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Updated Todd McLellan OUT of the Running Sabres HC Position

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1 hour ago, JJFIVEOH said:

I'd take McClellan over Viagneult. (Could we have two coaches that are so difficult to type?). I just like the fact that Botts is shooting for a coach with experience. I'm sick of this rookie crap. And that goes for Botts as well. Go for a veteran coach. 

I don’t think the Canes will be looking for a new coach.

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10 minutes ago, 7+6=13 said:

Oh why do you care?  The Sabres are your second team now anyway.  Haha

As are you. You know my first team always will be the Sabres. 

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40 minutes ago, TrueBlueGED said:

Since Lindy was fired, we've had 2 experienced coaches and 2 rookies. Since the tank, it's been 1 and 1. It's not like we haven't failed with the experienced route.

The fact was, there were two rookie coaches, and the entire direction has been towards a coach that can teach. Goober Bylsma was hired to teach. Romblimng Rolston was hired to teach, pillow soft Phil was hired to teach......... You don't need a teacher, you need a motivator/cheerleader. 

I'd like McClelland, and I'd also take Boogie. I'm sick of rookie coaches and their "teaching". 

4 minutes ago, JJFIVEOH said:

As are you. You know my first team always will be the Sabres. 

Just curious, WildCard.............. why do you laugh?

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58 minutes ago, matter2003 said:

Is it possible a coach can naturally "see" the same things analytics would tell him so that it doesn't make a difference whether he uses them or not because he's come to the same conclusion?

I absolutely believe this.

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1 hour ago, TrueBlueGED said:

A coach can reach the same conclusions with the numbers, but it's basically impossible for him to see all of the data. Human memory and cognition is just pretty terrible that way. Whether you think that's a meaningful distinction is up to you, but I think it is.

Maybe, but perhaps they just have a "Feel" for this type of stuff...not saying this is or isn't the case with McClellan, but I think some coaches definitely have a better feel for this type of stuff naturally and seeing things that might be "hidden" than others do.

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5 hours ago, Derrico said:

This seems to be the narrative but I'm not sure it's right.  Mcdavid and Eichel will always have that parallel (obv mcdavid much better) but the teams are not overly similar to me.  For one, I don't see Edmonton having a Dahlin or even a Montour on their blue line to be honest.  

Dahlin's a rookie so his real impact is still to be felt. Otherwise, you (like Botterill) are really over valuing what I've seen from Montour so far. This whole notion that we needed to get better on D so we got Montour makes me wonder what they're smoking. Maybe he will be better next year, but so far I see him as a mediocre D man with offensive skills and he gets caught out of position a lot. We need D men who can play D, not more erratic puck carriers. Ducks ditched him for a reason. We will see next year after he is fully settled and goes through camp but at this point McCabe and Bogo (when healthy) are better D men and that isn't saying all that much. 

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2 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

Dahlin's a rookie so his real impact is still to be felt. Otherwise, you (like Botterill) are really over valuing what I've seen from Montour so far. This whole notion that we needed to get better on D so we got Montour makes me wonder what they're smoking. Maybe he will be better next year, but so far I see him as a mediocre D man with offensive skills and he gets caught out of position a lot. We need D men who can play D, not more erratic puck carriers. Ducks ditched him for a reason. We will see next year after he is fully settled and goes through camp but at this point McCabe and Bogo (when healthy) are better D men and that isn't saying all that much. 

Next season, I’m looking forward to you thinking almost everyone on the roster all of a sudden “figuring it out” and “getting better” and still not thinking it’s mostly because of the system they play and the coaching staff. 😂

You have claimed most fans here overrate the entire roster. Maybe, just maybe you need to look in the mirror. Perhaps just perhaps it’s you who underrate the entire roster. You seem to be the only one who’s doing that. Maybe your evaluation is a bit off.

And pointing to low hanging fruit like their record isn’t proof of individual talent as a whole. But it sure points to coaching to a large degree. And it looks like JB agreed with that assessment so far ....

