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SDS

Is the Nashville system worth waiting for?

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 I am by no means an expert on the Nashville Predators. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable could explain in more detail about their system. I do believe they are known for their smooth skating, puck moving , mobile defenseman that help drive offense in ways that the other team does not anticipate. 

Fans say that it is an exciting, entertaining form of hockey. I think it may have been said explicitly, if not, it’s implicitly clear that Phil is trying to replicate this system given that he spent five years with the organization.

I think it may have been said explicitly, if not, it’s clear that Phil is trying to replicate this given that he spent five years with the organization.

Is it worth waiting for? This is what they are building towards. They are not trying to win in any way they can, they are trying to win in this one particular way. 

It’s  not inconceivable that a different coach could come in and get more wins out of this team. If they do, it will be a different form of hockey. It could suck to watch, but there would be more of short term winning. 

I think the correct question to be asking is if there is a desire by the Buffalo fan base to replicate the Nashville Predator system here and establish that as Buffalo’s future team identity.

Personally, I think this will require a level of patience that fans are unwilling to accept. 

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I think Phil should be trying to win with the talent he has not with the talent he wishes he had. We simply don't have the horses currently to win playing that system ( Nashville ). So you coach to the strengths of your roster and as you add the players you ramp up to the style you'd eventually like to play based on your personal. Doing what we're doing now is a fools game and isn't working. Play to your strengths always.

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3 minutes ago, bunomatic said:

I think Phil should be trying to win with the talent he has not with the talent he wishes he had. We simply don't have the horses currently to win playing that system ( Nashville ). So you coach to the strengths of your roster and as you add the players you ramp up to the style you'd eventually like to play based on your personal. Doing what we're doing now is a fools game and isn't working. Play to your strengths always.

They have a bunch of mobile defencemen right now. When are they supposed to learn to pinch and when to drop back? 

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2 minutes ago, SDS said:

They have a bunch of mobile defencemen right now. When are they supposed to learn to pinch and when to drop back? 

Yeah I dunno but I think we don't currently have the forward depth to support that system. Not enough skill to compliment the mobile D and what they're trying to accomplish.

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2 minutes ago, bunomatic said:

Yeah I dunno but I think we don't currently have the forward depth to support that system. Not enough skill to compliment the mobile D and what they're trying to accomplish.

So, I’m not sure we necessarily have any strengths to lean on but youth. They are a collection of players looking to form a team. The easiest thing for any new coach to do is to clamp down on goals against and that is the antithesis of a mobile defensive system. 

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Speaking as someone who coaches hockey and spends a lot of time watching hockey at different levels, most coaches are trying to implement a system in which the defensemen join the play and contribute heavily in the offensive attack. With that comes instilling discipline in the forwards to recognize when the D are joining the play and to react accordingly. As far as pinching and dropping back is concerned, D should be recognizing where the F3 or high forward or whatever you want to call them is in proximity to the puck as well as their position, as well as the positioning of D2 in relation to the puck. 

In my experience and in the system I run, it’s typically still a three man attack unit, but who the three skaters are is dependent on a variety of things like what I mentioned above. More than anything, it creates a more dynamic offense. It requires smart players who are able to read and react to the play quickly, as well as fast skaters on defense who are capable of joining/leading the rush and who can then backcheck hard to cover F3/F2, depending on how responsible your own F3 is. 

 

 

Edited by #freejame
Expanded
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2 hours ago, bunomatic said:

I think Phil should be trying to win with the talent he has not with the talent he wishes he had.

BINGO.

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2 hours ago, SDS said:

I think the correct question to be asking is if there is a desire by the Buffalo fan base to replicate the Nashville Predator system here and establish that as Buffalo’s future team identity.

Personally, I think this will require a level of patience that fans are unwilling to accept. 

I think the win streak told us that, yes, the fan base would appreciate that type of system and probably would love it if the team could execute it consistently.  I mean, no one can really answer the first part of that question as posed.  

Personally I love the Nashville style and, you're right, it's terribly exciting to watch.  You just need to watch a few games to really see all of the similarities and recognize where Nashville gets it right and Buffalo gets it wrong.

Two things come to mind when comparing the teams:

1. Nashville seems to have total and utter buy-in by the players to execute the system.

2. All Nashville players can play the system.  In other words, they are competent with that style.  Whether the players are naturals at it or are extremely coach-able is up in the air; obviously there is a blend of both, but, to what degree of each I can't say.

