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Playing themselves out of a playoff spot.

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12 hours ago, dudacek said:

Right now it’s eight teams for seven spots (Tor, Bos, Buf, Mon, Pit, Was, Cbs, NYI) and I don’t see that changing.

Finish ahead of one of them and we’re in.

Pretty simple and unless someone really crashes, it’s likely to go down to the wire.

Interestingly, Sports Club Stats gives the Sabres a current 63.4% chance to make the playoffs. Yet, every other team you listed has better odds, except for the Habs, who have the same odds.  

http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL.html

I think equal odds with the Habs seems about right to me. I see it as about 50/50 that we get in. Assuming Eichel only misses a couple games. 

Edited by Thorny

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49 minutes ago, Thorny said:

Interestingly, Sports Club Stats gives the Sabres a current 63.4% chance to make the playoffs. Yet, every other team you listed has better odds, except for the Habs, who have the same odds.  

http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL.html

I think equal odds with the Habs seems about right to me. I see it as about 50/50 that we get in. Assuming Eichel only misses a couple games. 

That should not be surprising at this point of the season.  If you are in at the halfway point then the odds should be better than 50/50 that you make it at the end of the season.

It does seem strange that they have every team listed with better odds than the Sabres and Habs, which would be 9 teams at 50/50, or better.  Something does not add up.

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4 minutes ago, New Scotland (NS) said:

That should not be surprising at this point of the season.  If you are in at the halfway point then the odds should be better than 50/50 that you make it at the end of the season.

It does seem strange that they have every team listed with better odds than the Sabres and Habs, which would be 9 teams at 50/50, or better.  Something does not add up.

I believe mathematically it is because there is a bigger gap between places 9 and 10 than there is separating many of those teams fighting for 8 or above. 

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1 minute ago, Thorny said:

I believe mathematically it is because there is a bigger gap between places 9 and 10 than there is separating many of those teams fighting for 8 or above. 

I suppose that more than 8 teams today could be better than 50/50 odds as there is very little separation between current 2 through 9.  At this point TB is a given all but offically.

Also, the season is only half over, roughly.  As the season winds down this will change.

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7 hours ago, Thorny said:

Interestingly, Sports Club Stats gives the Sabres a current 63.4% chance to make the playoffs. Yet, every other team you listed has better odds, except for the Habs, who have the same odds.  

http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL.html

I think equal odds with the Habs seems about right to me. I see it as about 50/50 that we get in. Assuming Eichel only misses a couple games. 

The problem for the Sabres is that 2 slots in the Atlantic are virtually assured to Tor and TB.  That leaves Buffalo, Mon, and Boston fighting for 3 slots, but they are also competing with Wash, Pitt, NYI and CBS for two of those slots.  On the other hand, those 4 Metro teams are competing for 5 slots, the 3 Metro slots and the 2 wild cards.  I like their odds.

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54 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

The problem for the Sabres is that 2 slots in the Atlantic are virtually assured to Tor and TB.  That leaves Buffalo, Mon, and Boston fighting for 3 slots, but they are also competing with Wash, Pitt, NYI and CBS for two of those slots.  On the other hand, those 4 Metro teams are competing for 5 slots, the 3 Metro slots and the 2 wild cards.  I like their odds.

Of course, the other way to look at that is, they are only competing against the worst of the legit (for lack of a better word) Patrick teams.  4 teams battling for 3 slots - the 3rd Adams slot is essentially a wild card as well.  Whichever 3 of the Sabres, Bruins, Habs, & the Patrick 4th (likely the Aisles) are the best of the 4 will get in.  (Which is why those last 2 home losses hurt so bad.  They gave away 4 points to teams they're battling with & only took 1.)

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It was pretty obvious this team was not making the playoffs a couple weeks ago. That streak was nothing but amazing goaltending, lucky bounces, and Skinner being on fire.

