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SabresVet

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  1. This is a nuanced question, but what demonstrates improvement for this team? Because the season is at the quarter pole now, so it's an acceptable sample size to compare last season (Year 0 of rebuild) to this one (Year 1). Sabres were 8-10-3 to begin last year with 60 GF (finished 23rd) and 70 GA (finished 25th). That was a 74 point pace and they finished at 75. This season, they're 9-12-0 with 76 GF (5th in NHL) and 73 GA (27th). A 70 point pace this year. Of course, there's more to the story and an analysis can always dive deeper. Still, I think everyone expected offensively they'd improve and that's happened, but defense has been banged up and goaltending is a TBD with UPL up, Comrie out, and Anderson playing decent. It shouldn't remove the expectation that being a 90 or better point team this year is unreasonable. That would demonstrate progress, not pointing out that they're younger, play harder, or any of the other measures people create to justify faith in the GM and HC.
  2. Sabres' attendance is up 32% in the first 10 games this season compared to 2021-22. In the first 10 games last season, attendance averaged 7,910 compared to 13,225 this year or a 67% increase. Certainly this could decline if the losing continues, but the idea that attendance is down is flat out wrong.
  3. I used to go to games to see Jack and Dahlin. After last night...I can say I go to see Dahlin and now Tage. That kid is special and it's remarkable how far he's come when it seemed like he was struggling a few years ago. Credit to the staff for developing him.
  4. I know someone who covers the team and Terry was opposed to drafting Russian players for some time. And, that he pushed for Botterill to give those contracts to Eichel and then Skinner. Also doesn't help they nuked their front office in early to mid 2020. There's meddling, and then there's significant meddling. Yeah, it's their team and they can do what they want, but blaming the NHL for pushing GM candidates on them is weak. You want credit for the good moves...gotta take the heat for the bad ones too. As it relates to the article, we've learned very little about this rebuild because it's incomplete although there are signs this is in a better direction. That said, last year was Year 0. 2022-23 is Year 1.
  5. Such a phenomenal show. Television may be in a golden age of sorts with all the content being produced, but Better Call Saul is at the top of the list. Just finished the black and white episode 10 and it's shaping up to be a ride. I just can't see Jimmy (Saul) remaining in sleepy Omaha and not trying to break out of that rut. And that Is what will be his undoing.
  6. And he'll be out the door because the team has not successfully rebuilt. The Pegs' insistence on having "their" man at GM (after trusting Botterill, Murray, and Regier) is indicative of major trust issues borne of their own bad decisions. And when ownership is paranoid and refuses to hire people from outside the organization because they have trust issues it's not always a net win. Hopefully the talent being assembled will get them into the playoffs soon. Still, as someone said upthread, Adams and Granato still have a lot to prove. But if they're not in the playoffs within 2 seasons I'd hope ownership would not stay the course because they can't trust someone else.
  7. And who is responsible for ensuring NHL-quality goalies are on the roster? Adams walked into a bad situation with little in the minors, but did himself no favors. It seemed like last season there was no backup plan if Ullmark didn't re-sign leaving only Anderson and a host of journeyman. Not surprising their goaltending was a weak spot and lost them games. For all the credit the GM gets for improving the organizational talent at F and D, his moves in goal have been uninspiring. Perhaps Comrie gives them 40-50 games and there's improvement but that remains to be seen.
  8. 4 teams in the Atlantic Division basically lapped the other 4 into the playoffs and of those, only Boston might take a step down next season. The "lapped" teams were BUF, DET, OTT, and MON and of those, it's concerning that DET and OTT are going hard to compete in 2022-23. MON is not far behind them. Slow and steady is nice for nursery rhymes, but I'm not sure it's always the way to go in the NHL. Yet, Buffalo is taking the slow, steady, and cautious approach banking on youth to arrive while building their prospect pipeline. That, and fitting in low cost UFAs to theoretically be in position to re-sign their own when the time arrives. Adams' plan is to do this and have it come together under the HC, but that must be viewed as it relates to how this is shaping up to be one of the most competitive divisions in the NHL. Improving perhaps 5-10 points per season while others are taking a bigger leap will only be appreciated by the hardest of hard core fans. Unless most of their young players come on strong, Buffalo may find themselves looking up in the standings more than most here would want or hope for.
  9. Setting the bar real higher there, eh? I don't expect the Cup FInal, but this mentality of "we tried" is a low standard. It's as if people are afraid to have expectations of success because it's safer to be a pessimist and just say I told ya so if it doesn't work out.
  10. Then maybe Buffalo should have done a real GM search a few years ago when the Pegula's were feeling snakebitten by the NHL in the wake of Botterill's axing. Yeah, it's in the past, but this is the price you pay for ownership being paranoid and not willing to hand over the keys to someone versed in a front office. Adams is here now, but I think there'd be more interest in veterans going to Buffalo if they and their agents were as confident about his steering this ship. Not gonna sit well with the fans, but that's what we're coming down to.
  11. Buffalo seems stuck in a bad spiral this off-season and last with goalies They badly need help to win games and build up their core of young players. But they're getting rejected by those goalies they seem interested in who have certain no-trade clauses. If the options continue to dwindle and they're back with a less than an average situation at goalie, then their prospects will be put into the unenviable position of having to overcome said goaltending. Sure, they could find someone to today or tomorrow or next week, but this becoming Adams' Achilles. Especially when you see Portillo and Levi return to school with a better path to reaching the pros faster than in most other organizations.
  12. Yzerman's track record versus Adams' are vastly different and to compare the two's strategy is absurd. Adams mismanaged the goalie situation and seemed to be caught flat-footed when Ullmark left and did not recover. The GM has a lot to prove although he's had a lot thrown at him. I understand that, emotionally speaking, people want to believe in this regime because it's different than previous ones which were either way too cautious (Botterill) or too audacious (Murray). Neither produced a team close to the playoffs, but to avoid taking risks to hide behind a draft and develop mindset. Also have not expectation for a big UFA or trade this off-season, but I'm done with setting low expectations because it's safe to expect they'll meet them. Success this season is seeing the young players move closer to being productive NHL players and win. Because you don't truly "draft and develop" without the W's.
  13. The definition for "competitive" leaves plenty of room for what that means next season. Is a 75 point season competitive? No? How about 85 points and 10 or more outside the playoffs? To me, competitive in 2022-23 is challenging for the playoffs and nothing less. What is often lost on this board is a sense of urgency. Taking baby steps toward a better team and being content with not being mediocre is how you stay a bottom third of the NHL quality team. Besides, with guys like Dahlin and a few others, they need to see this franchise start winning or they'll be looking to leave.
  14. DeBoer being fired is more correlation and less causality to Jack given that he played less than half the season for Vegas. If anything, the expectations were upped on the HC and, despite Eichel's delayed arrival, VGK assessed a need to change coaches. He did leave on very bad terms and it was perhaps the most complex situation between a disgruntled NHL player and their team in years. And yes, I'd agree moving the one-time franchise player is a seminal event in any team's history but there's a line when people make it personal versus evaluating it in terms of trade value. Holding grievances long past their expiration date is a corrosive element to life. And sports ain't life. It's entertainment. I'll drop this now.
  15. I agree that Jack has an edge to him and is not naturally personable. I don't understand why and perhaps it's related to his status as extremely talented starting at a young age. Also think we all agree that placing the 'C' on him at an early age was a mistake largely because the room needed better examples to younger players. (I'm pointing at Kane, perhaps Bogosian). Just don't understand the continual knives out fans have for former players. I'd like to move on from the past and look toward the future with players here now. Jack's old news.
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