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GDT: Sabres @ Hurricanes -- Jan. 11, 2019

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2 minutes ago, repster said:

I was wondering if everyone else was as frustrated as I was after that game...no doubt about it.  Apart from the 10 game mirage, this  team looks so much slower and less determined than it was in November.  It’s like they’ve lost their confidence, and can’t get it back.  Watching the playoffs slowly slip away is more difficult to deal with as a Buffalo fan, but this is such a close league, and we were overachieving when we were streaking. Now, the tough times are showing that this team isn’t quite ready for prime time yet.  We are where we would have liked to be in the beginning, but dialing back the expectations and possibly throwing away this opportunity after tasting the feeling of being at the top is a very difficult ask for Buffalo fans.

Can't argue with any of this.  Tonight was a tough night with 3 bad bounces of our guys.  But the Sabres did not quit, scored a goal in the last 2 minutes and had their chance to tie it on the road.  During the streak, the puck luck was going our way, but we're not too far off.  We have the same weaknesses we had earlier, but now it caught up with us.

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21 minutes ago, Brawndo said:

While I’ll agree that Thompson killed offensive possession at times the line as a whole got hemmed in their defensive zone way too much. Pommers should have never been moved back off the top line once he got there tonight. 

I would like to see Sheary-Mittelstadt-Reinhart tomorrow 

 

If they run Sheary & Reinhart together, I would much rather see Rodrigues with them.  Mittelstadt can't handle the matchups the 2nd line C faces at this pointin time.

He is playing fine running the 4th line - Pominville should've had a goal in the 1st off Mitts backhand pass to the slot.  Really don't want to watch both Thompson & Mitts get put into roles they aren't ready for.

 

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8 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

Ullmark should get the next four starts.

Definitely should've gotten tonight's start.  (Oh, well, maybe he can steal the home TB game like Hutton did way back when.)

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19 minutes ago, JJFIVEOH said:

Here's the problem. I never expected the Sabres to make the playoffs this year.  Then again, I never expected them to win 10 straight. Now, they may become only the 2nd team in NHL history to have a 10 game win streak and not make the playoffs................ Now that's embarrassing. 

That is the problem.  I think most fans merely expected the team to be better but they over achieved all the way up the ranks and now they've fallen back to reality.  

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13 minutes ago, Tondas said:

Can't argue with any of this.  Tonight was a tough night with 3 bad bounces of our guys.  But the Sabres did not quit, scored a goal in the last 2 minutes and had their chance to tie it on the road.  During the streak, the puck luck was going our way, but we're not too far off.  We have the same weaknesses we had earlier, but now it caught up with us.

Bad bounces... maybe but if Hutts had some puck awareness at least 2 of those don't go in...  Softees imo.  Yeh it was frustrating, looked like he was fighting it... in the first two periods.

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19 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

If I'm Terry, I'm wondering about the lack of response from his GM and coach as a very promising season has started to circle the toilet.

Or his GM explained to him that the team everyone saw during the streak is not what this team really is.

Getting twenty out of twenty possible points is a remarkable feat and was the most fun Sabres Fans have had in years. That unfortunately does not hide the fact that they won 3 of those games in regulation and only outshot their opponents in two of those games.  Take out the streak and they are playing on a low seventies point pace. 

One player is not going to change that and trading for two cost would be even more cost prohibitive. 

 When Botterill took this job he laid out a vision to The Pegulas on how to improve it, with the lack of talent and depth in this organization it was never going to be a playoff contender in two years.  He probably has explained the best way to improve the team is to wait until June when all 30 other teams will be more likely make moves and July 1st as this Free Agent Class looks deep. 

It’s frustrating to go through this as fans, but it’s the right way to build. 

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Based on goal differential (+3) they are EXACTLY where they should be -- 8th place. Yes, they have had some bad bounces lately but they also seemed to get every bounce during the 10 game win streak. They are a marginal playoff team, one of the most frustrating places for fans and something all too familiar for Buffalo sports. The real barometer will be next season.

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27 minutes ago, ... said:

They didn't come to play. Disappointed in the Thompson experiment, but I still think it was worth a try.

I would even give it a try again tomorrow. I think Jack needing to shake the rust off was maybe something we should have accounted for in the experiment. Either way, it was worth trying. 

I actually liked Okposo's game tonight and would be willing to try him on Jack's wing again. 

Really just need Reinhart to have his own line. 

