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nfreeman

Tage Thompson: what's the deal?

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4 minutes ago, Samson's Flow said:

I think a lot of why we targeted Tage over others is we needed more of a shooter to compliment either Eichel or Mitts, who are dynamic playmaking centers. I'm also excited that Mitts and Tage could potentially be building chemistry that could last for many years (Mitts 20yo/Tage 21 yo). Reminds me of the difference between building a team that fits together v. assembling a bunch of talented pieces.

Yep. Different flavor of players. I think JB was looking for a goal scorer to compliment our existing playmakers.

Good post. I think the Miits/Tage chemistry is developing.  Before last night's game, I thought I perceived a hesitancy by whomever his linemates were to trust him with the play,  but last night Tage was getting that trust, exemplified by some feeds from Mitts, especially.

Tage still needs to do an Eichel/Samson bulking up, but otherwise I think the skill some of us saw in training camp are starting to come out, backed with some well-earned confidence.  

His development is another fun sub-narrative for the season.

 

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We all knew he had a big shot, but now we are seeing how effective the shot can be, but we are also seeing that he has good speed and good hockey sense.  

The idea behind getting Thompson is now becoming clear.  When Jbot reviewed the Sabres he realized that most of his good offensive players (NHL and prospects) were pass first guys.  It's pretty clear that Jack, Sam, Casey,  Nylander, Erod and even KO are pass first guys and/or ineffective shooters.  Besides Olofsson, the Sabres lacked finishers after he traded away Kane (who was also a low % shooter).  Jack, for all his skill and excellent shot, is still just a 10% career scorer.  Samson scored a high % of his goals on the PP until this season (29 of 65 entering this season).  

For a team desperate for finish, Jbot acquired Skinner, Sheary, Berglund and Thompson.  One veteran who was supposed to add secondary scoring, two guys entering their prime (both aged 26) with years left on the tread who can play in the top 6 and at LW (our biggest weakness entering the off-season besides goaltending) and a gifted wing prospect with a booming shot (Thompson).  We have a thread on the changes to this team and these acquisitions have changed the success of our offense.

It's become painfully obvious the Jbot has a plan, can evaluate both prospects and professionals and knows how to build a hockey team.  We aren't yet at the level of TB, Wpg, Tor and Nash, but it's becoming clear they already don't want to play us and that is a great sign for the future.  

A long-term top 6 of  Skinner, Eichel Samson and Sheary Casey, Tage looks very talented, young and very dangerous.  Find a good center to play between Olofsson and Okposo and we really could be on to something good.

 

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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We're building a kind of inverse-Toronto, who has Willy (heh) and Marner, passers on the wing who transition the puck and carry play, and feed Tavares/Kadri/Matthews, centers who CAN do that stuff but who are much better at driving the net and popping in goals. The way we're doing it is far more traditional, our goal scorers on the wing and the centers transitioning the puck in the middle of the ice and feeding the netfront area for Skinner and co. 

Edited by Randall Flagg

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1 minute ago, Randall Flagg said:

We're building a kind of inverse-Toronto, who has Willy (heh) and Marner, passers on the wing who transition the puck and carry play, and feed Tavares/Kadri/Matthews, centers who CAN do that stuff but who are much better at driving the net and popping in goals. The way we're doing it is far more traditional, our goal scorers on the wing and the centers transitioning the puck in the middle of the ice and feeding the netfront area for Skinner and co. 

I like our solution better.  I also like our D better.  Maybe it's because I just hate the Leafs.

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5 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

We're building a kind of inverse-Toronto, who has Willy (heh) and Marner, passers on the wing who transition the puck and carry play, and feed Tavares/Kadri/Matthews, centers who CAN do that stuff but who are much better at driving the net and popping in goals. The way we're doing it is far more traditional, our goal scorers on the wing and the centers transitioning the puck in the middle of the ice and feeding the netfront area for Skinner and co. 

