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Marchand'sNose

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  1. A couple simple Reinhart stats worth noting: 1. He is currently ranked 49th in the NHL for points. 2. He is currently ranked 3rd in the 2014 NHL draft class for career points (behind Draisatl and Pastrnak). So no, he's not in the untouchable talent tier of Eichel and Dahlin. But he's clearly a top line NHL forward. There are technically only 93 of these types of players, and they don't often become available through unrestricted free agency or even through the trade market. You pay him his market value and only trade him in an obviously favorable deal. No more O'Reilly trades, JNot!!
  2. It was mostly a spirited campaign from the good guys! A lot of tit-for-tat on the ice. Players hootering and hollering from the bench. Some of the team's biggest busts even made contributions. A few came out flat. A few others played like deers caught in headlights. But overall, a great game! I have no idea who won, though.
  3. But the team was playing poorly even when both were healthy. From October 26 - December 28 (2 full months), the Sabres went 8-13-6. So the problem with this roster likely runs much deeper than "2 of top 6 forwards injured, shallow depth." Even if you make VO and Skinner healthy and then magically have Mittelstadt, Cozens, and Luukkonen reach 100% career potential and promoted to the NHL, would that solve all of the team's problems? I don't even know anymore. Maybe the team's issues have as much to do with psychology as they do talent? At this point, I'm leaning heavily toward "yes" and am therefore recommending a lot of the long-timers here be shipped out ASAP despite whatever positive on-ice contributions they may still make. Keep Eichel and possibly Reinhart, but trade away players like Risto, McCabe, Bogo, Rodrigues, Girgensons, Larsson, and Okposo.
  4. VO was a Murray selection in 2014. I refuse to give JNot credit for Dahlin. Montour and Pilut should be downgraded to average. Miller and MoJo should be downgraded to disappointing. So after 2.5 seasons, the only things JNot has done definitively well (in my opinion) are the Skinner and Jokiharju trades. Awesome.
  5. The problem with this line of thinking is that the Ravens didn't play football in a vacuum on Saturday; there was a defense lined up opposite Jackson that was scheming to neutralize his strengths. In fact, the Titans largely followed what Frazier's defense did to Jackson a month ago. At the professional level of football, you either learn from your losses and adjust or be left behind. Having said that...Lamar Jackson is loaded with talent, works really hard, and is well-coached. So it would probably be a stretch to say he's been "figured out" and is now destined to follow a career trajectory similar to Kaepernick. I also absolutely hate it when people make definitive career statements about very young QB's - especially ones coming out of college like Jackson (and Allen) - when they're still developing and learning the hardest position to play in all of team sports.
  6. At this point I'm willing to go with Tre White, who was supposedly Louisiana's #1 goalie prospect right out of high school.
  7. I prefaced with "my feeling is that....", i.e. my suspicion based on incomplete information from sports media due to never having been in the Sabres locker room, i.e. my OPINION. But we do actually know that Bogosian and Rodrigues want to be traded right now, that Miller was unhappy about being traded here in the first place, that Sobotka was very unhappy being here throughout last year, and that Vesey was never too keen on the Buffalo market either. It was probably a stretch to call Sheary a locker room cancer, but let me put it this way: he's small, weak, bad at scoring goals, and was supposed to be a vet from a successful Pittsburgh program whose impact on-ice and off-ice has been completely inconsequential. The team certainly needs less of guys like him.
  8. Botterill is essentially rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic that has become the 2019-20 Sabres season (and also his GM career). Nevertheless, I think it's a decent move. The problem is that a lot more of these types of small-time moves need to happen. And they need to happen preferably by last summer. Veterans like Scandella were brought in to improve the locker room culture as much as they were brought in for their on-ice talent. Clearly Scandella hasn't had an effect on the locker room culture, so good riddance. Here are 6 more players that need to be moved as soon as possible: Bogosian, Miller, Sobotka, Rodrigues, Sheary, and Vesey. None of them will bring more than middle or late round picks or career AHL'ers in return, but my feeling is that their mere presence in the locker room is toxic and cancerous. I just don't know if the types of big moves that can actually save the season and Botterill's job are out there right now. There are 30 other GM's in the league that likely have zero respect for our GM and so are likely only offering highly unfavorable trades.
  9. The only two viable hockey markets that remain open in North America are Houston and Quebec City, but I think the Coyotes and Panthers will eventually move there. Toronto could also support a second team, but I doubt the NHL and the Maple Leafs will ever allow it. I can't even imagine a scenario where the Pegulas would sell or relocate the Sabres. They are very incompetent owners, but their loyalty and love toward the WNY community is genuine. They just need some sort of President of Hockey Operations to advise and oversee this mess. Buffalo is an outstanding pro hockey market. Any other U.S. hockey market would be playing games in front of 5k nightly crowds after subjecting their fanbase to what we've gone through over the past 20 years. This city will hold a parade for the Sabres the next time they make the playoffs.
