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Evan Rodrigues- Yeah or Nah?

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The Sobotka thread seems to be devolving into a discussion of ERod.  Therefore I thought he deveserved his own thread.

I’m on record as a ERod fan. 

I love his development as a jack of all trades for our team.  He can play any forward position on any line and be effective.  

Frankly, I think he can be a solid contributor to our team for years to come and at 650K, he’ll be the best bang for the buck on our team.

He isn’t physical.  So what.  He seems to everything else well.  He’s fast, sees the ice well, has decent hands, is solid on both ends of the ice.  He doesn’t give the puck away.  His possession numbers are good for a team as bad as we were and despite only getting O Zone starts 49% he had a breakout season offensively.  At 5’11 180, he also isn’t small.  

He isn’t a superstar, but for team lacking depth scoring we could do a lot worse the ERod.  

 

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I worry about some of his underlying possession metrics but am willing to see how he does. 

He's also not good at faceoffs which seems to be a thing we care a lot about lately. 

Edited by LGR4GM

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I thought @Randall Flagg had a great take on ERod — that his ambition exceeds his skill set. My addendum would be that his ambition is also expanding his skill set.

I wasn't a fan, but his play is starting to win me over. In the past 18 months or so, my take has gone from "AHLer", to "useful 4th liner" to "maybe he can actually be a productive middle-sixer." His play last year should have cemented him a top nine role entering training camp, and I love it that his presence is providing a challenge that bigger, faster and more skilled players have to push past in order to get ice time. He is the embodiment of internal competition.

I now picture him as a versatile utility player, the tenth forward on a contender — providing some zing to the fourth line and moving up to patch holes higher up the lineup as situations depend.

Edited by dudacek
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What is really interesting is that when playing with Jack Eichel at even strengths, Rodrigues has a CF% of 63.27% 

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8 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I thought @Randall Flagg had a great take on ERod — that his ambition exceeds his skill set. My addendum would be that his ambition is also expanding his skill set.

I don't think his skill-set is the issue, per se. I think it's his strength. Which, IMO, gives him more upside/higher ceiling, if he addresses the strength issue

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It's easy to say he's not Eichel, Reinhart, O'Reilly or Mittelstadt and therefore he sucks.  But we'll be paying a lot of money for our top three or four people soon.  If we're going to be competitive we'll need some bargain-priced players filling out the roster.  I think ERod is exactly that kind of player.  He's not a placeholder until something better comes along, he's a solid bottom six NHLer with middle six upside.  That sounds limiting perhaps, but you can't have a team all made up of McDavids.  You need players to fill out a team.  ERod looks like he fits that mold.  He's not going to hurt us and may help us.

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Just now, LGR4GM said:

What is really interesting is that when playing with Jack Eichel at even strengths, Rodrigues has a CF% of 63.27% 

Why does that surprise you.  They were successful line mates in college and have complimentary skills.  

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It doesn't surprise me. It is interesting though. When Evan played with Larsson his CF% drops to 40% at ES. ERod and Okposo suck together as well at 42.13% and this number is probably more stable. 137minutes of TOI versus the 24 he played with Larsson. 

Edited by LGR4GM

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This will be a big year for ERod.  He could establish himself as a Sheary type -- i.e. a smart, fast complementary winger who knows where to be and can finish and therefore can play in the top 6 until someone with superior talent like Nylander or Thompson seizes that spot.  Or he could establish himself as more of a 4th-liner who can flex up in the lineup when needed.  Or he could simply get beaten out by several of his roster competitors and find himself waived.

I like what I've seen so far, including good year-over-year improvement, so I'm inclined to think he can grab a spot on Eichel's or Casey's line and acquit himself favorably until someone beats him out for it.  (And I totally agree with duda's point about how ERod's presence will require the other guys to dig deep and play their best if they want to take his spot.)

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5 minutes ago, erickompositör72 said:

I don't think his skill-set is the issue, per se. I think it's his strength. Which, IMO, gives him more upside/higher ceiling, if he addresses the strength issue

I think it's everything. He tries to play a game that's faster, stronger and slicker than his feet, body and hands dictate he should.

Every once in a while he gets buried, or makes an embarrassing play because of it, but because he's constantly pushing his own personal envelope, he's also making some unexpectedly good plays as well.

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16 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I think it's everything. He tries to play a game that's faster, stronger and slicker than his feet, body and hands dictate he should.

Every once in a while he gets buried, or makes an embarrassing play because of it, but because he's constantly pushing his own personal envelope, he's also making some unexpectedly good plays as well.

I see this too.  I think he's the prototypical AAAA player.

Speaking of which, I need to resume my JAG poll.

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1 hour ago, LGR4GM said:

What is really interesting is that when playing with Jack Eichel at even strengths, Rodrigues has a CF% of 63.27% 

 

1 hour ago, LGR4GM said:

It doesn't surprise me. It is interesting though. When Evan played with Larsson his CF% drops to 40% at ES. ERod and Okposo suck together as well at 42.13% and this number is probably more stable. 137minutes of TOI versus the 24 he played with Larsson. 

Which pretty much confirms the eye test on him.  If he plays with guys that can pull their fair share of the load, he can play well & even help them as he can be really reasonably goodin his limited role.

But when heis required to carry a full 1/3 or more (as when playing w/ Larsson or Okposo) of the responsibility on his line, he gets stretched too thin & has to cover more area & be resposible for more roles than he can handle at a single pop.

Give him a limited role, and he will excel.  Probably so much that the other guys he lines up with end up better as well.

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But a thing he needs to watch for is Tim Kennedy syndrome: believing you are better than you are & pricing yourself out of a good situation.

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1 hour ago, dudacek said:

He tries to play a game that's faster, stronger and slicker than his feet, body and hands dictate he should.

