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Everything posted by Marvin

  1. THIS is how we will tell how much they really believe they can make the playoffs. If they are angry after a loss because of poor play and say so, that tells me that they really think they can make some hay this season. Obviously, if the opposing goalie plays like Hasek, what can you do? For the moment, I take their smiles and attitude at face value. They look like a team who are relishing the opportunity to embarrass teams who take them lightly.
  2. Please add broadcast details, line-ups, etc. in the thread.
  3. Your evaluation of establishing a TEAM identity is a good one. The current model is more sustainable, but takes longer to develop. It also means that you don't "go for it" in the off-season. As such, pundits will label the lack of big splashes as "soft tanking." Example: anyone else remember the evaluation of the signings of Lydman and Numminen in 2005? They were considered "solid" but "nothing special" by pundits with The Hockey News, among others. Several pundits questioned when the Sabres might make the playoffs again since Golisano had clearly instructed Darcy on a target salary. No one thought they would threaten the playoffs unless, as Spector's Hockey put it, they had "underestimated Lindy Ruff's ability to get blood from a stone." That was aside from the questions about Miller, Biron, and Noronen. That team rose from the ashes in part on comraderie. The signings this season look a lot like 2005. I don't expect them to rise like that team did. But maybe a bunch of guys break out like that team did. THIS is why I get a low-key vibe like 2005-6 from these players.
  4. I can't find the place where I got the stats from the last time someone said Zemgus was "just a guy", so I will look for it once I get a charging cord for my laptop. Thus, I will go from memory. I recall Zemgus and Larsson had #2/3, 4/5, and something below 10 in the bottom 25 list for "most unfavourable player deployments" since 2005-6, with Paul Gaustad getting #1, 4, and a couple of others. Okposo was down there for the median deployment, but his PP time lifted him off the first page for mean deployment. In the disaster COVID year, Zemgus and Kyle carried that line. Last season, Kyle was not on the checking line most of the season, yet Zemgus still was getting the bottom deployment. This is not to gainsay Okposo's contributions to the LOG line or as a checker. He excelled in that role. Literally no other line in the NHL that season had a plus game against Pastrnak-Bergeron-Marchand like the LOG line had in one of its first times together. No matter how good Larsson and Girgensons were at reinventing themselves as checkers, Okposo's presence elevated that line to elite status.
  5. This is what I think. The analytics department is built up. The atmosphere around the club is better. The play of our youngsters and prospects implies the scouting has improved. I think Kim's health plays a large part in this.
  6. Um, for years on end, the checking line that got nearly historical unfavourable deployment game-in-game-out but had clearly above average possession stats has had one constant: Zemgus Girgensons. Maybe if he got more typical deployment for a checker rather than bottom 30 all-time unfavourable deployment 5 years running, including 2 of the top 3 places (#1 and 4 are Paul Gaustad), he might hit 15 goals. He does the dirty jobs exceedingly well, which coaches, GMs, and scouts appreciate. Every good team can use a player like Girgensons.
  7. I believe both were high on the Sabres lists. I certainly thought Comrie would be in the top 5 goaltenders who could transition to full time in the NHL. Given team needs, I has Lyubushkin in my top 5 RHD targets. Neither was in my top 2, but them being among their primary targets makes sense to me.
  8. Guys like Zemgus are very valuable, particularly to a very young, green team. I'd give him an extension at about his current salary before trading him even enters my mind.
  9. What we are seeing is the importance of winning the off-season compared to a team's supposed rivals to avoid negative progostications. And if the Sabres vastly outperform these predictions, expect loud ret-cons from these guys who will try and make you forget their predictions. Either that, or they will do the PHWA equivalent of explaining why Josh Allen still sucks. I expect the goaltending to improve at least a bit with Comrie. I also see what could be possible improvement in Ukka Pekka-Lukkonnen and Malcolm Subban. I expect the defence to be a lot better with Power, Samuelsson, and Lyubushkin in place of Hagg et al. I can't imagine the forwards are nearly a push when Eakin, Caligula, Jankowski, etc. are replaced with Quinn, Peterka, Sheahan, et al. Maybe early in the year, when we see youthful mistakes, will their readiness be questioned. But later in the season, it should be no contest. Now, could this team improve in points yet wind up further down the standings? Sure -- the Sabres were 2 points clear of 7th in the division.
  10. Gotta start somewhere. A roster full of actual NHL-quality players is the precursor.
  11. So who here subscribes to the theory from some at Two Bills Drive that the Bills are more likely to be swept by Miami than sweep Miami and that the Bills are more likely to split with New England and New Jersey than sweep them? No, really, some posters seem to really believe that.
  12. Every time I see the string "BET", I always think of the punchline to a cartoon from The Boondocks, where the young kid refers to Kwanzaa as "The BET of holidays."
  13. I once specialised in mathematical biology and neural networks because I was very good at neurology in biomedical engineering. I have a very hard time watching football because of my knowledge of CTE and what the NFL did to that Pittsburgh neurologist.
  14. Are Duff, Ray, and Marty more engaged with the tournament's games this year than in recent years, or am I just imagining it because I am more engaged this year than I was since before Krueger was coach?
  15. If memory serves me right, his and others' off-season work which required staying in shape and the Soviets' performance in the Summit Series were the inspirations for Fred Shero and Joe Crozier for their training camps before 1972-3.
  16. Happy birthday, @SDS! Thank you for SS and TBD.
  17. I am similarly curious about what the Penguins send here.
  18. Can a renovation of KBC be done in stages, or does it have to be one off-season?
  19. Michigan Rag, Maple Leaf Rag, or some other rag?
  20. IMHO, Miller was very good here. He stole games where the Sabres were shelled. He let in the odd soft one in, but my perception was that it was far and away the exception than the rule.
  21. For some fans, 12-5 will merely be an "OK season."
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