After hopefully getting a better coaching staff, this team is 3-5 players away from getting into the playoffs. With the youth currently on the team, prospects developing on the very good Amerks team, junior teams, and over in Europe, the team is well stocked in regards to talented youth in the pipeline. Hopefully JB can go out and get a few productive vets with great leadership qualities. Especially with Poms leaving, and perhaps other vets getting moved out. One thing I will say that was overrated on the 2018-19 Sabres roster, is great leadership. Eichel at THIS point in his career isn’t all that great of a leader. But that’s not to say he’s slowly growing into one. And all the guys who wore an A aren’t great leaders either IMO. That affects the locker room negatively.

 

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7 hours ago, SwampD said:

I absolutely believe this.

I don't. You end up liking players (Scandella or Thompson) because of a few little things that you naturally hone in on and you develop a bias against the truth. Numbers help to check what you are seeing and spot patterns and trends. Coaches or GM's who don't believe in analytics have no place on or in the Sabres organization going forward. The "trusting my eyeballs over the numbers" type of hockey people are absolute and we already give are opponents enough competitive advantages. 

6 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

Dahlin's a rookie so his real impact is still to be felt. Otherwise, you (like Botterill) are really over valuing what I've seen from Montour so far. This whole notion that we needed to get better on D so we got Montour makes me wonder what they're smoking. Maybe he will be better next year, but so far I see him as a mediocre D man with offensive skills and he gets caught out of position a lot. We need D men who can play D, not more erratic puck carriers. Ducks ditched him for a reason. We will see next year after he is fully settled and goes through camp but at this point McCabe and Bogo (when healthy) are better D men and that isn't saying all that much. 

And yet he still lead the defense in scoring, controlled zone entries, controlled exits, and I believe his ratio of shot attempts to shots on goal was the highest as well. 

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13 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

I don't. You end up liking players (Scandella or Thompson) because of a few little things that you naturally hone in on and you develop a bias against the truth. Numbers help to check what you are seeing and spot patterns and trends. Coaches or GM's who don't believe in analytics have no place on or in the Sabres organization going forward. The "trusting my eyeballs over the numbers" type of hockey people are absolute and we already give are opponents enough competitive advantages. 

And yet he still lead the defense in scoring, controlled zone entries, controlled exits, and I believe his ratio of shot attempts to shots on goal was the highest as well. 

My daughter had a soccer coach for years (who now coaches girls DA), who suffered greatly form this. 

He taught possession for years in a single-minded focus. Yet, some of the good players he had at U9 weren’t so good at U11 and he couldn’t see it. They got all the playing time and they were turnover machines. So, I tracked possession. Did our team retain or lose possession after a player last touched a ball?

My daughter, who was on the bench, had team best 80% possession numbers. Which is what *I* saw, but he didn’t. His favorite player since U9? 17%. Team worst. 

I did this for several games before he finely tuned out his old bias and saw the game for what was actually happening today and not 2 years ago. 

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There is no coach that makes any team that much greater than the players themselves.  People put far too much emphasis on the coach.  The coach can allow the players to underachieve, but they won't get the players to overachieve.  Players have to do that themselves.

As for the role of analytics, I think it's important to note that analytics (related to hockey) are created because of the talent of those on the ice.  No player is a 50 goal scorer because of analytics.  Analytics tell us what situations a 50 goal scorer should be in to be their best (potentially).  As such, the skill of the player supersedes the analytic.  The player can see things on the ice that analytics will verify.  The same holds true for coaches.  People who know hockey, understand hockey, are going to naturally see the things that others only come to see using analytics.  In many cases, they will see even more.  No analytics, of which I am aware, demonstrate how a defender reads the puck carrier's movements and can instinctively use that to make a great play.  No analytics, of which I am aware, demonstrate how great goal scorers are able to consistently change shot angles to fool goaltenders.  No analytics, of which I am aware, demonstrate how players floating through defense lanes and subtly tugging sticks, etc. allow for a greater chance of scoring.