If they don't make the playoffs next year, then they have some serious issues with management and the fans

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.... And now for musical enjoyment Paul Simon

 

As we fall to 8th, still Jbot does nothing to help the team.  I'm getting pretty annoyed.  I'm for the plan, but the failure to bolster this team is simply wrong.

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How would we have been feeling about this team right now if we are in the same position and same points but had gained the extra points over the season so far rather than the ten game streak.  I reckon most would be happy and we did get lucky on that streak. I am hoping we do make the playoffs but I also believe in what botts is doing and don't see him changing anything any time soon.

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7 hours ago, CallawaySabres said:

It was pretty obvious this team was not making the playoffs a couple weeks ago. That streak was nothing but amazing goaltending, lucky bounces, and Skinner being on fire.

If they don't make the playoffs next year, then they have some serious issues with management and the fans

While I don't disagree with this, I wonder if the players who have an internal desire to compete feel the same way.

I mean, honestly, do they say to themselves, "next years our year"? Something tells me they don't.

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50 minutes ago, Scottysabres said:

While I don't disagree with this, I wonder if the players who have an internal desire to compete feel the same way.

I mean, honestly, do they say to themselves, "next years our year"? Something tells me they don't.

If they had the desire to compete we wouldn't have these problems. There have been very few times that this team as a whole has played up to snuff. They have shown they are capable on a couple occasions, but compete and skill is lacking yet on a nightly basis.

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10 minutes ago, MakeSabresGrr8Again said:

If they had the desire to compete we wouldn't have these problems. There have been very few times that this team as a whole has played up to snuff. They have shown they are capable on a couple occasions, but compete and skill is lacking yet on a nightly basis.

I wouldn't necessarily tie the players skills and abilities with their desire to compete. I have to believe the players play to win. I would imagine a combination of factors go in to why they are falling short, skill, chemistry, inexperience at the pro game level are a few examples. I guess the only thing I am looking at is they're falling short collectively, as a group. These aren't the droids we're looking for. Which means getting new droids, by hook or by crook.

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2 minutes ago, Scottysabres said:

I wouldn't necessarily tie the players skills and abilities with their desire to compete. I have to believe the players play to win. I would imagine a combination of factors go in to why they are falling short, skill, chemistry, inexperience at the pro game level are a few examples. I guess the only thing I am looking at is they're falling short collectively, as a group. These aren't the droids we're looking for. Which means getting new droids, by hook or by crook.

This is where I was going. There are a few that compete nightly but as a group, shift by shift, period by period, game in and game out, it's not a team yet.

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8 hours ago, CallawaySabres said:

It was pretty obvious this team was not making the playoffs a couple weeks ago. That streak was nothing but amazing goaltending, lucky bounces, and Skinner being on fire.

If they don't make the playoffs next year, then they have some serious issues with management and the fans

Forget the streak. Where's the team that was still playing with its hair on fire against Nashville, Tampa, Toronto after the streak? That team would have rolled Florida, Philadelphia, the Islanders.

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They are who we thought they were.

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The Sabres aren't lacking compete.  They are lacking centers, and IMO they are also lacking a bit of sand.  But I don't think the lack of sand is what has caused their fall from grace, it is their lack of centers.  I do think that the lack of sand will become quite evident should they make the playoffs though.

The current results were to be expected.  Despite the early successes, they weren't often playing 60 minute games.  They were either breaking out into an early lead and hanging on, or playing cardiac kids.  There were many 20-30 minute games in that stretch.  Once the season tightened up and teams started focusing on playoff standings it was inevitable that the incomplete games would catch up to them.  Add in an injury to the only top 6 center on the team, and they've been fortunate to keep scores close.

We really need another center on this team badly.

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2 minutes ago, Weave said:

The Sabres aren't lacking compete.  They are lacking centers, and IMO they are also lacking a bit of sand.  But I don't think the lack of sand is what has caused their fall from grace, it is their lack of centers.  I do think that the lack of sand will become quite evident should they make the playoffs though.