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9 minutes ago, Onceagain said:

Based on goal differential (+3) they are EXACTLY where they should be -- 8th place. Yes, they have had some bad bounces lately but they also seemed to get every bounce during the 10 game win streak. They are a marginal playoff team, one of the most frustrating places for fans and something all too familiar for Buffalo sports. The real barometer will be next season.

Doubtful. I'm sure everyone will come up with new excuses for why 2019-2020 just quite wasn't the season to break the playoff drought. Youthful inexperience, injuries, the need for just one more lottery pick on the roster to make everything okay...

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19 minutes ago, Gatorman0519 said:

I’m going to beat a dead horse... O Reilly doesn’t get traded, this is a playoff team... bad move 

This team is better with ROR. They would have a great one two punch at the center position and at least two scoring lines. 

 

The one question I have however is why in a three year timeframe would a player of Ryan O’Reilly’s Caliber be Traded twice by two different GMs for returns that appear to be less than stellar. 

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3 minutes ago, Brawndo said:

This team is better with ROR. They would have a great one two punch at the center position and at least two scoring lines. 

 

The one question I have however is why in a three year timeframe would a player of Ryan O’Reilly’s Caliber be Traded twice by two different GMs for returns that appear to be less than stellar. 

Didn't the COL GM botch the Duchene situation, as well? Perhaps not a good barometer...

Here is what I heard from an insider about ROR: every front office knows that his off-the-ice life is a mess, but that when he's on the ice, he brings it.

My conclusion from that: this may have been a JBott/Pegula joint decision about personnel character, etc. (and we know Terry is big on this). Especially considering the fact we have many young, impressionable players with very high expectations. It may have been a signal to the locker room about what they expect from leaders, beyond on-ice performance.

Put ROR on a team with other veteran leader types in the locker room, it's not an issue anymore (as others have pointed out).

The decision was made, and now our front office has to live with it. We'll probably never know if it was the right decision or not; it may be impossible to tell.

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33 minutes ago, Gatorman0519 said:

I’m going to beat a dead horse... O Reilly doesn’t get traded, this is a playoff team... bad move 

Right.  And the Allies should have went ahead with Operation Unthinkable.  Is the world over that? Surely it's more significant than a player trade in hockey.

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Too many alligator arms tonight, not willing to take a check to gain possession or make a pass. These guys are too soft, how many time do guys skate right into and up through the slot with the puck and all a sabre does is try and stick check them. 

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I was watching the game between pelvic exams, and at one point, I didn't know which one I was watching. 

Edited by Wyldnwoody44
Does that mean one looks like Bogo? Or do the Sabres look labia like?
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3 hours ago, Brawndo said:

Or his GM explained to him that the team everyone saw during the streak is not what this team really is.

Getting twenty out of twenty possible points is a remarkable feat and was the most fun Sabres Fans have had in years. That unfortunately does not hide the fact that they won 3 of those games in regulation and only outshot their opponents in two of those games.  Take out the streak and they are playing on a low seventies point pace. 

One player is not going to change that and trading for two cost would be even more cost prohibitive. 

 When Botterill took this job he laid out a vision to The Pegulas on how to improve it, with the lack of talent and depth in this organization it was never going to be a playoff contender in two years.  He probably has explained the best way to improve the team is to wait until June when all 30 other teams will be more likely make moves and July 1st as this Free Agent Class looks deep. 

It’s frustrating to go through this as fans, but it’s the right way to build. 

That we've played at an objectively bad, low 70s pace for what is now 77% of the season and counting is unacceptable. If that was the plan, it was a bad plan. If the plan was to take three years to contend for a playoff spot, that's a bad, bad plan.

Edited by Thorny

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Is it a false impression I have or does Hutton seem to have poor peripheral vision? Seems solid and focused when the play is coming towards him but when it's behind the net or off the boards he seems to have no idea where the puck is. is that valid? Not sure. 

Tonight's game was a classic case of the superstar is back so everyone forgets they also have to play. Seen it many times before. Last game when Eichel; was out they played a team game and everyone gave effort. Tonight there were too many floaters and spectators early on. Simply didn't work hard enough.

Upside was they didn't quit, but as the season goes on the lack of depth is what's killing us. Cant' roll lines when half the team is marginal nhl at best. give it time. We are still much better than last year.

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4 hours ago, Brawndo said:

Or his GM explained to him that the team everyone saw during the streak is not what this team really is.

