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GDT - Sabres @ Predators - December 3, 2018 - 8pm EST


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What's going to be exciting about tomorrow: The Sabres always show up to play the Leafs. The Leafs cannot do defensively what Nashville did tonight, and we'll probably see a lot of offensive chances, and maybe some goals if Andersen is off. 

What's going to be sad about tomorrow: Andersen is almost never off this year and the Leafs are ludicrously dangerous, and I have a feeling it's going to be the worst their fans have taken over our building in a long time judging by what Minnesota looked like a couple nights ago

Edited by Randall Flagg
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Just now, hockeyhound said:

Tampa and Nashville, two of the best in the east.

The Sabres made a game of it, I don't think it was such a walk in the park for Nashville. They earned this one.

Sabres played well.

 

Ok one more post before I go. 

Correct we are a young middle of the pack talented team that got a fair amount of puck luck and bounces on the way to a 10 game win streak. We don't have as much talent as the top tier teams(Tampa, TO, Nashville, Colo) but we have enough talent and can compete with the wild card tiered teams (NJ, Montreal, Fla, Phil, Pens, ). 

None of us expected to win the division at the start of the season, and we are hanging with some top teams even if by the skin of our teeth.

For context Tampa spanked NJ in Nj tonight 5-1, Fla and tampa played night after our Fla game and Fla hung with Tampa till the 3rd period which tampa pulled away.

We got spoiled by the win streak so we need to see this team for what it is, young, growing, getting better and learning what it takes to play winning hockey.

If they can keep games close I am with you HockeyHound, enjoy the ride and not worry so much about the destination. We will see winning hockey again as soon as we are playing the other wild card talented teams and will occasionally if we work hard enough get occasional bounces and puck luck to beat the big boys..

I for one hope that's TO when we are rested and healthy and Boston this year, and then the other middling teams like us  Montreal, pens, Philly, NYI, NYR, .....        

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A lot of poor decisions with the puck tonight. They didn't show up prepared.

Lack of Scorers/Finishers is still a very real problem with this team. If Botts sees an opportunity to improve this long-term I'd be shocked in-season. I expect the next off season to be a bit active.

A fair amount of 1st periods this season they are no shows. That comes back to game preparation mentally, at least to me.

Team leadership is learning, I expect them to get better as they mature.

 

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Nashville won this game on their own blueline. We kept trying to carry it in and they kept on saying no and we didn’t change it up. Not sure if that was on the players being stubborn or the coaches not adjusting.

If our PP was functioning, it might have been a different story. Not sure what we need there; maybe Dahlin for Kyle? It has the talent to be a weapon.

Second line struggled, the third was overmatched, and that’s where improvement has to happen for us to compete with the Tampa’s and Nashville’s. I thought our defence competed hard. The forwards backchecked well and we didn’t allow much. Unfortunately we created less.

We didn’t play smart, but the overall effort was excellent IMO.

Edited by dudacek
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Even without Subban, the Preds have one of the, if not the, best D in the league.  Sabres could definitely have used Sheary to get a bit more pressure on the D.

We'll get better zone entries tomorrow.  Would like to see McCabe back, too.  Liked Pilut's game the past 2, but the Loafs come with 2 excellent scoring lines and a 3rd good one.

Would expect Hutton to get the start even though technically it should be Ullmark's turn.

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2 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Even without Subban, the Preds have one of the, if not the, best D in the league.  Sabres could definitely have used Sheary to get a bit more pressure on the D.

We'll get better zone entries tomorrow.  Would like to see McCabe back, too.  Liked Pilut's game the past 2, but the Loafs come with 2 excellent scoring lines and a 3rd good one.

Would expect Hutton to get the start even though technically it should be Ullmark's turn.

Sheary would have helped, big time!

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2 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Even without Subban, the Preds have one of the, if not the, best D in the league.  Sabres could definitely have used Sheary to get a bit more pressure on the D.

We'll get better zone entries tomorrow.  Would like to see McCabe back, too.  Liked Pilut's game the past 2, but the Loafs come with 2 excellent scoring lines and a 3rd good one.

Would expect Hutton to get the start even though technically it should be Ullmark's turn.

I thought Ullmark should have started tonight tbh. I liked his last game the most out of any he's played yet. I expect him to start tomorrow. 

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14 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Nashville won this game on their own blueline. We kept trying to carry it in and they kept on saying no and we didn’t change it up. Not sure if that was on the players being stubborn or the coaches not adjusting.

Skate up the middle, then a lateral pass towards the boards at the blue line. Wash, rinse, and repeat. 

They finally tried something different with maybe 5 minutes left. I’d love to know why it took so long. 

