Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
dejeanerret

Sabres Soft? Zadorov hit on Eichel reminiscent of Lucic/Miller in 2011

Recommended Posts

It seems this team has quit in more ways than one.

Despite their post 2018 woes where the Sabres have arguably the worst record in the league since Jan 1st (if they don't, they might as well have), we have a new problem.

After the Zadorov hit on Eichel after the whistle Saturday, there wasn't a glove dropped. It was reminiscent of the 2011 Lucic hit on Miller in which no one dropped their gloves to stand up for Miller, the team just scrummed around and eventually the whole thing was broken up.  

On Saturday, Casey Nelson came by and gave Zadorov an embarrassing love tap.  Embarrassing.  It wasn't until Scandella came from behind and tried to grab Zadorov around the neck in an attempt to pull him down.  No dice.

The most energetic guy in the pile was Reinhart.  But again, a lot of pushing and gloves being rubbed in people's faces, but no gloves dropped and fists thrown.    

Sounds familiar?

Yes. the Lucic hit on Miller altered the direction of the franchise.  I read that Darcy Regier even admitted later on that he knew at that moment the Sabres needed to rebuild and start over again.

Compare that moment to a hit in 2017 on Sam Reinhart by Ian Cole.  It was during play (not after the whistle) and was a clean hit by Cole.  It didn't matter, Eichel (of all players) immediately dropped his gloves and actually attempted to throw a punch at Cole.  Evander Kane beat him to the punch (no pun) and immediately dropped his gloves to take on Cole and protect Eichel.  That's two players dropping their gloves to defend their teammate, including a guy who we don't want dropping his gloves--our best player--on a clean legal hit.

It seems that, besides Bogosian, this team doesn't have anyone that would answer the bell.  The closest to Bogo was Beaulieu, but he's in Winnipeg.  Heck, even in 2007 when Drury got elbowed by Chris Neil, a scrawny rookie named Drew Stafford stepped up, dropping his gloves, and took on a guy he had no business fighting.  That's what teammates do for each other.

Based on his post game comments, Eichel concurred that his team needs more pushback when they get pushed around. Based on the video in 2017 of him vs. Cole, he has to be disappointed that no one did the same for him.  

This team is dying on the vine.  The sparkle of the 10 game winning streak has evaporated.  Talk of "best team in the league" has turned into "worst".  There is too much talk of "soft" and "lack of pushback" being mentioned in post game interviews.  That's not a good label to have in a physical league where a team knows they can come into any building and push the Sabres around on their way to a win.  

At some point someone needed to challenge Zadorov.  No one stepped up.

Bots now has a new problem.  It's one thing to say we may not have the players to competently put 3 potent offensive lines on the ice (see TB Lightning).  But now he finds a team with no sandpaper, no grit, and allows their best player (and arguably their grittiest minus Bogo) to get run.The Sabres learned that the days of signing Jon Scott are over. They need guys who can score or play competent D, and drop the gloves, fight for each other, stick up for each other, and never let another team's player to make a run on one of their guys.  ESPECIALLY after the whistle.   No matter that opponent's size. 

I didn't see that Saturday, even after that shift--except for Eichel.  I saw a defeated team that got pushed around and didn't do a whole lot about it.  For a moment it was our 18 year old phenom D-man who laid a shoulder into one of the Ave players.  An 18 year old playing with more pushback than arguably the rest of the team.  Let that sink in.  (In a few years, Dahlin is going to be a beast.  But for now...)

Player toughness and standing up for each other is out of Housley's hands.  That task lies directly on the shoulders of Bots, and the players he signs to wear the blue and gold.  Bots talks about teaching the young players how to play the game the right way.  Saturday was not a good example of that.

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to see that this off-season will bring more change to this team.  Add to the list of 2nd and 3rd line scoring, is players with grit and fight. 

Hopefully, Eichel won't have to be the guy time and time again to get physical and pushback against other teams.  If that continues into next season, the direction of this franchise will be in deep trouble.

 

 

 

Edited by dejeanerret
  • Like (+1) 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I drew this comparison last night after watching the game.  It was somewhere, if not this forum specifically.

The team that was broken up and rebuilt in the aftermath of the Lucic Incident is more or less what we have now.

In fact, Pommenville has managed to find himself on both teams, even with a departure in between stints!  Pretty good!

We do not have nearly enough talent to pretend to be the Penguins and go with a speed/finesse game.

We do not have anywhere close to the size/toughness/team speed to battle the heavyweight big dogs in the Western Conference in the playoffs.

We're just a garbage team that is poorly built.