Getting twenty out of twenty possible points is a remarkable feat and was the most fun Sabres Fans have had in years. That unfortunately does not hide the fact that they won 3 of those games in regulation and only outshot their opponents in two of those games.  Take out the streak and they are playing on a low seventies point pace. 

One player is not going to change that and trading for two cost would be even more cost prohibitive. 

 When Botterill took this job he laid out a vision to The Pegulas on how to improve it, with the lack of talent and depth in this organization it was never going to be a playoff contender in two years.  He probably has explained the best way to improve the team is to wait until June when all 30 other teams will be more likely make moves and July 1st as this Free Agent Class looks deep. 

It’s frustrating to go through this as fans, but it’s the right way to build. 

Great post. Totally agree

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5 hours ago, North Buffalo said:

Bad bounces... maybe but if Hutts had some puck awareness at least 2 of those don't go in...  Softees imo.  Yeh it was frustrating, looked like he was fighting it... in the first two periods.

It's all starting to even out. They got to this point with many good bounces. When they were winning games, they were barely doing it. Rarely did they dominate anybody, and now odds are starting to come into play. 

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9 hours ago, Gatorman0519 said:

I’m going to beat a dead horse... O Reilly doesn’t get traded, this is a playoff team... bad move 

Your horse died....

I believe that STL had or even has more talent than the Sabres and so far they aren't a playoff team either. 

Right now they are 7pts out of the 2nd WC spot and sitting in the 7th draft pick spot.

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I'm looking at the teams situation from a 3 group perspective.

The owners - The Pegula's expectations of this season specifically. They, above any other group in my listing are well aware of their tenured time with the playoff drought, the inability to find a cohesive, workable on ice product and subsequently the decision to go full on "from the foundation up rebuild". Sure there has to be patience in a situation like this, but this is not 2014, the year is 2019, they've accumulated some core pieces, so where are the complimentary pieces? They have to be asking themselves this as well I would imagine. The Pegula's don't strike me as the "we have another yr or 2 before the playoffs" type of owners. They are well aware of the youthful yrs of their core pieces slipping away...…

The GM and Coach/Coaching Staff - This group above all others is full on aware of the short comings of the talent on the roster and in their system. Identifying such isn't the issue, it appears to be a strategy of this group to allow "time" to the current roster to try and find the answers within themselves. We've seen this before, and it didn't turn out well then (the post Drury/Briere era, pre-Pegula is a striking example of this), as a matter of fact, the success rate for such a strategy isn't remotely attainable in most cases. This group above all others must act, and in 2 key area's, 1. remove players without the necessary motor's to strive successfully to achieve success, and 2. adapting on ice strategies with the group they shape to take advantage of their strengths while minimizing the exposure of their weakness's. To date, Botterill is methodical in his personnel approaches, this could work, but "time" is not a luxury he can afford to lean on, he must act imo. As for Housley, I am now becoming increasingly alarmed at his on ice personnel usage, his apparent inability to get this group of players to find consistent game play and particularly he and his staff's inability to find any shred of successful formula with the PP special teams play. Very disturbing indeed given this groups skill level.

The players - I only have one question for this group, where is the locker room leadership on the current circumstances of this season? Each and every one of them know they can achieve wins in many of these games, they've proven that to themselves early in the season. So when is enough enough on this current slide of bad games? A group of players in that room needs to, nay, MUST step up and hold their team mates accountable for what they bring game in and game out on the ice. While they are still in the playoff race, that simply is not and should not be good enough. They must do better. They are team mates, word is a family like atmosphere, which can be a great thing. But with that atmosphere of good, the bad must be addressed. It is high past time for some "in-house" tough love. Eichel, Bogo, Risto, Okposo, these guys must verbally unleash what is expected, and not only to the others in the locker room, but hold those standards up even higher as an example unto themselves. As the opening sentence of this group opined, Where is the locker room leadership group on this team?

 

Really where I stand at this time with this team. Cheers all!

Edited by Scottysabres

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1 hour ago, Scottysabres said:

I'm looking at the teams situation from a 3 group perspective.