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18 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Nashville won this game on their own blueline. We kept trying to carry it in and they kept on saying no and we didn’t change it up. Not sure if that was on the players being stubborn or the coaches not adjusting.

If our PP was functioning, it might have been a different story. Not sure what we need there; maybe Dahlin for Kyle? It has the talent to be a weapon.

Second line struggled, the third was overmatched, and that’s where improvement has to happen for us to compete with the Tampa’s and Nashville’s. I thought our defence competed hard. The forwards backchecked well and we didn’t allow much. Unfortunately we created less.

We didn’t play smart, but the overall effort was excellent IMO.

Biggest thing it (the PP) seems to be missing IMHO from last year is the pivot man in the high slot that can feed the puck to everyone else & has a reasonable shot himself.  Would like to see what Mittelstadt could do thereinstead of Skinner. If Housley doesn't want to demote Skinner, slide him into Okposo's half wall position.

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5 minutes ago, darksabre said:

I thought Ullmark should have started tonight tbh. I liked his last game the most out of any he's played yet. I expect him to start tomorrow. 

Agree with you, except Hutton is a former Pred.  Housley seems to try, if at all possible, to give players an opportunity against their old teams.

Tomorrow's game is too important & too tough to start the backup, IMHO.

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2 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Biggest thing it (the PP) seems to be missing IMHO from last year is the pivot man in the high slot that can feed the puck to everyone else & has a reasonable shot himself.  Would like to see what Mittelstadt could do thereinstead of Skinner. If Housley doesn't want to demote Skinner, slide him into Okposo's half wall position.

Did they gain the zone at any point so that they could even get that chance tonight? They kept constantly trying to pass through defenders at the line. If they are unable to adapt over the course of a game, there’s going to be a lot more of this. 

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3 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Agree with you, except Hutton is a former Pred.  Housley seems to try, if at all possible, to give players an opportunity against their old teams.

Tomorrow's game is too important & too tough to start the backup, IMHO.

It might be important, but I think it'd be good for Ullie. I think he's up to the challenge.

OTOH the Sabres don't have another game till Saturday so rest isn't a huge issue.

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I think that as the game progressed, the Sabres became more physical.  It seemed the most intense during the latter half of the second. The problem for them tonight was that despite the skill-style game Nashville plays, with all of their playoff experience they can play the physical game, too, so what the Sabres had really didn't affect the outcome.

The Sabres need to bring the physical every night.  They especially need to do it tomorrow in the first period and establish the tone - and I think they will.  I got the impression they weren't frustrated, they were pissed.  Tired from travel and angry they weren't able to "do more".  Let 'em sleep on it and think about it.  

I know we keep saying every game is a test, and they each are to a degree, but tomorrow's game with TO is a real test in my book.  Do they sulk?  Do they give in to the losses? Do they lose the belief that they're good?  Or do they get angry and allow themselves to express that on the ice?  Do they decide to take no prisoners?  What kind of team are they now?  Tomorrow's game will answer that for the season, I think.

 

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9 of the next 13 at home.  After tomorrow maybe it’ll be back to scary good again.  Tomorrow is almost an unfair set-up.  Maybe they will be more determined than tired, but it’s a pretty tough ask.  The crowd should ensure the boys are at least motivated.  Hope Sheary and Pommers get back in.  Fresh legs will help

Edited by repster
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Should I be annoyed that this road trip was nearly a complete fail?

Three games with bad passing, to many passes, stupid penalties, bad PK, lousy PP.

Or should I be ok with losing 3 one goal games and the fact they we played pretty well in Nashville and TB?

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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The Sabres are a really good team.

That was totally watchable hockey.

I really think I’m watching a different game than the one most of the posters in this thread watched. Everyone played great.

The only area of concern is the power play. It’s not good.

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Before the season started and we saw the Sabres were scheduled to go into Tampa and Nashville with a game in Miami in between no one in their wildest dreams would have thought that the Sabres would play well and not be crushed by two of the top teams in the NHL.

I'm with SwampD the Sabres are still playing well and could have won these last three games.  These are the teams that are already getting into playoff form.

The Sabres are fine.  I am not sure they played a real stinker all year, which is a refreshing change.

Onward ...

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7 hours ago, shrader said:

Did they gain the zone at any point so that they could even get that chance tonight? They kept constantly trying to pass through defenders at the line. If they are unable to adapt over the course of a game, there’s going to be a lot more of this. 

Absolutely this. I saw the same thing. I'd add the unpressured turnovers, which there was a lot of the last 2 games, to this. Mental preparedness, making good decisions with the puck and coaching. Housely should have changed that drop pass PP strategy after the 1st time it was failing. Nashville especially just stood them up at the blue line, and outside of Rodriguez, we don't have the speed to capatilize on that strategy imo.

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