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The Positives we can take away this year...


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As bad as it has been there are some bright spots.  It is not all gloom and doom (trying to be positive lol).  My opinion:

1. There is no question Jack is a superstar and continues to grow and mature.  I don't even think he has hit his full potential (I think he can be 100 plus point type guy).  His shot and ability to carry the zone and skating is awesome.  He needs to continue to shoot more.

2. I think it's safe to buy a Sam Reinhart jersey.  He finally is fully coming into his potential and has tremendous hockey IQ.  IMO he is a foundational piece for sure.

3. Dahlin.  He's young and makes mistakes...but he is doing what only a handful of d-men have ever done at his age in history.  To me, this kid is everything advertised, and has a nasty streak at times.  

4. Montour.  Excellent pick up at the deadline.  Props to JBot on this one. He will be a big part of the future and can certainly drive play.  

5. McCabe.  Dude is a warrior and I think a solid top four D-man for years to come.  

6. E-Rod.  What a motor and will make a great 3rd line type guy who is a jack of many trades for the future.

7.  Prospects.  UPL might likely be our future franchise goalie and has performed well this year.  Hopefully we will see him pro soon.  Borgen, Laaksonen, Samuelson are all looking good as defensive prospects.  Oloffson, Asplund looking better and better.  Pekkar was doing well until his injury.  Nylander has improved his pro game albeit not a prolific scorer yet.  Glotov is even lights out in the ECHL.  I probably missed a few guys but if we can get just 3-4 guys out of this bunch that would be good news.

8. We will have a top 10 pick more than likely and barring a trade, an additional first round pick to add to the prospect pool.  

9. We are not in cap trouble.  Therefore we can make moves and sign Skinner.

10. We have a lot of room to move pieces on the trade market this summer.

Hopefully,  these things will facilitate a winning culture in a few years.  

Edited by Gatorman0519
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I agree with most of what you have here. The only one that I see that might not be true is two. I do believe Sam’s game is great and still growing. I want him here long term but I could see him traded to bring in a top end young second line center. 

It is nice to see a positive outlook on things other than the doom and gloom that has been on this board recently (all be it deserved). 

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Positives:

Dahlin looks great, even as an 18 year old rookie

Eichel and Reinhart continuing to improve

Acquisitions of Skinner and Montour

Rodriguez provides a great bang for the buck

Pominville and Moulson cap hits expire in just over a month

Only one more season of Sobotka, Bogosian, and Hunwick

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57 minutes ago, Gatorman0519 said:

As bad as it has been there are some bright spots.  It is not all gloom and doom (trying to be positive lol).  My opinion:

1. There is no question Jack is a superstar and continues to grow and mature.  I don't even think he has hit his full potential (I think he can be 100 plus point type guy).  His shot and ability to carry the zone and skating is awesome.  He needs to continue to shoot more.

2. I think it's safe to buy a Sam Reinhart jersey.  He finally is fully coming into his potential and has tremendous hockey IQ.  IMO he is a foundational piece for sure.

3. Dahlin.  He's young and makes mistakes...but he is doing what only a handful of d-men have ever done at his age in history.  To me, this kid is everything advertised, and has a nasty streak at times.  

4. Montour.  Excellent pick up at the deadline.  Props to JBot on this one. He will be a big part of the future and can certainly drive play.  

5. McCabe.  Dude is a warrior and I think a solid top four D-man for years to come.  

6. E-Rod.  What a motor and will make a great 3rd line type guy who is a jack of many trades for the future.

7.  Prospects.  UPL might likely be our future franchise goalie and has performed well this year.  Hopefully we will see him pro soon.  Borgen, Laaksonen, Samuelson are all looking good as defensive prospects.  Oloffson, Asplund looking better and better.  Pekkar was doing well until his injury.  Nylander has improved his pro game albeit not a prolific scorer yet.  Glotov is even lights out in the ECHL.  I probably missed a few guys but if we can get just 3-4 guys out of this bunch that would be good news.

8. We will have a top 10 pick more than likely and barring a trade, an additional first round pick to add to the prospect pool.  

9. We are not in cap trouble.  Therefore we can make moves and sign Skinner.

10. We have a lot of room to move pieces on the trade market this summer.

Hopefully,  these things will facilitate a winning culture in a few years.  

a few years? Will this team ever win.....it's always about the future

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I agree with all except....... don't see a nasty side of Dahlin.

Dude doesn't even break his graham crackers before dunking them in milk......

every now and then he tries to be nasty...... but it just ain't there....... yet.

