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GASabresIUFAN

Was this win a sign of good things to come?

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It's hard to put to much stock in winning one game.  I have lamented our lack of offense in general and forwards specifically.  I worried about how we'd blow out the bad teams and then get blown out by the good teams so far this season.  

However my perception of this team and it's future may have changed tonight.

Lets look at the facts.  They got down 2-0 against SJ after a stupid penalty by KO and basically packed in for their 3rd blown out loss in 4 games and fell to 1-2 on a 5 game road trip with LA and Ana on the schedule for this weekend.  They rebounded behind Ullmark and Jack's line and dispatched a bad LA team Sat night to even the roadie at 2-2.  Then Sunday night with Carter Hutton in net, the goalie during the 3 blow out losses, the team dug deeper then I've seen in years.  Despite out playing the Ducks, Ana lead after 1 1-0 on a double deflection.  Then Ana went up early in the 2nd 2-0 and then the game was over.  The Sabres of last year would have folded their tent.  However not this time.  The Ducks didn't fly to victory.  Instead the Sabres literally dominated from then on. Hutton was perfect and the whole offense found chance after chance.  3 quick goals, 2 on the PP, late in the 2nd and early in the 3rd put Buffalo up for good.  The best part is that they didn't try to protect the lead.  They kept coming and coming on Ryan Miller.  Finally Beglund netted a goal into the empty net to seal the victory 4-2.

This is the type of victory that unites a team.  Gives the players and coaches confidence in each other and sets the tone for the rest of the season.  These guys now know that if the play aggressive smart hockey they can beat anyone.  They know they can rebound from 2 goals down against a top tier team.  Also maybe just maybe with KO and Berglund getting their 1st goals of the year,  will finally find some depth scoring.

We also found leadership this weekend.  Bogo's physical game and fights (plus a goal) kind of set the tone.  Jack and Skinner put the offense on their backs against LA and they continued to dominate against Ana.  The Defense continues to score.  Risto bagged one tonight for his 1st of the year as well.  That is now 6 goals in 9 games by the D by 6 different D.  Only Nelson doesn't have a goal.  Frankly this might be the best two game stretch played by our D group in 4 years.  It's also great the Ullmark's great play seemed to inspire Hutton who was excellent against ANA.

If this trend continues and the Sabres become a good team this year we are going to look back at this game as the turning point.

FYI: The Sabres are currently in a wildcard spot.  The last time we were in a playoff spot?  7 years ago? Longer?

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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I said this in the game thread but I'll repeat it here. I think Bogo's fight at the end of the game was a turning point. Emotion. Mad about losing. We didn't see that much last year. I think it woke them up. 

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I was at both games this weekend.  It was super fun and enjoyable to watch.  

Props to Housley for getting a solid 60min effort from this group 

That said, I'm not sure they've turned a corner, and I'm not sold on Housley as HC.   If they can build on this and beat teams (at home) which they should beat, then my tune might change.    

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The way they played tonight is the way they need to play every night. They all seemed to be moving their feet really well tonight, coming to meet the puck carrier and making quick decisions with the puck.  The D were actually moving the puck up ice and forcing the pace on Anaheim.That's got to be a much more enjoyable way to play than what they've been doing. Lets hope it becomes the norm.

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They seem to get up and play well against good teams... they did this last season too.

The issue is wether or not they can play 60min with the same focus and intensity against weaker opponents... and that's how I'll evaluate Housley.

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It was a good win.  

A significant part of growing as a team is winning after having been trailing.  They've done this EXTREMELY rarely the past 3 (& prior) seasons.  It helps that, with the way they were playing last night, they SHOULD have been leading from the get go, but the Sabres have been there before & completely allowed that bad goal (IMHO, Hutton should've stopped the 2nd goal) to tilt the ice against them.  They never stopped charging, which was fun to watch.  Now they know they CAN come back from behind IF they don't let circumstances overcome them.  Will they build on it?  Who knows?  But they probably will typically compete better when down than they have since the tank era began.  Whichis a good thing.  They need to learn how to win.  They now have an example they experienced together of how THIS team needs to do it.