The analytics will tell you that those players make great things happen on the ice but people who understand the game will know why it happens.

This also works in reverse in some situations where analytics can point out the forest from the trees.  It can upend a bias that someone has. I'm not dismissing analytics, but I do believe that many who excel at the highest levels process the information in a game at a level not yet modeled by data.

All of that aside, unless the players want to make the coach successful, the odds are good the team will continue to be no good.

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3 minutes ago, LTS said:

There is no coach that makes any team that much greater than the players themselves.  People put far too much emphasis on the coach.  The coach can allow the players to underachieve, but they won't get the players to overachieve.  Players have to do that themselves.

As for the role of analytics, I think it's important to note that analytics (related to hockey) are created because of the talent of those on the ice.  No player is a 50 goal scorer because of analytics.  Analytics tell us what situations a 50 goal scorer should be in to be their best (potentially).  As such, the skill of the player supersedes the analytic.  The player can see things on the ice that analytics will verify.  The same holds true for coaches. 1) People who know hockey, understand hockey, are going to naturally see the things that others only come to see using analytics.  In many cases, they will see even more.  No analytics, of which I am aware, demonstrate how a defender reads the puck carrier's movements and can instinctively use that to make a great play.  No analytics, of which I am aware, demonstrate how great goal scorers are able to consistently change shot angles to fool goaltenders.  No analytics, of which I am aware, demonstrate how players floating through defense lanes and subtly tugging sticks, etc. allow for a greater chance of scoring.

2) The analytics will tell you that those players make great things happen on the ice but people who understand the game will know why it happens.

This also works in reverse in some situations where analytics can point out the forest from the trees.  It can upend a bias that someone has. I'm not dismissing analytics,3)  but I do believe that many who excel at the highest levels process the information in a game at a level not yet modeled by data.

All of that aside, unless the players want to make the coach successful, the odds are good the team will continue to be no good.

1) This just isn't an accurate representation of the uses of and for analytics. They aren't seeing more, we have so many analytics tools at this point I know they aren't seeing something that isn't reflecting in some type of collected data. 

As to your long list of no's you are not correct, they get measured indirectly in lots of different ways.You claim a defender reads the puck carrier well and makes good plays best on that, fine but it should show up in his shot suppression and corsi numbers over time. There are lots of analytics that show goal scoring, they even track type of shot and shot angle now. I suppose the last one sure? But again it would reflect in gf% with that player on the ice. 

2) Some of it yes but not all of it. That's why you have Housley putting Scandella with Risto even though we know looking at numbers they are a possession hole together. 

3) To the last bolded, no they don't. We have so much data at this point we can easily enhance the smartest coaches. Coaches might be aware of some things and be able to generally put stuff together but at 1 point we were hearing about 50 goal scorer Skinner, that was highly unlikely given his sh%. I wouldn't expect a coach to magically realize that his leading scorer is shooting higher than his average and may regress sharply.

Analytics is a tool and it helps explain what you are seeing as well as reveal things you are not aware of. Sure the eye test does help. We know Olofsson has a great shot because we can see how quick he takes it and how well he places it. I could still measure those things. We do in fact, we could look at where Olofsson scores the most goals from on the ice using what type of shot. I could then build a game plan to get him the puck in that area to unleash that shot. While it may be up to the players to execute, the coach can still direct them. Directing and training. 

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33 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

I don't. You end up liking players (Scandella or Thompson) because of a few little things that you naturally hone in on and you develop a bias against the truth. Numbers help to check what you are seeing and spot patterns and trends. Coaches or GM's who don't believe in analytics have no place on or in the Sabres organization going forward. The "trusting my eyeballs over the numbers" type of hockey people are absolute and we already give are opponents enough competitive advantages. 

And yet he still lead the defense in scoring, controlled zone entries, controlled exits, and I believe his ratio of shot attempts to shots on goal was the highest as well. 