Truly a TO inverse.  Not just up front, but also elsewhere.  Sabres have goaltending and appear to be developing a pretty good D.  Sabres have a young coach that wanted to be here; the Loafs have Babdick.

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1 minute ago, Taro T said:

 Truly a TO inverse.  Not just up front, but also elsewhere.  Sabres have goaltending and appear to be developing a pretty good D.  Sabres have a young coach that wanted to be here; the Loafs have Babdick.

Freddy Andersen has been outstanding, FWIW. And don't sleep on Rielly. 

But yeah, it's fun how opposite we are. It's also fun that we tend to beat them whether we're good or bad. Our hatred of them is fun and exciting. When I read their fans' takes, the hatred of Buffalo has a lot of bitterness/resentment/exasperation in it. Not necessarily because they think we're better (certainly haven't been the last two years) but because we're always a thorn in their side if not an immovable wall. 

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11 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

We're building a kind of inverse-Toronto, who has Willy (heh) and Marner, passers on the wing who transition the puck and carry play, and feed Tavares/Kadri/Matthews, centers who CAN do that stuff but who are much better at driving the net and popping in goals. The way we're doing it is far more traditional, our goal scorers on the wing and the centers transitioning the puck in the middle of the ice and feeding the netfront area for Skinner and co. 

good analysis

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10 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I like our solution better.  I also like our D better.  Maybe it's because I just hate the Leafs.

Not only do I hate the Leafs but I hate the NHL for scheduling us to play at home vs. Toronto the night after a tough roadie vs. the Preds

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4 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

Freddy Andersen has been outstanding, FWIW. And don't sleep on Rielly. 

But yeah, it's fun how opposite we are. It's also fun that we tend to beat them whether we're good or bad. Our hatred of them is fun and exciting. When I read their fans' takes, the hatred of Buffalo has a lot of bitterness/resentment/exasperation in it. Not necessarily because they think we're better (certainly haven't been the last two years) but because we're always a thorn in their side if not an immovable wall. 

Andersen will come back to earth & has been injury prone; I'll take the Sabres tending over theirs (yeah, that's a homer take, but is what it is.); especially post-their being poached via waivers.  (I have faith that the Loafs will get their traditional post-'67 expansion goaltending come playoff time.)  And, yes, Reilly, sadly is very good.  The rest of their D, including Gardiner, not so much.

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30 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

Freddy Andersen has been outstanding, FWIW. And don't sleep on Rielly. 

But yeah, it's fun how opposite we are. It's also fun that we tend to beat them whether we're good or bad. Our hatred of them is fun and exciting. When I read their fans' takes, the hatred of Buffalo has a lot of bitterness/resentment/exasperation in it. Not necessarily because they think we're better (certainly haven't been the last two years) but because we're always a thorn in their side if not an immovable wall. 

50 years of being a bully with nothing to show for it will do that for a fan base.  

I was 1 when they won their last Cup and that was also their last Cup appearance.  Despite having all the money in the world, they have one divisional title since 1967.  1.  They haven't won a conference final and have only appeared in the conference final 4 times since 1967.  In 98-99 they got destroyed by us 4-1.  

The Sabres record isn't that much better, but we have won 6 divisions, 2 Conference Championships (in 5 tries) and won a President's Cup.  Our 4-1 beatdown in 98-99 Conference Finals is the only playoff series played between the Sabres and the hapless Leafs.  Also the Sabres are 115-69-26 (ties & OTL) all time against the Leafs including 70-28-8 in Buffalo.

Add that history to the fact that they crowed about their great team the last 2 years (while losing both 1st rd playoffs series) only to see us get Dahlin and with Jbot's other moves close the talent gap considerably. I can see the resentment level growing to it's worst level in decades.

The truth is the Leafs have been a non factor in the NHL since it expanded to 12 teams, except 4 seasons from 1998/99 to 2001/02 also known as the Mats Sundin years.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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4 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

Tage Thompson is almost 7 months older than Jordan Kyrou.

This means absolutely nothing. That’s not a wide enough gap to consider developmental differences.

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