My guess is, especially w/out Silfverberg in the lineup, we'll find out these Ducks aren't as good as advertised; but that doesn't change the fact that the Ducks were in 1st place in the Smythe when the Sabres played them 1/10th of the way through this season, and the Sabres found a way to dominate play & come from behind to win in their barn.  It was a good win.

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I like Bogo's game and liked when I saw him play with Scandella.  Which stat site or service do folks use to get the data to prove or disprove how good they played together?

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It will be interesting to see if they can keep that energy going.  During the Drury/Briere years I remember how the Sabres had a lot of comebacks and were never out of games.  They scored a heckuv a lot of late goal to tie and send to overtime or just win in the dying seconds.  If this team can find ways like those teams to dominate late it will both boost confidence and help them mature a lot quicker.  Last nights game was a good first step on that road.

Edited by North Buffalo

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That Vegas game hurt, i was texting my friend that if the Sabres didn't split with the Kings and Ducks, I wouldn't be making much of an effort to watch the games.  glad they won both in the fashion they did

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Montreal on Thursday is a big test. Win that matchup against a division rival and it would be the Sabres first 3 game win streak since January 2018, and their fourth since January 2017.

They also haven't had a 3 game win streak in October since 2011...

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Loved the puck possession, the back end soft touch passes for breakouts and the absolutely tenacious, nay, relentlessly unending forecheck and O-zone puck control.

They were having fun, and for the first season in many, it is showing.

I call that..........dare I say it........

 

CULTURE CHANGE!!!!!!

Edited by Scottysabres

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I am hoping to look back on this game and think it was the one that changed the team.  In 1988 early October, the Bills were getting beat up by the Colts by like 20 points or something, they came back and won.  IMO that game is what really started the Bills dominance, they made the AFC championship that year.  I know its a crazy comparison, but, I am really trying to hope the Ducks game was their 'arrival'... we shall see

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I hope they do very well this year, if only to quiet the ROR trade objectors.

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15 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

I said this in the game thread but I'll repeat it here. I think Bogo's fight at the end of the game was a turning point. Emotion. Mad about losing. We didn't see that much last year. I think it woke them up. 

John Vogl mentioned this in The Athletic 

They care

When the Sabres practiced in San Jose following the loss to Vegas, the air was filled with F-bombs. The boards felt the fury of two-handed lumber swings.

The mood wasn’t any better the next night after the Sharks took over during the third period. Marco Scandella slammed the wooden seat at his locker. Jack Eichel sat motionless for an extended period. When the captain caught the eyes of Zach Bogosian, he tightened his facial expression and shook his head in dismay over the loss.

None of it was theatrical. They just don’t like to lose. Last year’s team was just fine with it.

Like I said earlier in the season, it just feels different,” Scandella said through the party music Sunday. “We’re going to go through our bumps and bruises. We’re still a really young group, but I just believe that we’re going in the right direction.”

The hardest part for Buffalo will be handling the mood swings. The peaks and valleys could be huge for the sixth-youngest team in the NHL. During this trip alone, the Sabres looked like doormats one game and a complete squad the next. It won’t be the last Jekyll and Hyde.

“I feel like we have a resilient group,” Scandella said. “We’re definitely just learning to how to bring our game every night. But when we do it, we have success.”

A good sign is they seem to be learning quickly. Coach Phil Housley had an overriding message following the loss in San Jose.

“When it is 2-1 going into the third, we’ve got to stick with the plan,” Housley said. “That’s part of learning to win because we get away from that, we force things that are not there, and it just comes back at us.”

And here was Kyle Okposo after the Sabres erased a 2-0 deficit in Anaheim for a 4-2 victory.

“That was the first time all year that we got down in a game and we just never changed the way that we played,” the right winger said. “That second goal could have been a backbreaker for us, but we just stuck with it. We played the exact same way, and we got rewarded.”

 

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12 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

Vogl rides random trains far further than I ever would. 

The comparison between "last year's team" and "this year's team" throws me off. The turnover was almost 50%. What players is Vogl talking about? Because I don't think Eichel and Scandella were fine with losing last year.

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7 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

The comparison between "last year's team" and "this year's team" throws me off. The turnover was almost 50%. What players is Vogl talking about? Because I don't think Eichel and Scandella were fine with losing last year.