The owners - The Pegula's expectations of this season specifically. They, above any other group in my listing are well aware of their tenured time with the playoff drought, the inability to find a cohesive, workable on ice product and subsequently the decision to go full on "from the foundation up rebuild". Sure there has to be patience in a situation like this, but this is not 2014, the year is 2019, they've accumulated some core pieces, so where are the complimentary pieces? They have to be asking themselves this as well I would imagine. The Pegula's don't strike me as the "we have another yr or 2 before the playoffs" type of owners. They are well aware of the youthful yrs of their core pieces slipping away...…

The GM and Coach/Coaching Staff - This group above all others is full on aware of the short comings of the talent on the roster and in their system. Identifying such isn't the issue, it appears to be a strategy of this group to allow "time" to the current roster to try and find the answers within themselves. We've seen this before, and it didn't turn out well then (the post Drury/Briere era, pre-Pegula is a striking example of this), as a matter of fact, the success rate for such a strategy isn't remotely attainable in most cases. This group above all others must act, and in 2 key area's, 1. remove players without the necessary motor's to strive successfully to achieve success, and 2. adapting on ice strategies with the group they shape to take advantage of their strengths while minimizing the exposure of their weakness's. To date, Botterill is methodical in his personnel approaches, this could work, but "time" is not a luxury he can afford to lean on, he must act imo. As for Housley, I am now becoming increasingly alarmed at his on ice personnel usage, his apparent inability to get this group of players to find consistent game play and particularly he and his staff's inability to find any shred of successful formula with the PP special teams play. Very disturbing indeed given this groups skill level.

The players - I only have one question for this group, where is the locker room leadership on the current circumstances of this season? Each and every one of them know they can achieve wins in many of these games, they've proven that to themselves early in the season. So when is enough enough on this current slide of bad games? A group of players in that room needs to, nay, MUST step up and hold their team mates accountable for what they bring game in and game out on the ice. While they are still in the playoff race, that simply is not and should not be good enough. They must do better. They are team mates, word is a family like atmosphere, which can be a great thing. But with that atmosphere of good, the bad must be addressed. It is high past time for some "in-house" tough love. Eichel, Bogo, Risto, Okposo, these guys must verbally unleash what is expected, and not only to the others in the locker room, but hold those standards up even higher as an example unto themselves. As the opening sentence of this group opined, Where is the locker room leadership group on this team?

 

Really where I stand at this time with this team. Cheers all!

This whole post is where the problem lies. It's called FAN EXPECTATIONS based on a 10 game "lucky bounce streak".

1. i'm sure the Pegulas gave JB "time" to turn this thing around. Not a week, month, or even a year. It takes time to make the moves and it takes more than one GM to make a trade happen. You're looking at building a whole organization and not just adding a player or two.

2. I'm also sure that JB is well aware of where we were in the standings. I'm sure he's also aware of the talent he has to work with (and where this team is lacking said talent). He's also aware that the 10 game streak is what we have to look forward to in the future on a more regular basis once his work is done. He knows this skid shows that what he has proclaimed on many occasions is true...there's more work to be done. 

3. We as fans have seen many strategies that have not come to fruition and there is no real proven fool-proof answer to what does work. All I can say is that this version so far has been better to watch than recent years and I'm looking forward to the next year for an even more improved team and take it from there. Coach Phil has a usage problem we are all to well familiar with. The reason....the talent level more so than anything. nothing in the middle six seems to be working and that's not his fault and I'm sure JB knows where the "work needs to be done" to give Phil the opportunity to succeed.

4. Who has been our better players this year...Eichel ,Skinner, Sam for sure. Beyond that I'd have to say Bogo is proving to be more of the player we hoped he be when we traded for him and deserves to wear an A. KO leads by example  and may have lost the talent he once had but not his energy. Risto has been a beast most of the season. Girgs and Larry have surprised us all. The leadership part of this team has provided just that. Now we need to get the talent that is capable of following what the leadership is providing.

With the much improved play of the D this year and the core of forwards we have, I am looking forward to what moves JB will make to improve on what we currently have. If you want to think we should make the playoffs now and are unhappy with where we are with the talent we have, then I suggest you look at some other team rosters and remind yourself we could (and should ) be worse than some other teams. We have threads that say we should be plucking players from other teams, why? How? Philly has Giroux and Couturier(in 30th place), STL has O'Reilley and Schenn (in 25th place), CHI has Toews and Anisimov. I think that covers some of the players that have been mentioned as trades. With good depth at the C position they aren't CUP contenders either. Each team has different needs or the same, but are trying to pluck from the same talent pool. we don't have a Sid/ Malkin combo and neither do alot of other teams.

The streak might have been the worst thing to happen. It made the fans unrealistic in their expectations for this year, and the players may have thought that they were better than they are as a team.

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