On the level of patience point, I think that's a rational conclusion based on the circumstances to date.  I think if from January on they played closer to .500 hockey then I think the transition to that style would be more forgivable.

I think that no matter what they try and do, unless the results are far more immediate we will continue to see an irritable and impatient fan base.

 

 

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The question is, is it worth waiting for? Well, I don't think we have a choice. It's obvious their idea is to get players to play that way and to try to find players that fit that system and to build a team that way. They started it, so if you abandon it now you are starting over yet again. You bring in a defensive minded coach (for example) and he goes we need a D that can prevent goals. This Montour guy takes too many chances etc etc. and you are shuffling the deck chairs yet again. 

This is it, we're in it. I do like the idea that they do seem to have a plan and are sticking to it. It's not how I personally would build a team but it's what they decided to do and we are stuck with it, so I hope it works. 

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I think this bleeds into fire Phil or not. If we get a new coach that wants to go a different way then it’s a new system for the players to learn. GM has a choice to make. Keep Phil and let him keep trying to teach that system. Fire Phil but hire a coach who who can pick up where he left off but with a different approach. Or new coach new system. If GM feels Phil has lost the room then it narrows it down a bit. 

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54 minutes ago, SABRES 0311 said:

I think this bleeds into fire Phil or not. If we get a new coach that wants to go a different way then it’s a new system for the players to learn. GM has a choice to make. Keep Phil and let him keep trying to teach that system. Fire Phil but hire a coach who who can pick up where he left off but with a different approach. Or new coach new system. If GM feels Phil has lost the room then it narrows it down a bit. 

The GM determines the system, no? The old analogy is that the GM is the restaurant manager who writes the menu and gets the ingredients and the coach is the chef.

If Botterill wants his team to play this way as a sustainable style over many years, Phil's almost irrelevant. It's not a reason to be married to Phil. He's not a good coach. Find a good coach who can teach and coach what you want to do.

Edited by PASabreFan

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52 minutes ago, SwampD said:

The myth of the system.

:wallbang:

 This wasn’t terribly enlightening.  If systems are myths then the implication is that coaching is irrelevant. 

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I think it is worth waiting for.

The Sabres are nowhere near it yet, so in the meantime I completely agree with @bunomatic (bunsie), that the coaches should be trying their best to win with the roster they have, while we all wait for the roster they and we (?) want.

Edited by New Scotland (NS)
missing words are not helping ...
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1 minute ago, New Scotland (NS) said:

I think it is worth waiting for.

The Sabres are nowhere near it yet, so in the meantime I completely agree with @bunomatic (bunsie), that the coaches should be trying their best to win with the roster they have, while we all wait for the roster they and we (?) want.

What exactly does that mean? (if I muster up the energy to start yet another topic, this is a point of contention I have with sports talk. There’s isn’t enough follow through to conclusion)

What does winning now look like when there is an expected transition to something new in the future? Are you instructing your newly acquired mobile defenseman to join/lead the rush or not? Are they pinching in deep or not? Are they always taking the body into the boards or are they staying available to start the breakout? 

What is the critical mass of players you need in order to start playing the way you are building towards?

Win now while you are creating something different for the future sounds nice, but in reality it needs to be actually implementable. 

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It’s a good topic.

We went around and around on this with Rex Ryan, who’s apparently  a system guy rather than a guy who suits his system to the talent he has (e.g., how he used Mario).

I agree with someone upthread (sorry didn’t quote) who opined that, regardless of system, HCPH just doesn’t seem like he’s (capable of) having success as a head coach. The system might be worth waiting for. Hell, the team might even have most of the personnel needed to execute it. And yet ... .

I think there’s a very good chance  that a new coach could get more out of this roster. Over a long haul, too.

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8 minutes ago, SDS said:

What exactly does that mean? (if I muster up the energy to start yet another topic, this is a point of contention I have with sports talk. There’s isn’t enough follow through to conclusion)

What does winning now look like when there is an expected transition to something new in the future? Are you instructing your newly acquired mobile defenseman to join/lead the rush or not? Are they pinching in deep or not? Are they always taking the body into the boards or are they staying available to start the breakout? 

What is the critical mass of players you need in order to start playing the way you are building towards?

Win now while you are creating something different for the future sounds nice, but in reality it needs to be actually implementable. 

I appreciate you and others that start topics for discussion.