The current results were to be expected.  Despite the early successes, they weren't often playing 60 minute games.  They were either breaking out into an early lead and hanging on, or playing cardiac kids.  There were many 20-30 minute games in that stretch.  Once the season tightened up and teams started focusing on playoff standings it was inevitable that the incomplete games would catch up to them.  Add in an injury to the only top 6 center on the team, and they've been fortunate to keep scores close.

We really need another center on this team badly.

I'd argue they need to learn how to defend as a 5 man unit.   They give up way way too many shots to compete for a playoff spot.  Adding another center might help mask the problem, but won't solve it.  They can't rely on their goaltenders to make 40 saves a night.   

Housley and his staff are responsible for fixing it and so far have proven they have no answers.

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3 minutes ago, pi2000 said:

I'd argue they need to learn how to defend as a 5 man unit.   They give up way way too many shots to compete for a playoff spot.  Adding another center might help mask the problem, but won't solve it.  They can't rely on their goaltenders to make 40 saves a night.   

Housley and his staff are responsible for fixing it and so far have proven they have no answers.

I think that center is the key to possession, and with that improved shots against go down.

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Just now, Weave said:

I think that center is the key to possession, and with that improved shots against go down.

I don't believe 1 player can have that big of an impact on shots against.   They need to play better team defense.

I think part of the problem is their bottom six lacks any true shutdown, checking type of players.    You have guys like Pominville, Thompson, Okposo, Smith, Mittlestadt... filling those spots.   They're easy to play against... way way too easy.   Very little resistance and no physical threat.   Larsson is really the only guy who can make it difficult, but he is severely lacking offensively, probably not even AHL level.

Steve Smith was brought in to clean up the D zone but his solution is just to sit back and play a passive box plus one.   It limits high danger scoring chances,but gives up a lot of shots and possession time.    They need to do better.

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4 hours ago, pi2000 said:

I don't believe 1 player can have that big of an impact on shots against.   They need to play better team defense.

I think part of the problem is their bottom six lacks any true shutdown, checking type of players.    You have guys like Pominville, Thompson, Okposo, Smith, Mittlestadt... filling those spots.   They're easy to play against... way way too easy.   Very little resistance and no physical threat.   Larsson is really the only guy who can make it difficult, but he is severely lacking offensively, probably not even AHL level.

Steve Smith was brought in to clean up the D zone but his solution is just to sit back and play a passive box plus one.   It limits high danger scoring chances,but gives up a lot of shots and possession time.    They need to do better.

Very much on board with what Weave is saying.

Have a true 2C (or a guy that can fake it well enough) & the shots against go down as they now have 2-1/2 lines that can control the puck against legit NHLers (when Berglund was skating with Larsson & Girgensons, though that line didn't score much they did pin opponents in their own zone; have to believe that Berglund wasn't the key to that & they could make that work with somebody else, perhaps Okposo or even Sobotka?) and the Mittelstadt line could do it versus borderline (aka 4th line) NHLers.

Keeping the puck out of their own end is 1 spot where that guy helps keep the shots against down, the other is being a useful outlet for the D when trying to break out of the zone.  That extra option makes it much more difficult to shut that exit down.

Yes, they have a lot of guys that are too easy to play against, but of those you listed, only 1 is a C.  And that Cis a very young rookie that was playing HS hockey less than 2 years ago.  And if they have that 2C who can help down low in zone, those other guys should be more than adequate to cover the points. Especially as those W's can now focus on simply doing their jobs rather than try to provide extra support down low because the C they're with can't fully get his own job done.

 

 

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5 hours ago, PASabreFan said:

Forget the streak. Where's the team that was still playing with its hair on fire against Nashville, Tampa, Toronto after the streak? That team would have rolled Florida, Philadelphia, the Islanders.