I'm dying to see if anyone gets fired when the season ends.  Maybe no one will be fired.  That will be just as telling.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The analytics department needs to develop a new player metric: Circumference/Heart metric.  The size of a players balls divided by the size of his heart.  A metric score of 1 is ideal.

  • Like (+1) 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did not see anything reminicint of Lucic/Miller on that particular play.  Yes, this team is too soft and easy to push around at times, but on that play, despite Nelson standing like a statue next to Zadorov, Scandella came right over and grabbed him around the head and pulled him to the ice. Reinhardt charged right over and dove into the pile and started punching Zadorov.  Eichel and Skinner were also there and engaged.  This was a far cry from the reaction to the Miller mugging which was pathetically non-existent and embarrassing.  

All that said, your general point is well taken.

Edited by MDFan
  • Like (+1) 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More to my point why I think we need to overpay Ferland and bring him on this team to play on the top line with Eichel and hopefully a resigned Skinner!!

Edited by sweetlou

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, sweetlou said:

More to my point why I think we need to overpay Ferland and bring him on this team to play on the top line with Eichel and hopefully a resigned Skinner!!

Ferland shoots L and plays LW, same as Skinner.  Therefore not playing on the first line.   I would still love to see him him on the Left with Sam and real 2C.  As in JT Miller, Hayes, etc.  And if $5m AAV is overpaying, i’m in.  

  • Like (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, sweetlou said:

More to my point why I think we need to overpay Ferland and bring him on this team to play on the top line with Eichel and hopefully a resigned Skinner!!

I mentioned this in another thread, but what the team lacks, it is not going to find in a single signing.  Toughness (and by that I am not talking about fighting at all) is sorely lacking as a core attribute in most of our players.  

The good news is that at least half this roster needs to be turned over and may be turned over soon.  If they start looking for grit as a trait in players, we could change the look of the team in a relatively short period of time.

I enjoyed (was it Calvert?) really going at Montour after a whistle pretty hard, behind the net.  Montour quickly retreated and backed down from any altercation.  Great.  Add him to the list. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a similar situation at all.

Far less egregious hit, far less egregious lack of response.

 

Edited by dudacek
  • Like (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Not a similar situation at all.

Far less egregious hit, far less egregious lack of response.

 

Very true.

 

I thought Skinner's response was quite admirable though. He got in a few good shots. 

 

The league knows this team is soft and that a chippy or heavy game will get them floating or off their game so much that the other team can get an easy win. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, woods-racer said:

Very true.

 

I thought Skinner's response was quite admirable though. He got in a few good shots. 

 

The league knows this team is soft and that a chippy or heavy game will get them floating or off their game so much that the other team can get an easy win. 

Absolutely agree.  Skinner did what Scandella was scared to. 

  • Like (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, 7+6=13 said:

Absolutely agree.  Skinner did what Scandella was scared to. 

I’m confused. I didn’t see Skinner do anything.

Or was that Skinner who I thought was Reinhart, jumping in and swinging a few after Scandella hauled him down?

Edited by dudacek

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we need to get ahold of ourselves. 

  • Like (+1) 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I said this in the game thread, if you want to maintain or establish a culture change Nelson has to sit and never play again. Reinhart and Skinner got in there and you don't want your stars to fight but nelson as the bottom D man and the first guy there has to step up in that moment. He literally just stood there. No excuse for that and unacceptable. Very much like Miller/Lucic except, Skinner and Reinhart did at least rough it up a little.

Contrast that to another game I watched yesterday. Vorachek hit an islander, I think it was Boychuk and the Isles went after him  for the rest of the game and Vorachek isn't a little guy. We are unquestionably a soft team.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, dudacek said:

I’m confused. I didn’t see Skinner do anything.

Or was that Skinner who I thought was Reinhart, jumping in and swinging a few after Scandella hauled him down?

Skinner paired off with someone, and I think ended up with a roughing penalty.  He didn't get to Zadorov though.  It was Reinhart that got to Zadorov.

2 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

I said this in the game thread, if you want to maintain or establish a culture change Nelson has to sit and never play again. Reinhart and Skinner got in there and you don't want your stars to fight but nelson as the bottom D man and the first guy there has to step up in that moment. He literally just stood there. No excuse for that and unacceptable. Very much like Miller/Lucic except, Skinner and Reinhart did at least rough it up a little.

Contrast that to another game I watched yesterday. Vorachek hit an islander, I think it was Boychuk and the Isles went after him  for the rest of the game and Vorachek isn't a little guy. We are unquestionably a soft team.  

 

I agree with your assesment of Nelson's reaction.  As a fringe guy, he has to know that he needs to get dirty in this case.  Not a good look for him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, inkman said:

I think we need to get ahold of ourselves. 

