home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 19, 2006

Darcy Regier

Lindy Ruff


Q. The feeling that experience doesn't necessarily count for as much as it used to, perhaps with the game the way it's played and seeing all the younger guys that have really flourished in the playoffs. Do you still think that experience doesn't mean as much as it used to?
DARCY REGIER: I think it still means an awful lot but it doesn't mean a lot if you don't have maybe the corresponding skill or speed. Speed, I think really, what I have said, has been more of a shift from the head to the feet, where there was more clutching and grabbing and positional play than maybe in the past the smaller players, the fleet foot-type players have gotten the benefit of the new rules.
Q. Whereas it used to be you couldn't just bring a guy in for experience alone?
DARCY REGIER: I think so. I think that it is always -- there's always a balance issue with all, but I do think that skating just wasn't as important as it is today.
Q. Did you see that, I guess, did you see that in advance or is that just the way it worked out when putting the deal together, I know you want out and got Teppo with experience, this was just an ancillary --
COACH LINDY RUFF: In our case I think we liked where our team was in '03-'04. We thought we were going to build a team around quickness, and with the reinforcing of the existing rules and emphasis being on special teams, we felt some of it would be. But we're going to need quick players.
Q. I think Afinogenov is probably the fastest guy in the league after two steps?
COACH LINDY RUFF: He's as quick as it comes right off the line. There's a lot of guys that when they are up and running are fast. He's pretty well -- he's up there with the top guys.
Q. How are you going to compensate for the loss of the two guys that are hurt?
COACH LINDY RUFF: I think we already have. We have put Derek Roy back in the middle. Derek is a very creative kid that can get the puck to people, a lot like Tim. We are back to using Derek on our power play and we have been good all year long in the absence of key personnel and having other players step in. In this case it would be Derek's turn to step into a bigger role again.
On the back end we have got Rory Fitzpatrick, who's played very well for us, got good mobility. He's probably more physical and he has got a offensive side to him that we have used him on the power play and he's been able to help us in a lot of areas.
Q. Why have your teams been so good at taking away home ice over the years, is it all just in a mental approach? How do you get these guys prepared? You always seem to come away with going back to Buffalo in a good position.
COACH LINDY RUFF: I think some of it is the guys have gone out and done the job obviously, I think some of it you have to be a little bit lucky at times, but I think you go into the other team's building with the attitude that you got to go after it and if you get one, you got a chance of getting two. And we have really approached it that we're not going to hang around to try to win the game. We have tried to go out and just go after it and just play.
Q. I remember back when, I think it was '01, I asked you about getting towards the end of the year, you had a chance at home ice, then Philly, whatever, I remember asking you the question and you kind of laughed the it. At the time you preferred it seemed, to have Philly having home ice?
LINDY RUFF: I think in some cases there's a little build-up of pressure if you start at home and you lose a game, I think the pressure starts to build on your team. For us, with a younger team, to start on the road, I think everybody has seen in the playoffs that home ice has made a difference. Even that happened recently in the Edmonton series, where the fans obviously made a difference.
For our team, I think we're young. I said sometimes I don't think our player knows how to be scared. It's worked into our favor. We have got a good skating team. We have been a very good road team all year and we have drawn off that.
Q. Lindy and Darcy, both of you, the fact that the U.S. networks have basically ignored you, from FOX to ABC to ESPN, is there any resentment towards the fact that if you are anonymous it is because no one can see you outside your market?
COACH LINDY RUFF: That's for you, Dars.
DARCY REGIER: I know you have, if you have spent any time in Buffalo, we have lots of Tim Hortons, and they are Canadian although they are moving south, and we have lots of malls that resemble Canadian malls. The No. 1 and 2 beer, at least I am told this, are Labatt's and Canadian, and so we kind of have dual citizenship in a lot of ways and so we're treated maybe indifferently by both sides from time to time even though our proximity is very close to Canadian border and we're American.
Q. Talk about how much these two teams and franchises have been built over the last couple of years, kind of mirror images of each other?
DARCY REGIER: I think there's a lot of similarities. The draft, the development of the young players, the speed of the teams, mobility of the defense, goaltending has been good for both teams, few free agents have been signed by both teams and so there are a lot of similarities. I think that's what will make this a very exciting series.
Q. How well do you know Jim?
DARCY REGIER: I know him pretty well.
Q. Have you ever had the discussion of, you know, "We're in similar small-market situations," that type of thing?
Q. Take me through that a little bit.
DARCY REGIER: In a lot of ways we have cheered for each other until now.
COACH LINDY RUFF: What time you guys going for dinner?
DARCY REGIER: We're not (laughs). No, we have. I think until we got here, I am certainly happy for this franchise, Carolina. He's called me and/or we have run into each other from time to time and he's expressed the same.