Let’s not fool ourselves. There is bias in stats as well. Especially in a field that is still very young. There is just soooo much that they don’t measure, especially with defensemen,... yet. To follow them blindly is just as foolish as not using them at all.

Ftr, someone was on GR yesterday saying that TMac Is not opposed to doing whatever he has to to improve his team and that he is open to the use of analytics. Those reports came from the Edm media who are supposedly slaves to them.

 

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9 hours ago, JJFIVEOH said:

I have said, REPEATEDLY the Sabres are #1 team and always will be. Don't go trashing me because of my avatar. I have had 3 home teams and the only reason I have a Canes avatar is it's the only one of my three teams that is actually in the playoffs. You are unfairly treating me. 

Again — if you don’t want to get called out for trolling, don’t engage in trolling.  

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3 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

Again — if you don’t want to get called out for trolling, don’t engage in trolling.  

I agree, honestly I was fine with everything until the avatar change, we've had many posters over the years that supported other teams, but never an avatar, that is straight up crap. 

 

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37 minutes ago, SDS said:

My daughter had a soccer coach for years (who now coaches girls DA), who suffered greatly form this. 

He taught possession for years in a single-minded focus. Yet, some of the good players he had at U9 weren’t so good at U11 and he couldn’t see it. They got all the playing time and they were turnover machines. So, I tracked possession. Did our team retain or lose possession after a player last touched a ball?

My daughter, who was on the bench, had team best 80% possession numbers. Which is what *I* saw, but he didn’t. His favorite player since U9? 17%. Team worst. 

I did this for several games before he finely tuned out his old bias and saw the game for what was actually happening today and not 2 years ago. 

So you saw it naturally and the coach needed stats to see it.

Soooo, stats are used to show stupid people how the game works?

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1 minute ago, SwampD said:

So you saw it naturally and the coach needed stats to see it.

Soooo, stats are used to show stupid people how the game works?

Stats are used to show people how the game works, to explain something you think you are seeing, to gain information for things you aren't seeing, and to check your biases to make sure you aren't seeing things that aren't there. They are lots of uses but not using them is just silly in today's world. 

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10 minutes ago, SwampD said:

Let’s not fool ourselves. There is bias in stats as well. Especially in a field that is still very young. There is just soooo much that they don’t measure, especially with defensemen,... yet. To follow them blindly is just as foolish as not using them at all.

Ftr, someone was on GR yesterday saying that TMac Is not opposed to doing whatever he has to to improve his team and that he is open to the use of analytics. Those reports came from the Edm media who are supposedly slaves to them.

 

The first paragraph pretty much is where I’m at. I’ve seen some garbage math out there. People who have never taken a probability course or know how to spell calculus acting like some executive actuary.

There is some great information out there but there are also a lot of people preaching things they have no idea about. A couple of people whom I consider friends, who years ago would cringe at a conversation that involved numbers, now spewing stats and arguing with me about what margin for error is statistically significant.

On the other hand, I come to this board to see what certain posters can tell me that my long too dormant brain cells can’t be bothered to decipher.

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1 minute ago, LGR4GM said:

Stats are used to show people how the game works, to explain something you think you are seeing, to gain information for things you aren't seeing, and to check your biases to make sure you aren't seeing things that aren't there. They are lots of uses but not using them is just silly in today's world. 

Well said. If I leaned more to the left and worried about the ignorant masses, I might add that numbers can be used to push an agenda instead of prove a hypothesis, but I don’t, so I won’t.

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1 minute ago, LGR4GM said:

Stats are used to show people how the game works, to explain something you think you are seeing, to gain information for things you aren't seeing, and to check your biases to make sure you aren't seeing things that aren't there. They are lots of uses but not using them is just silly in today's world. 

Agreed. What sucks is that at this point, there is no advantage to be gained by using them, because everyone is using them, but you are definitely at a disadvantage if you don’t.

