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Everything posted by SabresVet

  1. NHL has changed considerably in the last 40 years. Not an environment suitable for the overwhelming majority of 18-19 year olds, skaters included, to succeed.
  2. This season I expect quantifiable evidence of improvement, not personal subjective assessments that are likely through rose colored lenses. None of what you listed above really helps make the playoffs and win there. It's talent combined with superior game-planning and in-game management (as @PerreaultForever already noted) is what wins. If they are not a ~90 point team by season's end then the rebuild is effectively stuck in neutral. Some will avoid viewing it this way, but that's what it'll be. And I say that because every season players are getting older, another contract year is over, and other teams are improving. Baby steps guarantee you never get there given what I just wrote.
  3. I asked pertinent questions...you respond with questions. I don't follow the Devils, but I can see from their quarter-season result that their 17-4 record is no fluke. And then there's the expansion Seattle club who are out to an excellent start. Sabres fans meanwhile (as evidenced by this thread) are seeing their team 20M south of the cap ceiling...being told they don't want vets getting ice time above their prospects. OK, but when does Buffalo and KA get awards for the most cap space? Because up thread someone astutely noted that goes away come April. I think all people want to see is a commitment to winning that is balanced with prospect development. With some players getting healthy, maybe there's a little more time warranted.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. The old prove a negative fallacy argument. I could just as easily ask is there any evidence that says the Buffalo Sabres aren't going to be sold? Or, what evidence is there that Kevyn Adams isn't gonna be the next team president? Someone on a message board or a report emerged which means there's some smoke...ergo it must be true. 🤣 Dude got traded almost 7 months. Played in 34 games. End result? Coach Killer. 🤣 Has to be...we don't like that guy. 🤣
  20. Being a 75 point team this year, I'd expect to see a 10-15 point improvement next season with better play from the young guys. And if they're in the playoff hunt come the trade deadline, tweaking the plan to acquire 1-2 players who can help should not be out of the question. The rebuild should be done correctly, but that doesn't mean they're locked in for how long it'll take. Besides, at some point, ownership can be expected to want results, including financially. Making the playoffs next season might not be a public goal, but it should be a private one given their finish this season. And that will address the profitability issue as well to hopefully increase their budget. Adams should not have received that question, but this is probably the only opportunity someone from the organization will be up to answer questions. I get why it was asked when framed that way.
  21. Hence, why I said "take it FWIW..." At the same time, knowing how Marie Antoinette Pegula is and seeing Terry (who seems more out of it every time he talks) would be of this mindset is reasonable. They're billionaires and sometimes those people just think they're more capable to make better decisions that they really are. Besides, with the Bills in 2017 they were operating from a position of weakness, McD capitalized on that, and ensured he'd have control...which is what he is as a Type A personality. Anyone can reject a report, but here's the deal. When you plunk down hundreds of millions for a team there is no "learning cycle" and needing 2-3 seasons is not a standard. They may be less hands-on now with someone they trust in KA, but in the end it's a business and they want to profit. The good vibes people have right now to feel good is nice heading into 2022-23. I'm saying it's a bottom line thing and fans who invest little compared to ownership should separate perspectives. One thing lost on this discussion of new management like a GM is that it's not hard to take a team already at the bottom and make them passable. Like going from dead last in the NHL for 2020-21 to 24th this season. It's a big jump to go from being a ~75 point team to competing for a playoff spot where this season it required 100 points to achieve.
  22. Take it FWIW, but Paul Hamilton said once that the Pegula's were (and I'm paraphrasing) not keen in retrospect on granting so much authority to McBeane. And that makes sense, because both are delusional about anything sports and are above all criticism. They've never looked in the mirror to acknowledge they're the root cause of the Sabres' woes. The bad hires in key management positions and meddling in personnel should have demonstrated they are clueless, but alas no. They're the modern embodiment of "the emperor has no clothes." As for the attendance numbers, if you take out the Classic game in Hamilton, Buffalo is under 9,500 for the season.
  23. No, only included those who'd be in the playoffs if the season ended today.
  24. Looking at the schedule this season and since 3/1, Buffalo is 7-4-2 against likely playoff teams compared to 5-16-3 before that date. All told, they've played 13 games against likely post-season teams out of 17 total while recording a 10-4-3 overall record. Have to give credit where credit is due coming down the stretch now that they're healthy and have experience playing in DG's system. Still need to improve talent for 2022-23 at the already discussed positions, but encouraging nevertheless.
  25. Adding a legit starting goaltender, banking on Power and Quinn to be above average NHL starters in years 1 and 1.5 and another RHD is no small task. As will be expecting the other youngish types (Mittelstadt, Krebs, Cozens) to improve is a lot to need to go right. It's an encouraging March regardless.
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