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1 hour ago, Gatorman0519 said:

As bad as it has been there are some bright spots.  It is not all gloom and doom (trying to be positive lol).  My opinion:

1. There is no question Jack is a superstar and continues to grow and mature.  I don't even think he has hit his full potential (I think he can be 100 plus point type guy).  His shot and ability to carry the zone and skating is awesome.  He needs to continue to shoot more.

2. I think it's safe to buy a Sam Reinhart jersey.  He finally is fully coming into his potential and has tremendous hockey IQ.  IMO he is a foundational piece for sure.

3. Dahlin.  He's young and makes mistakes...but he is doing what only a handful of d-men have ever done at his age in history.  To me, this kid is everything advertised, and has a nasty streak at times.  

4. Montour.  Excellent pick up at the deadline.  Props to JBot on this one. He will be a big part of the future and can certainly drive play.  

5. McCabe.  Dude is a warrior and I think a solid top four D-man for years to come.  

6. E-Rod.  What a motor and will make a great 3rd line type guy who is a jack of many trades for the future.

7.  Prospects.  UPL might likely be our future franchise goalie and has performed well this year.  Hopefully we will see him pro soon.  Borgen, Laaksonen, Samuelson are all looking good as defensive prospects.  Oloffson, Asplund looking better and better.  Pekkar was doing well until his injury.  Nylander has improved his pro game albeit not a prolific scorer yet.  Glotov is even lights out in the ECHL.  I probably missed a few guys but if we can get just 3-4 guys out of this bunch that would be good news.

8. We will have a top 10 pick more than likely and barring a trade, an additional first round pick to add to the prospect pool.  

9. We are not in cap trouble.  Therefore we can make moves and sign Skinner.

10. We have a lot of room to move pieces on the trade market this summer.

Hopefully,  these things will facilitate a winning culture in a few years.  

The view through Buffalo colored glasses. We are not nearly in the class of the league elites and they don't just fizzle suddenly. Our goaltending is subpar, our prospects aren't probably much better than any other teams and we don't seem to have much in the way of goal scorers because we need more than 1. Need to hope that Middlestat and Tage take big leaps next season. Need to figure out how to teach our defensemen to cover the guy near the net so they don't get so many easy goals. I don't like our mix of defensemen. Some nice talent, but they lack toughness around our goalie. No opponent is afraid to stand next to our crease.  Lot of work ahead for this team, too many teams to leapfrog to become an elite team.

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I’ll be positive for a moment. I think people are a little angry (a lot?) because they see a team that is better and think with a few tweaks it could be a good team now.  I agree in general.  

Despite the hand ringing about ROR,  this team is better without him and Kane this year then they were last year with them.  Coincidence? Luck? Or maybe because of the growth of Sam, Jack and ERod coupled with the additions of Skinner, Sheary, Dahlin and Mitts, this is actually a better overall team with a brighter future.  To me that’s the real positive from this season.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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7 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I’ll be positive for a moment. I think people are a little angry (a lot?) because they see a team that is better and think with a few tweaks it could be a good team now.  I agree in general.  

Despite the hand ringing about ROR,  this team is better without him and Kane this year then they were last year with them.  Coincidence? Luck? Or maybe because of the growth of Sam, Jack and ERod coupled with the additions of Skinner, Sheary, Dahlin and Mitts, this is actually a better overall team with a brighter future.  To me that’s the real positive from this season.

Sorry, but I have to be a little negative. I think we are slightly better than last year , but only because we had a hot streak in october/november, the rest of the season we are about as bad a before. I think we would be a better team with both ROR and Kane. No real reason to think not. Yeah, we wouldn't have had Berglund or Sobotka, but we could have somehow dealt with that.

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1 hour ago, klos1963 said:

Sorry, but I have to be a little negative. I think we are slightly better than last year , but only because we had a hot streak in october/november, the rest of the season we are about as bad a before. I think we would be a better team with both ROR and Kane. No real reason to think not. Yeah, we wouldn't have had Berglund or Sobotka, but we could have somehow dealt with that.

You wouldn't have Skinner or Montour either.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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1.  Eichel is a star and the Sabres best player now, but I want to see him finish in the top 10 in the league in scoring consistently (and probably be threat for top-5) before I label him a bona-fid Superstar.  He does seem to still be improving though.

2. Reinhart.  As much as he is productive on that first line, I want to see him for a LONG STRETCH on a 2nd line...see if he can generate offense without Eichel. That  is likely what this team needs long term.