This is a good topic, but the question is 'is the Nashville system worth waiting for'.  I said it is, but not at the expense of seasons until we eventually / hopefully get there.

The Sabres do not have all the players required to play a system like Nashville's.  It is a process to get there, so they need to play to their strengths now.  That may be a combination of a few things and it will be adjusted as players change.  Elements of what the Nashville D do, but not completely.

I think / hope that this offseason will go a long way in advancing the team and players to the next level of implementation of the system that the Sabres want.

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8 hours ago, SDS said:

What exactly does that mean? (if I muster up the energy to start yet another topic, this is a point of contention I have with sports talk. There’s isn’t enough follow through to conclusion)

What does winning now look like when there is an expected transition to something new in the future? Are you instructing your newly acquired mobile defenseman to join/lead the rush or not? Are they pinching in deep or not? Are they always taking the body into the boards or are they staying available to start the breakout? 

What is the critical mass of players you need in order to start playing the way you are building towards?

Win now while you are creating something different for the future sounds nice, but in reality it needs to be actually implementable. 

You can start building towards that type of system as soon as you have the personal the institute it. Nothing says you can’t tell one D pairing to play X way and another to play Y way. The play of the forwards is just as important to the dynamic style of play as the defense are though. We don’t have the offensive personal to responsibly play such a system, with the exception of certain line combinations. 

Edited by #freejame
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Bringing in Montour is further indication that JBots and Phil want to continue down this path. Nashville has had a lot of success with this, without any Cups, but have been in the mix for quite a few years. They also have had Rinne as the last line of defense.

TM wanted a heavy LAK style of game and tried to assemble that type of roster. This is a copycat league and I think picking a system like the Predators' and tweaking it to the Sabres personnel can lead to success.

If say Tampa wins the Cup and JBots scraps the Preds' model for the Lightning's then it looks like another reboot and revolt.

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The problem with building a team to fit a system over the course of multiple years is, ***** happens.  Players get injuries that permanently affect the way they can play.  Other players age and the particular skill set they had diminishes.  Yes, this happens with every team,  but most teams adapt their system to the players on the roster and then tweak as the team evolves.  In the meantime, the team is competitive, the locker room is healthy, and a culture is nurtured. 

Right now the team either can't or won't play Housley's system, and the losing is affecting the entire team.  And the fanbase.  The real locker room cancer is all of the losing games.

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Coaches shouldn't be forcing a system on a team. Perhaps bring in some of the aspects of a style, but a quality coach will play up to his players' strengths instead of forcing them to play a system. This is the problem the Sabres have had since Lindy's last couple of years, Rolston and then Goober Bylsma. The Sabres need to get rid of Housley, but as long as they keep hiring the same kind of coach over and over, this team is going nowhere. 

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Why are we chasing other teams' systems/styles? Is there a chance to be innovative and lead the way for once? It seems like this franchise likes to look for the easy way. Spending spree, tanking, wanting to copy LA, Nashville, whoever. By the time we catch up to the Preds, something else will be in vogue. Do I have the answer? No. My hockey president would though. It would probably start with — putting the O in Buffalo.

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15 hours ago, SDS said:

So, I’m not sure we necessarily have any strengths to lean on but youth. They are a collection of players looking to form a team. The easiest thing for any new coach to do is to clamp down on goals against and that is the antithesis of a mobile defensive system. 

FWIW the Preds are fifth in fewest goals-against per game this year and were second last year. They were middle of the pack in Housley's last two years of coaching their D. Goaltending is obviously an enormous factor. That's another thing. You can't win with the goaltending the Sabres have gotten the past two-plus months, playing any system.

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4 hours ago, SDS said:

 This wasn’t terribly enlightening.  If systems are myths then the implication is that coaching is irrelevant. 

Sorry. Had to leave and couldn’t expound.

Systems are not a myth, but every team has one and they aren’t all that different from one another. I mean, there are only so many combinations of 2-1-2, 1-2-2, and 1-3-1, etc, and you want to d+c here, but carry it in in this situation,... k. To think that one team’s system is so magically special that we need to wait to acquire the players to actually make it work (i.e. losing the right way, :wallbang:) is ridiculous and would be coaching hubris at its highest. Is Phil drawing up Escher paintings on the dry erase?!

Also, the “system” could be different from line to line depending on personnel and situation. There’s only so much you can coach and we shouldn’t have to wait for anything. Win any way you can now with what you have.

Our players just aren’t good enough and it appears our coach isn’t either.

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