I agree...Its the quality of the effort that is the problem..-The weak sister stuck in our own zone stuff that was prevalent for the last many years has crept back in. Maybe its the personnel only--In that we just aren't that good outside of Eichel Dahlin Risto Skinner--and that the overrated rest of the crew was just playing over its head for a while.Or the lesser talented of the players have drifted back into bad habits.

Either way the team is about 3-4 players shy of being a real Stanley cup contender..and that aint bad. And all those 3-4 don't have to be scorers.How about some tough guys that win battles along the boards and know how to mess up the other team at the blue line??

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15 hours ago, CallawaySabres said:

It was pretty obvious this team was not making the playoffs a couple weeks ago. That streak was nothing but amazing goaltending, lucky bounces, and Skinner being on fire.

If they don't make the playoffs next year, then they have some serious issues with management and the fans

What you mention was part of the streak, but not the sole reason for the streak.  It wasn't just luck.

We got in a groove there where we were playing very consistent, good hockey, for 3 periods each night against good teams.  We looked like a good team playing winning playoff type hockey.

We can get back into that groove again but we need some players to return from injury.

A clever acquisition at the trade deadline could also go a long way.

A part of our problem this year is that Casey Mittelstadt is not ready to be one of the big names on the team.  I think he will grow into that, but he's not there now.

We need more big names than we currently have.

 

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14 minutes ago, Kruppstahl said:

We got in a groove there where we were playing very consistent, good hockey, for 3 periods each night against good teams.

I totally disagree with this. We were not playing complete games during that streak, and I mentioned it would bite us as the season progressed.  Outside of a couple of games against Tampa and Toronto, they were mailing in huge sections of games but still managing to win. 

Now, their current performance is more the result of missing Eichel, Girgensons, and Berglund, but the team that was on a 10 game win streak was going to have difficulty in the middle to late 3rd of the season anyway because they weren't consistent with the way they were playing.

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47 minutes ago, Kruppstahl said:

What you mention was part of the streak, but not the sole reason for the streak.  It wasn't just luck.

We got in a groove there where we were playing very consistent, good hockey, for 3 periods each night against good teams.  We looked like a good team playing winning playoff type hockey.

We can get back into that groove again but we need some players to return from injury.

A clever acquisition at the trade deadline could also go a long way.

A part of our problem this year is that Casey Mittelstadt is not ready to be one of the big names on the team.  I think he will grow into that, but he's not there now.

We need more big names than we currently have.

 

 

28 minutes ago, Weave said:

I totally disagree with this. We were not playing complete games during that streak, and I mentioned it would bite us as the season progressed.  Outside of a couple of games against Tampa and Toronto, they were mailing in huge sections of games but still managing to win. 

Now, their current performance is more the result of missing Eichel, Girgensons, and Berglund, but the team that was on a 10 game win streak was going to have difficulty in the middle to late 3rd of the season anyway because they weren't consistent with the way they were playing.

Wouldn't go so far as to say they were mailing in the effort for a period or 2 of those other games, but they weren't able to, for large stretches, to match the intensity when their opponent got their legs really moving (just like their opponents couldn't match THEIR intensity for large stretches).  Though we tend to imply the Sabres play is what dictates play, that's only 1/2 of it, & games ebb & flow.  (That wasn't intended to read as ####ishly as it likely does.)  Which made for really entertaining games.  

And, especially with 2C being covered by Mittelstadt/committee, don't know that we could ask for more at that time.

Provided Mittelstadt can get his confidence back, Dahlin finds a 2nd wind, & Pilut & Thompson continue to grow; & they get/ stay healthy &/or (& being preferable ;)) get that upgrade at 2C they can continue at the 12 point / 10 game pace which should get them in the playoffs.  And, especially had Berglund not walked away, IMHO it wasn't inevitable that they'd struggle down the stretch because the kids are learning and still growing.  It stillisn't setin stone they have to struggle.  (Come on Botterill, bring in the cavalry.)

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