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About Marchand'sNose

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  1. Here's my opinion of this team's culture problems: 1. First and foremost, the head coaches here (Bylsma and Housley) have been really poor at communicating. Hopefully Krueger is different. 2. Player acquisition has predominantly focused on skill and raw physical talent at the expense of the more mental/personality attributes of physicality and grit. Botterill still needs to balance the roster out with more piano movers to complement the piano players (to use a phrase I've heard in soccer). 3. The younger core (everyone 27 and under) doesn't seem to have the requisite work ethic and mental focus for making deep NHL playoff runs. Many of these guys (Skinner, Eichel, Reinhart, Ristolainen, McCabe, Girgensons, Larsson, Rodrigues) have never even been a part of an NHL playoff team and probably don't know what it really takes to endure the marathon that is an NHL season. 4. The older vets (28 and over) who are supposed to be providing a lot of the leadership on this roster are simply atrocious, both on the ice and in the locker room. I'm okay with Johansson and Hutton, but Okposo, Bogosian, Scandella, Hunwick, and Sobotka should be jettisoned and replaced with better vets as soon as possible. Okposo and Bogosian wear the "A" but are too easygoing in personality to hold such default roster leadership positions on this particularly youth-heavy roster.
  2. Same. Lehner, O'Reilly, Berglund, Sobotka, now Ristolainen...the firmly entrenched losing culture in Buffalo is destroying our players. Who knows what Eichel, Reinhart, McCabe, Bogosian, Larsson, Girgensons, Rodrigues, and Okposo are thinking? This team badly needs to make the playoffs THIS SEASON.
  3. I'm wondering what teams in the Eastern Conference people here think the Sabres are better than, on paper? Ottawa? Detroit? Who else? There aren't many. Yet some here are excited that we added a decent second line LW (Johansson), a decent third line winger (Vesey), a prospect of completely unknown NHL impact (Olofsson), a solid 3rd line D-man (Miller), and a solid D-man prospect (Jokiharju)? None of these are individually bad additions, but cumulatively they are nowhere near enough to put us into borderline playoff contention this year. So we're looking at 9 straight years without playoffs now (NHL franchise record is 10), 3 straight for Botterill, and 5 straight for Eichel's career. Also, some here are not factoring in the issue of injuries. This team was atrocious since November despite barely getting hit with the injury bug. What happens if or when the team's injury situation regresses to the mean this season? Another lottery pick to look forward to? It's getting really hard to get excited about the 2019-20 season. I realize Botterill still has a couple months to trade Risto for a 2C, move out the Sobotkas and Scandellas of the roster, etc... but the closer we get to the start of the season without substantive roster changes, the less sanguine I feel about Botterill's future in Buffalo. He talks a good game about locker room culture and has certainly created that in Rochester, but the core players in Buffalo have been languishing.
  4. Small improvement basically means getting back to Bylsma's (and Eichel's) first season of 81 points, no? So no progress after 4 seasons....this is simply unacceptable.
  5. Botterill will be fired if he doesn't make the playoffs by the end of his 4th year. And he's not safe if there isn't substantial improvement by the end of his 3rd year. Also, there will be a massive roster firesale if this team can't make the playoffs within the next 2 seasons. No one but Dahlin will be safe. Eichel especially will be gone. This is why it is in everyone's best interest to try and make the playoffs THIS season.
  6. All of them were stupid tweets made by a juvenile trying to be "edgy" and nothing more. The "if it ain't white, it ain't right" was a reference to a joke from Modern Family. No one in the Buffalo Bills locker room today actually thinks Josh Allen is a racist. It's a non-issue to everyone but the most politically correct and easily offended. I heard rumors that the Arizona Cardinals were the team that released his tweets before the draft so that he'd drop to them at 10.
  7. I love it, but I don't think any Risto-RNH trade is happening unless we're giving up significantly more. Why is Edmonton willing to trade RNH anyway? I've seen these rumors floating around, and I want to believe... Also, check out your D-men lineup. With the Gardiner rumors and the McCabe trade rumors, how about: Dahlin - Montour Gardiner - Jokiharju Pilut - Miller Notice that this would be a complete overhaul of Housley's first-year D-men crew, which of course is a very good thing. JBot is finally getting serious about winning hockey games. A little on the late side, but better late than never.
  8. Being captain of the Buffalo Sabres has a similar effect on the body as being President of the United States.
  9. We'll very likely need to protect Jokiharju, which is yet another reason why Ristolainen is as good as gone. 7 Forwards: Eichel, Skinner, Reinhart, Mittelstadt, Olofsson, Thompson, new guy from Ristolainen trade 3 Defenders: Dahlin, Montour, Jokiharju 1 Goalie: Ullmark Exposed: Asplund, McCabe, Miller, Borgen, Pilut Maybe Asplund eventually replaces Thompson. Or maybe Pilut's development will force the Sabres to choose the "protect any 9 players" option instead of the "7 F + 3D + 1G" option. But at the moment, the 2021 expansion draft isn't a concern.
  10. Is Jokiharju maybe expected to be the long-term defensive partner for Dahlin?
  11. Long-term, this team desperately needs a top right winger more than a #2 center. We have Mittelstadt, Cozens, and Asplund at center but only Reinhart and Thompson at RW. So any RW who would be a good fit with Eichel and Skinner should be considered in a Risto trade.
  12. Rodrigues is currently our 5th best forward. This is indeed a very sobering revelation.
  13. The best 12 I have are: Skinner - Eichel - Olofsson Johansson - Mittelstadt - Reinhart Sheary - Rodrigues - Vesey Girgensons - Larsson - Okposo This could, in theory, work if Mittelstadt and Olofsson take big enough steps in their development.
  14. Playoffs need to be the franchise's expectation for this coming season. At a certain point, you have to be concerned about the collective psychology of a team that manages to miss the playoffs for 5 straight seasons after the 2014-15 tank season. I'm looking specifically at the core of Eichel, Reinhart, Ristolainen, Girgensons, Larsson, McCabe, and Rodrigues. JBot preaches player development, but how much can players develop in an environment that has only known losing for this long?
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