3 and 4. Dahlin and Moutonr.  No problems there.  Lets see if they can get a longer term deal down with Montour.

5. I like McCabe, but don't love him.  I'd rather have him re-signed, but I don't think he's a make-or-break type player at all for this team.

6. E-Rod.  See above.  Like McCabe, I like him, but don't love him. Want to see him around long term but can he put up 15 goals per season consistently?

7. Prospects.  I don't know much about them, but I don't see any of those guys as being better than what many other teams have in their system. I'm not overly impressed by what id down on the farm.

8. If its a top 5 pick, great. Top 10? Better than in the 20's but I don't expect much from a guy picked in the 6-12 range...at least not right away.

9. No cap trouble, but the situation could be better. STOP signing guys to long term contracts that take them to their early to mid 30's.  Skinner? I love his season and want him here for sure..but this team has shown they can lose almost as well with him as they can without him.  He can be a 'game changer', but he isn't a 'team changer'.  I don't think you'd even have Skinner on this team if ROR was still around...and I enjoy watching Skinner better.

10. Trades are fun, but who do you want to move that other teams want?  I was always a Risto supporter, but I'm falling off his bandwagon quickly.  Will he be moved though, and who can you get for him?

Edited by mjd1001
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Good thread; I'll include both ends of the spectrum for my post:

+

Eichel's production speaks for itself. He has a great linemate in Skinner that I hope wants to be a part of the solution here, and I do have a hunch he will definitely want to stay. Reinhart has been great - good enough to manage his own line, which is even more maddening why he remains on the first line and makes our roster that much top-heavier than it already is.

As for the forward depth , I'm really only optimistic with Rodrigues and Mittelstadt (ignoring Rochester for now). If Mittelstadt doesn't improve greatly by the time he can legally drink, I'll be concerned, but for now, he's just in a role he's not quite ready to handle...more on that in my negatives.

We're lucky to get Dahlin, and he's going to be my first Sabres jersey (I'll wait until the 50th anniversary in case we may want to go back to Royal Blue - which I hope). I despised what JBot did in the ROR trade, but the small sample size of Montour's play shows more than enough to stay satisfied. Pilut played well initially, but once he bulks up and plays more confidently, his style of play will fit us very well in future years. McCabe did his role well, too.

28 and 22 play well in PK and shutting down both the opposing offense as well as our own since they give next to nothing in terms of scoring.

-

As for the (lack of depth), it's disappointing. Okposo has stepped up as of late and I don't mind him staying with us in the short term future, but I can't be the only one that was somewhat hoping he'd consider stepping away from the game for his own personal health (and the elephant in the room that is his contract). Sheary has some really good games, but his ugly games are among the worst and makes me want him nothing higher than the third line most nights...small and gets walled way too much. If this is Pominville's last year with us, I thank him for all the memories and look forward to improvement at the position.

We preach patience in development for the guys in Rochester while feeding Mittelstadt and Thompson through trial by fire. When Tage's shot is (*was) on, it's encouraging, but more often than not recently he looks like the worst player on ice in terms of overall awareness and the way he - unsuccessfully - tries to use his teammates. We may as well stick him with 28 and 22 like last game since his size and stick are decent for forechecking and defense and him producing any sort of goal will be striking gold.

I was really confused why Beaulieu never saw playing time, but then again I thought what do I know? I felt the same way about Casey Nelson. And then the metrics for last game came out and showed him with an overwhelmingly strong game and it makes me wonder if it falls on the coaching staff or whoever is in charge of analytics, and how accurate they really are.

Scandella...Odds are we're keeping him and hoping for improvement and a return to form of the prior year. As for Risto...I wonder if his staggering +/- and all the **** he's put up with since being with us has taken a toll on him. We've had him for over a few hundred games and we see the same mistakes and inconsistency; the only times he seems confident and steady are when he's driving the puck forward into the offensive zone. Maybe a fresh start with a winning organization (that can trade us much-needed forward help) could be best for both parties.

Goaltending was on fire early on and has been just as much of a dumpster fire since this new year (Sub 900 according to the Yost thread!?). Hutton and Ullmark can make a great save game-to-game, but it's the routine saves that should be made that end up going through and driving us nuts. If Ullmark can't establish himself as a starter by next year, it'll be trouble and quite a little while before UPL would be ready for the NHL. 

---

As for coaching, I don't know what else needs to be said than what already hasn't by the well-articulated and educated folks around here and all the stat-trackers on Twitter.