  10. The Dalton Smith signing is an open acknowledgment from management that this team needs more toughness and grit, but why is this acknowledgment occurring midway through the third year of our GM's tenure? Is our GM even more clueless than we imagined? At bare minimum, the entire fourth line plus at least two defensemen should be made up of Dalton Smith personalities. I see 3 main problems with this roster at the moment: 1. The aforementioned lack of toughness and grit. Start by replacing McCabe, Scandella, Sheary, Rodrigues, and Vesey with Dalton Smith personalities and see what happens. 2. Lack of second line scoring. Find two quality players to play with Skinner, even if rentals. 3. Bad goaltending. Replace Hutton with someone better. All of these moves should happen ASAP, because a 9th straight year without playoffs is really bad for the team's locker room culture.
  11. Here are the standings point totals for the Eichel era: 2015-16: 81 2016-17: 78 2017-18: 62 2018-19: 76 2019-20: pacing at 86 after last night (and falling) So...essentially zero progress after five seasons since Eichel was drafted. Also, notice how our current GM may easily not even reach the Tim Murray/Dan Bylsma benchmark of 81 points after 3 seasons of trying. The level of organizational incompetence demonstrated here is absolutely outrageous and unparalleled in modern NHL history. I don't what else we as fans can do, other than complain on message boards and refuse to pay money for this product?! I'm convinced that Jason Botterill was given 4 full years to turn this around, so praying he gets fired this season may be a waste of energy. I'm not even sure his biggest mistakes (Housley hire, O'Reilly trade) were entirely his fault and not partly the fault of the most incompetent owner in the NHL.
  12. The roster actually needs TWO second-line forwards in order to be playoff-competitive. Everything else seems okay to me on paper: Olofsson - Eichel - Reinhart Skinner - ??? - ??? Girgensons - Larsson - Okposo Johansson - Asplund - Thompson Ullmark Hutton Jokiharju - Dahlin Ristolainen - Scandella Montour - Miller The best we can hope for are probably 2C and 2W rentals while praying Cozens and Mittlestadt are ready next year. I would trade away McCabe, Bogosian, Sobotka, Rodrigues, Sheary, and Vesey for 3D/4F players with that ever-elusive "grit" which has been missing from this roster at least since the Twin Tank Years began.
  13. They still might have late-round draft pick value at the trade deadline, when many injury-plagued teams just need warm bodies with NHL experience.
  14. Actually, if you're trying to determine the significance of Buffalo's weather as a factor on QB performance, you would start by comparing the stats of every QB who played in Buffalo with their stats when not playing in Buffalo. This includes Josh's stats. I listed weather (mostly wind this season) as just one of 3 factors outside Josh Allen's control that affect completion percentage. Another is the team's abnormally high number of dropped passes. The biggest factor, however, is the type of offensive system run. For example, Lamar Jackson's completion percentage would likely drop in Daboll's system and Josh Allen's would likely rise in Roman's system. I also listed throwing mechanics and footwork as affecting completion percentage. Josh has improved in this aspect of his game since last season, but he still gets sloppy at times. One factor I forgot to add is pro experience. The more defensive looks a QB has seen in his lifetime, the better he should get at completing passes (though this will plateau after a certain number of games played...usually after about 3 full seasons). Yet another obvious factor I didn't initially mention is the type of defenses faced. Playing the Ravens and the Steelers in the AFC North will tend to lower completion percentage compared to playing the Giants and Skins in the NFC East. So basically, there are a number of factors (I've listed 6 now) that affect completion percentage, with weather being one factor but normally not the most important factor. I think it's reasonable to expect about 65% from Josh for his third season under Daboll, but the 58.8% right now isn't at all alarming. Like I said earlier, that's a difference of about 25 completed passes over 15 games. A true #1 WR, an upgrade at LG and RT, and an improvement over Gore are what we should expect from Buffalo this off-season to help Allen succeed. Of course, even if Josh Allen reaches 65%, I'm sure there will be another stat that many of you here will cling to in order to validate your preconceived opinion that he is a bust...
  15. I can and will and just did. Wind, cold temperatures, rain, and snow affect completion percentage. New Era Field is easily the windiest stadium in the NFL. Cousins and Wilson play in domes. Flacco is a 12-year vet with a mediocre completion percentage. Rodgers in Green Bay might be a good counterpoint, but he's also well-known as being among the very greatest precision passers to have ever played the game.
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