It's good. It's nice to see.
Q. What is Tim Connolly's status for the series?
COACH LINDY RUFF: Still remains day to day.
Q. He's not here, right?
COACH LINDY RUFF: Not today. He will be here tomorrow though. I really feel he will play in this series.
Q. What concerns you the most about their team, what is the focus, the one thing that you're pointing to the players?
COACH LINDY RUFF: I think right now they have been very good at dealing with adversity through the playoffs, even to be down by two games, and come back and win that series against Montreal in the fashion they have won, they beat a very good New Jersey team that was on a tremendous roll, against a guy that has been through the Stanley Cup wars in goal. I think that's the thing that's impressed me the most.
I think they played very well defensively, I think they are known for a little bit more of an offensive team, but watching them they have played very strong defensive hockey and having allowed a lot of goals throughout the playoffs.
Q. That's another similarity because their resolve is similar to yours?
COACH LINDY RUFF: Yeah, for the most part. I think we have -- I don't know if we have faced -- I guess when we're up 2-0 and went back to 2-2 against Philly, we faced something there, but I thought that those guys to get down 2-0, that's a bigger hole than being up 2-0 and end up with a tied series.
Q. Is Tim skating somewhere?
COACH LINDY RUFF: Possibly. I can't answer that because I can't answer it.
Q. I don't mean right now as we speak.
COACH LINDY RUFF: Oh. Has he been?
Q. Yes.
COACH LINDY RUFF: I don't know that for sure either.
DARCY REGIER: Can neither confirm nor deny.
COACH LINDY RUFF: Yes, your Honor.
Q. '99, when you'd made the Final, seven years you only have one player left from that, but what do you see as being similar or different between that run in '99 and what you have had going this year?
COACH LINDY RUFF: I don't find a lot similarities. I think that our team built as it is today has a lot more speed, more skill, a lot better offensively. '99 was a lot about putting a checking line against the other team's top lines. Playing real sound defensive hockey, I think we're in a situation now where we don't try to match up very often and we can get down a goal, teams can tie us up, we have been able to come back and score the goals that we needed to throughout these playoffs. We had a lot of good character on that team. I'd just think we have a lot more skill right now.
Q. When you guys picked up Chris Drury how much did his history as a sort of a post-season player play into it? Is that something that's in the back of your mind? Is that the reason you make that deal? How does that figure into the thinking?
DARCY REGIER: It played a very big role in acquiring Chris. One of the areas we wanted to improve on, I mean, we wanted to improve on creating a better core, and Chris, his playoff history was well known. But we also wanted to get a number of players that the young players can look up to and learn from, and he's done all of that.
Q. When you think back to the '99 team, how the economics of the sport devastated your team after that, could you have imagined in the worst of times having to trade your best players and that you can get it back to this?
COACH LINDY RUFF: It was gut wrenching to lose some of the players that we lost through our bankruptcy and the different situations. I think with being able to be so close to Rochester and watching those kids develop, we really felt that we had some tremendous young players. We also know it's special when you get to this point again because it's tough to do. It is tough to do. I think that the quality of players that have grown up in our organization, have really fit the way the game has gone and we have made some good additions that have been the thing that our team has needed. We do have -- our core has changed, we have got good character, we have got guys that play every night. I think that's shown up in our road record.
Q. How about you, Darcy?
DARCY REGIER: Well, we went through, I mean, if you go from '99 to now, there's a pretty good peak to a pretty good valley. So we haven't peaked yet hopefully and that continues. But there were some very tough times there, financially where we would have conversations day to day wondering whether or not, A, were we going to be in Buffalo? Were we going to be elsewhere? Were we going to be at all?
But I give the players that are with us and a number of them went through that and the younger players that -- effectively the same people are there, Lindy and the coaching staff in Rochester, who deserve a lot of credit for the development of a lot of the guys on this team now.
So people stayed with it despite that. We're getting some rewards for it now.
Q. Talk about your scoring balance, how that's difficult for other teams to defend.
COACH LINDY RUFF: A lot of times I think you look at your opposition. In our case, where teams would look at us and say, boy, if we could stop the Drury line, we have got a good chance of winning. In our case, where the scoring comes from, it comes from everywhere. It comes from everywhere. It comes from Briere, Hecht, Dumont. It comes from Roy, Afinogenov, Vanek. We have had some clutch goals by our fourth line, the latest being Pominville.
So you really can't just say, if we shut these three or four guys down, we have got real good chance of winning tonight. With our team it hasn't been about that. It's been if one line doesn't get it done, and we have had days, games, even the odd week where one line doesn't get it going and you've got the other two or three lines that are doing it for you.

End of FastScripts...

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297