Lindy Ruff took one for the team on Monday.

Following an ugly 6-2 loss in Colorado, Ruff deflected criticism of his young, inexperienced defense by saying he needed to do a better job of preparing them.

“Our defense were a step slow — they were a step slow on the coverage,” Ruff said postgame. “I’m going to work with them. They’ve got to play in big situations against big players and they’ve got to make those plays for us.

“It really falls on my shoulders to get them there. Because they’re the guys that are going to have to play.”

Without injured veterans Trevor Daley and Stephane Robidas, Dallas leaned heavily on the likes of Jamie Oleksiak (20 years old) and Kevin Connauton (23), more so after another veteran — Aaron Rome — was lost to injury after playing just 2:36 in the opening period.