Good.  I want every player on the team to do this.  You've got limits?  Fine.  Play beyond them.

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6 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

Good.  I want every player on the team to do this.  You've got limits?  Fine.  Play beyond them.

Provided they pick their spots, ok.  It does help their game grow, but they have to be judicious when picking those spots.

Otherwise we get to watch the 21st Century equivalent of Housley appearing to be unaware of the fact that Richer wasn't on his team & he really shouldn't be passing to him every playoff game.  And that will be far more frustrating than last year's debacle was to watch.

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Rodrigues getting as much ice time as he did had very much a lot to do with where this team finished in the standings.    He's a nice player... on a last place team.     There are no Rodrigues' on playoff caliber teams.

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30 minutes ago, pi2000 said:

Rodrigues getting as much ice time as he did had very much a lot to do with where this team finished in the standings.    He's a nice player... on a last place team.     There are no Rodrigues' on playoff caliber teams.

That simply isn’t true.  Vrana, Connolly, Smith Pelly, and Chaisson skated regular shifts for the Caps.  I’d take ERod over all of them.

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1 hour ago, Taro T said:

Provided they pick their spots, ok.  It does help their game grow, but they have to be judicious when picking those spots.

Otherwise we get to watch the 21st Century equivalent of Housley appearing to be unaware of the fact that Richer wasn't on his team & he really shouldn't be passing to him every playoff game.  And that will be far more frustrating than last year's debacle was to watch.

Fair enough.  But... as long as the team is playing a system, as a unit, that should cover for any high risk/high reward maneuvers that fail.

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I like the way E Rod plays the game. He's a regular pain in the azz for the opposition by being in a position to steal pucks. Once he takes possession he can either make a good pass or turns the play back up the ice himself. He plays with a lot of enthusiasm and speed, both of which are qualities the Sabres desperately need in a player.

It's always nice to have a guy that specializes in one aspect of the game, e.g. face-offs, stealing pucks, checking, puck possession, etc.

First, Jaromir Jagr could hold onto a puck down low in the corner at will, and when he was ready could put one in the net from the edge of the circle or could make a great passing play.

Second, Patrick Kaleta wasn't the most talented Sabre on the ice but, the one thing he could do was body check and move guys off the puck. This would translate into puck possession for the good guys in a shut down roll, or would buy time for a skilled guy to make an offensive play.

Finally, ROR could win a face-off when you needed it. Having the puck is always a good idea.

Good playoff teams have guys like this up and down their roster.

IMO, E Rod plays the kind of game and has the positive attitude the Sabres need; with this in mind, I hope the Sabres take a little more time finding out how much game he has to offer, and adds players that have the unique skills that will help us get to the playoffs.

Let's Go Buffalo! 

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I still think Erod = Jason Dawe.  We won't be impressed when he moves on and we see that game in a different uniform.

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20 minutes ago, hockeyhound said:

I like the way E Rod plays the game. He's a regular pain in the azz for the opposition by being in a position to steal pucks. Once he takes possession he can either make a good pass or turns the play back up the ice himself. He plays with a lot of enthusiasm and speed, both of which are qualities the Sabres desperately need in a player.

[...]

IMO, E Rod plays the kind of game and has the positive attitude the Sabres need; with this in mind, I hope the Sabres take a little more time finding out how much game he has to offer, and adds players that have the unique skills that will help us get to the playoffs.

I could see him fitting that role and being useful

 

19 minutes ago, hockeyhound said:

Second, Patrick Kaleta wasn't the most talented Sabre on the ice but, the one thing he could do was body check and move guys off the puck. This would translate into puck possession for the good guys in a shut down roll, or would buy time for a skilled guy to make an offensive play.

and he was the only player who took off his skate and tried to stab somebody 😉

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3 hours ago, Weave said:

I still think Erod = Jason Dawe.  We won't be impressed when he moves on and we see that game in a different uniform.

 

Your heart has grown cold my friend. 

Dahlin will warm you right up though.  

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No doubt he is an NHL player but where on the Sabres does he currently fit? I would say third line. Is there a chance to compete for second line time? If he continues to grow by the time OK is gone I think it would awesome if he could fill that gap with the right linemates.

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On 8/15/2018 at 6:41 PM, hockeyhound said:

I like the way E Rod plays the game. He's a regular pain in the azz for the opposition by being in a position to steal pucks. Once he takes possession he can either make a good pass or turns the play back up the ice himself. He plays with a lot of enthusiasm and speed, both of which are qualities the Sabres desperately need in a player.

It's always nice to have a guy that specializes in one aspect of the game, e.g. face-offs, stealing pucks, checking, puck possession, etc.

First, Jaromir Jagr could hold onto a puck down low in the corner at will, and when he was ready could put one in the net from the edge of the circle or could make a great passing play.

Second, Patrick Kaleta wasn't the most talented Sabre on the ice but, the one thing he could do was body check and move guys off the puck. This would translate into puck possession for the good guys in a shut down roll, or would buy time for a skilled guy to make an offensive play.

Finally, ROR could win a face-off when you needed it. Having the puck is always a good idea.

Good playoff teams have guys like this up and down their roster.

IMO, E Rod plays the kind of game and has the positive attitude the Sabres need; with this in mind, I hope the Sabres take a little more time finding out how much game he has to offer, and adds players that have the unique skills that will help us get to the playoffs.

Let's Go Buffalo! 

 

I like this post and feel nearly identical about E Rod.  This kid has earned my respect.  On a team that was clearly lacking effort at times, I never saw that out of E Rod.  He hustled as if it mattered,  when it often didn't, but it did to him.  You can win with these kinds of players on your team filling their roles.  

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