And alot of this as well.  There was a reaction on the ice, so it's not Lucic/Miller.  We don't have the personnel for a bigger reaction.  There were bigger red flags in this game than the reaction to the Zadorov hit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The response was fine. They just sucked at winning the game afterward.

  • Thanks (+1) 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Weave said:

Skinner paired off with someone, and I think ended up with a roughing penalty.  He didn't get to Zadorov though.  It was Reinhart that got to Zadorov.

 

I agree with your assesment of Nelson's reaction.  As a fringe guy, he has to know that he needs to get dirty in this case.  Not a good look for him.

Skinner got after Rantanen who hockey reference has at 6’4” 215. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are the Sabres soft??... You bet... Confounding when teammates don’t immediately defend their Captain and best player... Kudos to Skinner and Reinhart... Nelson should be benched for the remainder of the season, then dealt away... A team is a reflection of its Coach... Housely was a great player but perhaps too cerebral as a Coach for this second-rate roster... Botterill needs to bring in a Coach who demands performance... Give me a Punch Imlach and Scotty Bowman over a Housely any day... Didn’t see the game, but Housely should be spittin’ mad at his players lack of pride... 

Edited by Believer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I won't lie, I saw that happen, and I was instantly disgusted. Props to Reinhart and Skinner for what they did, in that sense, it wasn't Boston part 2.

I don't think it's fair to compare this to the Lucic incident, but, I look at the yandle thing twice, as well as several other instances of cheap shots during the season and this one is just the icing on the cake. If the others weren't allowed to happen, it may have never happened here, but this team lacks sack so here is what we get. 

It's been 4 years that we talked about it, team identity, again, we have none. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Believer said:

Are the Sabres soft??... You bet... Confounding when teammates don’t immediately defend their Captain and best player... Kudos to Skinner and Reinhart... Nelson should be benched for the remainder of the season, then dealt away... A team is a reflection of its Coach... Housely was a great player but perhaps too cerebral as a Coach for this second-rate roster... Botterill needs to bring in a Coach who demands performance... Give me a Punch Imlach and Scotty Bowman over a Housely any day... Didn’t see the game, but Housely should be spittin’ mad at his players lack of pride... 

The two bolded statements are in direct conflict. You claim no one immediately responded and then praised the two that immediately responded.

 

  • Like (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was one of the first in the GDT to complain about the response but at least there was one.   I just don’t want to see Reinhart and Skinner having to be the major respondents.   

As the game played out the Sabres definitely  did not back down.  The problem is they cannot play that gritty game and execute scoring chances.   There were too many noncontribing forwards on the team to play in a game like this.  

Further, I don’t see this at all like the Lucic-Miller incident.   Blowing this team because of this game is a silly notion.  There were  and still are major changes needed before this game ever played.   We need a few forwards that can play the tough game when called upon.  Pommer, Kyle, and Sobie all need to go and be replaced by a legit 2nd line.  Until then, that second step of improvement will not be made. 

Edited by Pimlach

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Pimlach said:

I was one of the first in the GDT to complain about the response but at least there was one.   I just don’t want to see Reinhart and Skinner having to be the major respondents.   

As the game played out the Sabres definitely  did not back down.  The problem is they cannot play that gritty game and execute scoring chances.   There were too many noncontribing forwards on the team to play in a game like this.  

Further, I don’t see this at all like the Lucic-Miller incident.   Blowing this team because of this game is a silly notion.  There were  and still are major changes needed before this game ever played.   We need a few forwards that can play the tough game when called upon.  Pommer, Kyle, and Sobie all need to go and be replaced by a legit 2nd line.  Until then, that second step of improvement will not be made. 

Who else but Reinhart and Skinner would you expect to respond to this?  They were the other two forwards on the ice, and likely the only two other players in the vicinity when the check was thrown.

Other than Nelson.  Nelson should have been in on the shenanigans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Weave said:

Who else but Reinhart and Skinner would you expect to respond to this?  They were the other two forwards on the ice, and likely the only two other players in the vicinity when the check was thrown.

Other than Nelson.  Nelson should have been in on the shenanigans.

Nelson should be embarrassed. I thought he was one of the tougher guys we had after Bogo. He's just another snowflake apparently. So much to be desired on this team still.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scandella was the only player on the ice who engages in any type of combative game and reacted immediately and properly. Softies Reinhart and Skinner stepped out of their comfort zone to do the same thing.

If anything, the team showed it isn’t reminiscent of the Lucic/Miller era Sabres. Lot of projecting going on here.

  • Like (+1) 1
  • Thanks (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...