Firing Phil would be warranted and a little bit of a relief, but it won't be a good look for our organization letting go of yet another guy so quickly while the roster is notably not good enough to compete, especially in the Atlantic. On the other hand, if we do keep him and preach patience and continuity, it may be X days/months too late. His leash will be short and if improvements aren't made next season will be flushed down the drain as well, and it'll only take more of a toll on our own drafted guys that haven't seen success here 9/23/55/19 etc.

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17 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

You would have Skinner or Montour either.

Likely not. But we would probably have a productive 2nd line. Which we sorely lack. Biggest issue overall with the team is our goaltending currently is no better than last season, possibly worse right now.

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44 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I’ll be positive for a moment. I think people are a little angry (a lot?) because they see a team that is better and think with a few tweaks it could be a good team now.  I agree in general.  

Despite the hand ringing about ROR,  this team is better without him and Kane this year then they were last year with them.  Coincidence? Luck? Or maybe because of the growth of Sam, Jack and ERod coupled with the additions of Skinner, Sheary, Dahlin and Mitts, this is actually a better overall team with a brighter future.  To me that’s the real positive from this season.

Gotta love the ever evolving argument to defend FXGMJB for his stupid decision to trade O'Reilly:

When the trade first happened the defense was:

1. We traded him for a boat load of valuable pieces. We needed depth and we just acquired valuable depth for a single player. Hold my beer while I create awesome depth charts with Berglund looking great as our second line center until Mittelstadt is ready!

Suddenly it's apparent that Berglund and Sobotka suck and Thompson should be in Rochester, so it morphs into:

2. Look at St. Louis's record! It's O'Reilly's fault, he's a team killer!

Suddenly St. Louis starts to win some games and that excuse is toast so it morphs into:

3. GMJB got us a 1st round pick. Those are the most valuable commodity on the planet. This upcoming draft is loaded. The guy we get with that pick is gonna be great!

Fast forward and that draft pick is possibly traded for Montour, so it morphs into:

4. We finished last with O'Reilly and the team has more wins this season so the trade was still good.

Let's ignore the fact that we also added Dahlin, Skinner, Pilut, had Bogosian healthy for the first time since he first got here, McCabe being healthy for most of the season, and getting 2 new goaltenders who were playing lights out when we stacked up all those wins that are responsible for the increased point totals.

So now the argument is we wouldn't have Skinner without trading O'Reilly? Awesome.

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Hmmm. tough question.  I think the one positive is that the Sabres' last home game is April 4. That means no more traffic jams this season around the arena when I'm trying to drive home from work. ?

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this team needs much tougher players..that have some skill of course. this team is too young. the older guys we have are well faded finesse players.the gritty players dont fade with age because they dont rely on speed as much as strength and meanness.

 

as many have stated on here this team makes the game much too easy for other teams-which nullifies the great work that Eichel and Skinner do.

we need more of the right kind of age on this team.

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29 minutes ago, Drunkard said:

Gotta love the ever evolving argument to defend FXGMJB for his stupid decision to trade O'Reilly:

When the trade first happened the defense was:

1. We traded him for a boat load of valuable pieces. We needed depth and we just acquired valuable depth for a single player. Hold my beer while I create awesome depth charts with Berglund looking great as our second line center until Mittelstadt is ready!

Suddenly it's apparent that Berglund and Sobotka suck and Thompson should be in Rochester, so it morphs into:

2. Look at St. Louis's record! It's O'Reilly's fault, he's a team killer!

Suddenly St. Louis starts to win some games and that excuse is toast so it morphs into:

3. GMJB got us a 1st round pick. Those are the most valuable commodity on the planet. This upcoming draft is loaded. The guy we get with that pick is gonna be great!

Fast forward and that draft pick is possibly traded for Montour, so it morphs into:

4. We finished last with O'Reilly and the team has more wins this season so the trade was still good.

Let's ignore the fact that we also added Dahlin, Skinner, Pilut, had Bogosian healthy for the first time since he first got here, McCabe being healthy for most of the season, and getting 2 new goaltenders who were playing lights out when we stacked up all those wins that are responsible for the increased point totals.

So now the argument is we wouldn't have Skinner without trading O'Reilly? Awesome.

