and nine of Ruff’s 14 overall, the Sabres finished with more points. While Pat Quinn’s teams briefly reversed that trend at the turn of the century, the Leafs could never seem to win big games on the American side of the Peace Bridge.

And with a ticket to the Stanley Cup final on the line in 1999, minus Dominik Hasek the first two games, it was Ruff’s team that found a way to get through. In every year since the 2004-05 lockout, Buffalo resumed its super



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