Sabres fans gathered around television sets to see the first game of the Ron Rolston era. They say it's bittersweet not seeing Lindy behind the bench.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Fans at Gordon's Bar in North Buffalo knew what they didn't want to see from the Buffalo Sabres Thursday: a game anything like Tuesday's loss to the Winnepeg Jets. It turned out to be Lindy Ruff's final game as head coach.
“How could you not like a guy like that, but after that game it just seemed like we were lazy and not playing to our full potential,” Louis Carey said.
Ron Rolston's first game as the Sabres new leader started well.
“They didn’t score on us in the first 20 seconds or minute of the game which was good to see and the defense seems to be pulling into the net a little bit and playing a little tighter,” Mary Rossbrook said.
The team took a 1-0 lead to the locker room after the first period.
“It seems like we’re playing a little more aggressive offensively but it will take some time to see. We always play Toronto well,” Carey said.
But the Rolston era ended up beginning the same way the Ruff era ended, with a loss. Fans said they're willing to be patient with the new coach.
“I think it will be an okay season and maybe next year they’ll do better and I hope Lindy does well wherever he goes,” Ann Hergott said.
“Do we want to just see them lose out and vindicate Lindy?" Rossbrook said. "This wasn’t his doing. No, we want to see them win and this seems to be a chance to win now.”
“I would say (give Rolston) a few games at least, a few games (to impress). Maybe this lit a fire under them. I hope it did,” Carey said.
After more than 15 years with Ruff as a head coach, fans said a grace period of a few games for the new guy seems fair.