I didn't say the trade was good.  All I said is the despite not having ROR this team is a better team then last year.  I don't think that is even debatable.  We have more wins, more points, scored more goals and given up less then last year.  Could this team be even better had we kept ROR?  Possibly.  The one thing I know for sure is that keeping Kane would have made acquiring Skinner highly unlikely.  Sorry.  Also had we kept Kane (who didn't want to be here) and ROR, we'd wouldn't have Skinner, and probably wouldn't have had Montour, Sheary and others.  ROR and Kane would be an additional 14.5 mill in cap and we currently stand at 76 mill without Baloo (2.4) and Berglund (3+).  You do the math.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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1 hour ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

You wouldn't have Skinner or Montour either.

 

43 minutes ago, klos1963 said:

Likely not. But we would probably have a productive 2nd line. Which we sorely lack. Biggest issue overall with the team is our goaltending currently is no better than last season, possibly worse right now.

I agree.  I fixed the typo and put the "n't" back into wouldn't.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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2 hours ago, bobs0108 said:

I want him here long term but I could see him traded to bring in a top end young second line center. 

No.  There is no but.  If we trade Reinhart, we'll regret it for years to come.  He is in that second tier, just behind the stars, doesn't have an ego, makes everyone better, and puts up near-star numbers.  Losing him wouldn't be as bad as losing Drury, but it would be almost as bad as losing Briere.

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1 hour ago, hsif said:

I agree with all except....... don't see a nasty side of Dahlin.

I've seen it.  He keeps it in check but it comes out once in a while.  It's usually in the form of a clean hit but when he does it, he's thorough about it.  I don't think he'll ever be a ball of hate like Risto or Skinner in terms of getting under opponents' skins, but I could see him approaching McCabe physicality as he puts on some muscle.

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1 hour ago, klos1963 said:

The view through Buffalo colored glasses. We are not nearly in the class of the league elites and they don't just fizzle suddenly. Our goaltending is subpar, our prospects aren't probably much better than any other teams and we don't seem to have much in the way of goal scorers because we need more than 1. Need to hope that Middlestat and Tage take big leaps next season. Need to figure out how to teach our defensemen to cover the guy near the net so they don't get so many easy goals. I don't like our mix of defensemen. Some nice talent, but they lack toughness around our goalie. No opponent is afraid to stand next to our crease.  Lot of work ahead for this team, too many teams to leapfrog to become an elite team.

I try to be pragmatic... I definitely agree we are not there...just trying to assess what good there is 

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3 hours ago, Gatorman0519 said:

As bad as it has been there are some bright spots.  It is not all gloom and doom (trying to be positive lol).  My opinion:

1. There is no question Jack is a superstar and continues to grow and mature.  I don't even think he has hit his full potential (I think he can be 100 plus point type guy).  His shot and ability to carry the zone and skating is awesome.  He needs to continue to shoot more.

2. I think it's safe to buy a Sam Reinhart jersey.  He finally is fully coming into his potential and has tremendous hockey IQ.  IMO he is a foundational piece for sure.

3. Dahlin.  He's young and makes mistakes...but he is doing what only a handful of d-men have ever done at his age in history.  To me, this kid is everything advertised, and has a nasty streak at times.  

4. Montour.  Excellent pick up at the deadline.  Props to JBot on this one. He will be a big part of the future and can certainly drive play.  

5. McCabe.  Dude is a warrior and I think a solid top four D-man for years to come.  

6. E-Rod.  What a motor and will make a great 3rd line type guy who is a jack of many trades for the future.

7.  Prospects.  UPL might likely be our future franchise goalie and has performed well this year.  Hopefully we will see him pro soon.  Borgen, Laaksonen, Samuelson are all looking good as defensive prospects.  Oloffson, Asplund looking better and better.  Pekkar was doing well until his injury.  Nylander has improved his pro game albeit not a prolific scorer yet.  Glotov is even lights out in the ECHL.  I probably missed a few guys but if we can get just 3-4 guys out of this bunch that would be good news.

8. We will have a top 10 pick more than likely and barring a trade, an additional first round pick to add to the prospect pool.  

9. We are not in cap trouble.  Therefore we can make moves and sign Skinner.

10. We have a lot of room to move pieces on the trade market this summer.

Hopefully,  these things will facilitate a winning culture in a few years.  

Very food 1-10 list but with these reservations:

Montour - still has much more to prove

McCabe - solid and steady but not a "warrior" by my definition. 

Prospects - there are few that might be solid NHL'ers.  Hoping on UPL (we really need this) and Oloffson/Nylander (we need one of these guys to be a top 6 forward)  at a minimum

I would add: 

11.  We played mostly exciting and meaningful hockey right through February, that was treat for a starving fan base.  The streak can make us all hopeful, even the guys we think we were lucky. 

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