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LGR4GM

Sabres and the 1st Period

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This team is absolute trash in the 1st period of games. They come in completely unprepared to compete at a game level. Why? 

They were outshot 12-5 in last nights game. 

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My guess: They don't study. 

That's all I got. They just go out there and see what happens.

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When it comes to performing, it's all but impossible to perform at your best "cold".  As a musician, I will warm up for as long as possible before a show.  To me, the Sabres always look "cold" and unprepared when they start like that.

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It's a problem that goes back quite a few years now. They just don't appear physically or mentally ready to play, and a lot of times it carries over throughout the entire game. 

Soft on pucks, not paying attention to where other players are on the ice, egregious giveaways. 

The too many men penalty last night was a perfect example. They're getting their butts handed to them and Thompson can't be bothered to skate hard to the bench for a change. Wouldn't want to break a sweat. 🙄

They aren't skating hard enough to give themselves any time or space, and they're trying to cover it up with fancy/high risk playmaking. But that keeps backfiring because when you screw up you have to be aware enough to recover. Which they aren't. 

If you aren't ready to skate you need to at least stick to making simple heads-up plays. 

These guys think they're too good for simple plays. They'd rather cough it up at the blue line than chip it in and go get it. 

 

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I don't think their first period has differed appreciably from any other period they've played. 

Posts here and elsewhere were absolutely thrilled with, for example, the start of the Bruins game, where we carried play until one breakdown on a Boston rush, then all of a sudden the team "wasn't ready to play." This happens to every fanbase of teams that aren't that good. Trying to ignore score effects, the map of these games in those dumb corsi charts tell a story that we can usually hold it together for the first period before eventually crumbling. 

Of course, the Vegas flu played a role last night, which I do think is a game this sentiment applies to, and by all means we should criticize them for doing that again. 

Edited by Randall Flagg

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Where should the accountability come from and who or whom would hold the players to it ? 

 

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They looked fine in the first period on Saturday.

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It'll get better when they have a functioning 2nd line.  Mittelstadt needs to grow into the role as the 2nd center as the season progesses.  He taking steps, but not having a true 2nd center at this time is holding the team back.

 

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1 hour ago, Eleven said:

They looked fine in the first period on Saturday.

They looked decent in the first half of the first period last night.  I think the shots were nearly even until the second half of the period when Vegas took over.  They weren't the aggressor by any means, but they didn't look like the hunted either, at least not at first.

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18 minutes ago, jad1 said:

It'll get better when they have a functioning 2nd line.  Mittelstadt needs to grow into the role as the 2nd center as the season progesses.  He taking steps, but not having a true 2nd center at this time is holding the team back.

 

I know Skinner is a winger, but I would almost make him the "designated center" and let Casey just have winger-level responsibilities until he gets better with the game flow.  I wouldn't be averse to giving him some AHL time in favor of one of the AHLers coming up (Nylander, Olofsson).

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8 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

I know Skinner is a winger, but I would almost make him the "designated center" and let Casey just have winger-level responsibilities until he gets better with the game flow.  I wouldn't be averse to giving him some AHL time in favor of one of the AHLers coming up (Nylander, Olofsson).

Along the same lines I was thinking about swapping Reinhart with Mittlestadt.  Let Casey play on Jack's wing for a while, as a playmaker without center responsibilities and let Sam work with Skinner.

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It might be worth a look, yeah.  I think HCPH would be very hesitant to break up the only line that's scoring though.  I think he could justify it as long as keeps the #1 PP unit (i.e., the current configuration of the top line) together.

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I've seen 2 of 4 games where they have been trash in period 1.

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11 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

It might be worth a look, yeah.  I think HCPH would be very hesitant to break up the only line that's scoring though.  I think he could justify it as long as keeps the #1 PP unit (i.e., the current configuration of the top line) together.

Yeah. I think it's a short term issue.  The plan has to be that Mittlestadt will improve as he takes his first tour through the league (Dahlin too). If the team can manage to be .500 at mid-year, the young guys can help push for the playoffs after Xmas, especially if guys like Nylander, Olaffson, and/or Guhle are ready to contribute.

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They play down to their competition to start the game.    Then if they get behind, they turn it up in the 3rd period.

They need to learn to play consistently at their own speed, and not play at the speed of their opponent.     

That's where a good experienced veteran coach would make a difference.     They just seem afraid to come out firing to start a game and really jump all over their opponent.   I mean how many times have they jumped out to a 2+ goal lead to start a game in the last 4-5 years?     It's a mindset that needs to change if they're ever going to realize their full potential.

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Eichel seems afraid to impose his will on the game. He sits back and does nothing good or bad on way too many shifts. 

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This is to be expected.  We're still a team grossly under talented and our best talent is too young to lead.  That's why all that playoff talk was head shaking to me.  

We're better and we're going to get better - but this is not a team that should be expected to play at a high level from the opening drop to the final buzzer.   That's not who we are from a roster perspective.  

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McDavid seems to lead. Matthews seems to lead or at least score. What's Jack's excuse? 

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Who cares about excuse.  What's the reason is the better question. 

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1 hour ago, 7+6=13 said:

Who cares about excuse.  What's the reason is the better question. 

I'm going with he's not as good as they are.

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2 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

Eichel seems afraid to impose his will on the game. He sits back and does nothing good or bad on way too many shifts. 

I don't think it is fear.  I do think it is his personality though.  He's not the raw leader and super competitor we made him out to be leading up to the draft.

51 minutes ago, Alkoholist said:

I'm going with he's not as good as they are.

Truthiness.

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I don’t think there is enough talent yet on the team for Jack to be Jack.  Having a second line that can score will make a big difference.  I think Sabres need to draft another center at top of draft this year then a D unless the luck into Hughes.  

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1 hour ago, Alkoholist said:

I'm going with he's not as good as they are.

 

I'm not sure that answers the leadership part but there's no doubt they're on a different level. 

 

I do think there's an element of truth to the thought that Eichel would be better on either of those teams - and both would be worse on ours.  

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McDavid would be better here... Matthew is playing 2nd line now that JT is there, that is a helluv a 1-2 punch. I think here Matthews would struggle as well with no experienced 2nd line center.  Mitts will get there and with Skinner and a true shooter a la Nyls or Oloffson, I think based on what I saw Nyls is more NHL ready physically.  But Oli has pure speed and hustle.  Those two together with a passer such as Mitts could be deadly just not sure Oli is quite ready for 2nd line duties.  If he is brought up put him on third line, Put Nyls on second line with Skinner.  Berglund or Sobotka on third line with Oli and with KO.  Send Thompson down with instructions to eat 5-6 meals a day. Sit whoever isnt listening or send them back down and bring up CJ. Berglund could sit a game here and there as well.

Edited by North Buffalo

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You're not sure if Olofsson is quite ready for 2nd line duties?   

  

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