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Preview/Lines #45: Quinn ‘Stunned’ by Criticism Ruff Has Taken in New Jersey

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Credit: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

David Quinn has been shocked with the criticism that Lindy Ruff has received the last three years with the New Jersey Devils.

Ruff was an assistant coach under Quinn for the New York Rangers from 2018 to 2020, before getting tapped to be New Jersey’s bench boss. Ruff previously was the head coach of the Buffalo Sabres from 1997 to 2013 and Dallas Stars from 2013 to 2017.

“It took me about five minutes to realize this is a guy I wanted to work with not only professionally, but personally,” Quinn, who didn’t know Ruff before New York, shared. “He’s a great friend.”

Ruff missed the playoffs in his first two campaigns behind the bench of a young Devils squad. So in New Jersey’s home opener this season, Ruff was treated roughly by the Prudential Center crowd:

Since the Devils’ 0-2-0 start, New Jersey has gone 28-10-3, enjoying a 13-game winning streak along the way. The fans have come around.

Is this every coach’s dream, to have the fans apologize to you?

“Yes,” Quinn laughed, before joking. “No actually, you never want them to have to get to the point where they have to apologize.”

The Rhode Island native added, smiling: “Is anyone shocked it was a Jersey crowd?”

Certainly, Quinn knows how hard it can be to coach in the East Coast. It looks like Ruff has survived the Devils’ growing pains and is now piloting a Stanley Cup contender.

“I got a ton of respect for him as a coach and not surprised he’s done the job he has in New Jersey. It stunned me with some of the criticism he took in his first three years. I know we’re in a profession that people love to take shots and people are impatient. A month after a coach is hired, they want to know when they’re gonna fire them. It’s just life,” Quinn mused. “But it just stuns me, a guy of his caliber who has the resume he has, the type of person he is, just give the guy a chance, and look what he’s doing.”

San Jose Sharks (13-23-8)

New Jersey Devils (28-12-3)

This is how the Devils lined up on Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings.

Where to Watch

The San Jose Sharks will take on the New Jersey Devils at 1 PM PST at SAP Center. Watch it live on NBC Sports California. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

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