I have a few choice things I could say about his recent coverage in general, but it probably isn't worth the trouble

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Just now, Randall Flagg said:

I have a few choice things I could say about his recent coverage in general, but it probably isn't worth the trouble

Do it. I mean, what else are we here for?

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3 hours ago, Doohickie said:

I hope they do very well this year, if only to quiet the ROR trade objectors.

I know I would very much like my thoughts on that trade to be quieted.

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18 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

It's hard to put to much stock in winning one game.  I have lamented our lack of offense in general and forwards specifically.  I worried about how we'd blow out the bad teams and then get blown out by the good teams so far this season.  

However my perception of this team and it's future may have changed tonight.

Lets look at the facts.  They got down 2-0 against SJ after a stupid penalty by KO and basically packed in for their 3rd blown out loss in 4 games and fell to 1-2 on a 5 game road trip with LA and Ana on the schedule for this weekend.  They rebounded behind Ullmark and Jack's line and dispatched a bad LA team Sat night to even the roadie at 2-2.  Then Sunday night with Carter Hutton in net, the goalie during the 3 blow out losses, the team dug deeper then I've seen in years.  Despite out playing the Ducks, Ana lead after 1 1-0 on a double deflection.  Then Ana went up early in the 2nd 2-0 and then the game was over.  The Sabres of last year would have folded their tent.  However not this time.  The Ducks didn't fly to victory.  Instead the Sabres literally dominated from then on. Hutton was perfect and the whole offense found chance after chance.  3 quick goals, 2 on the PP, late in the 2nd and early in the 3rd put Buffalo up for good.  The best part is that they didn't try to protect the lead.  They kept coming and coming on Ryan Miller.  Finally Beglund netted a goal into the empty net to seal the victory 4-2.

This is the type of victory that unites a team.  Gives the players and coaches confidence in each other and sets the tone for the rest of the season.  These guys now know that if the play aggressive smart hockey they can beat anyone.  They know they can rebound from 2 goals down against a top tier team.  Also maybe just maybe with KO and Berglund getting their 1st goals of the year,  will finally find some depth scoring.

We also found leadership this weekend.  Bogo's physical game and fights (plus a goal) kind of set the tone.  Jack and Skinner put the offense on their backs against LA and they continued to dominate against Ana.  The Defense continues to score.  Risto bagged one tonight for his 1st of the year as well.  That is now 6 goals in 9 games by the D by 6 different D.  Only Nelson doesn't have a goal.  Frankly this might be the best two game stretch played by our D group in 4 years.  It's also great the Ullmark's great play seemed to inspire Hutton who was excellent against ANA.

If this trend continues and the Sabres become a good team this year we are going to look back at this game as the turning point.

FYI: The Sabres are currently in a wildcard spot.  The last time we were in a playoff spot?  7 years ago? Longer?

The team needs to become dominant  at home. Teams need to be uncomfortable playing games in Buffalo. If we can do this, that will show we are a good team.

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Is it too weak to just say maybe? We see signs the culture change may have been accomplished, and that was the essential step one so I'm optimistic, but it's way too early to tell.

Also last game was the first one where it looked like they were actually all on the same page playing the system, and that change might be the most important of all. Maybe the guys like Kane weren't cancers but maybe they were uncoachable. Maybe their egos get in the way and they just do their thing their way and sometimes they gets points, but if the team, the kids, see the main guys not buying in, it's harder to get anyone to buy in and systems fall apart when pieces don't fit.

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Of the nine EC teams in a playoff position* on Oct. 22, 2017, seven made the playoffs.

*Three teams were tied for two wild card spots.

A fair bit of cherry-picking there — five of 10 WC teams in a playoff position went on to the postseason.

I bet other seasons line up. Anyway, it's pretty refreshing to be arguing it this way, rather than talking about how tough it is to dig out of an early hole.

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43 minutes ago, klos1963 said:

The team needs to become dominant  at home. Teams need to be uncomfortable playing games in Buffalo. If we can do this, that will show we are a good team.

I can accept that.

Did you know that they last time we won back to back game in SoCal was 2003?

Edited by GASabresIUFAN

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