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34 minutes ago, SDS said:

My daughter had a soccer coach for years (who now coaches girls DA), who suffered greatly form this. 

He taught possession for years in a single-minded focus. Yet, some of the good players he had at U9 weren’t so good at U11 and he couldn’t see it. They got all the playing time and they were turnover machines. So, I tracked possession. Did our team retain or lose possession after a player last touched a ball?

My daughter, who was on the bench, had team best 80% possession numbers. Which is what *I* saw, but he didn’t. His favorite player since U9? 17%. Team worst. 

I did this for several games before he finely tuned out his old bias and saw the game for what was actually happening today and not 2 years ago. 

I think we saw this with Housley this year.

He began the season with the idea Sobotka was his third-line go-to-D-zone centre, something that was amplified by the Berglund situation. He began the season thinking Scandella was a defenceman he could lean on, maybe his top LD in terms of match-ups.

Maybe this is what he saw in training camp, maybe it was what he was told by Botterill and Nightengale, maybe it was strictly on reputation. We don’t know.

It took him most of 25 games to remove Scandella from that role and at least twice that before he pulled back on Sobotka. The analytics supported those moves, but so did the eye test.

So was Phil oblivious? Was he loyally trying to help his guys play through it? Did he think he had no other options for that role?

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2 minutes ago, tom webster said:

Well said. If I leaned more to the left and worried about the ignorant masses, I might add that numbers can be used to push an agenda instead of prove a hypothesis, but I don’t, so I won’t.

The numbers aren't wrong the interpretation of them is. That's why you have to know how those stats are calculated. For example corsi is all shot attempts. It is a major weakness of the stat because not all shot attempts are equal. Shooting from the blue line is a low percentage shot and shooting from 10 feet from the goalie is a high percentage. That's why the stats are evolving into discussing high danger versus low danger chances. If I am a great defender and allow all the shots from the point, my corsi might be mediocre. That said my xGA would be pretty good because typically those models factor in shot quality/location. 

Again, stats are a tool to help you evaluate what you think you are seeing and not using them IMPO is silly. 

2 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I think we saw this with Housley this year.

He began the season with the idea Sobotka was his third-line go-to-D-zone centre, something that was amplified by the Berglund situation. He began the season thinking Scandella was a defenceman he could lean on, maybe his top LD in terms of match-ups.

Maybe this is what he saw in training camp, maybe it was what he was told by Botterill and Nightengale, maybe it was strictly on reputation. We don’t know.

It took him most of 25 games to remove Scandella from that role and at least twice that before he pulled back on Sobotka. The analytics supported those moves, but so did the eye test.

So was Phil oblivious? Was he loyally trying to help his guys play through it? Did he think he had no other options for that role?

He had that first impression bias. It is kinda of why everyone now is penciling Mitts in for the 3rd line. He was really good for 5 games, expectations went super high and now people have recency bias because he had basically the season the numbers said he would. 

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9 hours ago, JJFIVEOH said:

I have said, REPEATEDLY the Sabres are #1 team and always will be. Don't go trashing me because of my avatar. I have had 3 home teams and the only reason I have a Canes avatar is it's the only one of my three teams that is actually in the playoffs. You are unfairly treating me. 

It's okay, @JJFIVEOH, I got your back.

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But Howie had all of last year to evaluate Scandella.

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13 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

He had that first impression bias. It is kinda of why everyone now is penciling Mitts in for the 3rd line. He was really good for 5 games, expectations went super high and now people have recency bias because he had basically the season the numbers said he would. 

Maybe. I struggle with the fan idea that hockey leadership is stupid.

Yes, there are dinosaurs, but this also a highly competitive billion-dollar industry.

I think what is more likely is that coaches are making decisions based on information we may not have - some of it analytical in nature, some of it political and some of it based on managing humans.

Maybe Skinner really isn’t that good in shootouts and Sobotka really does have the best success rate on left-side zone faceoffs.

6 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

But Howie had all of last year to evaluate Scandella.

And Scandella was pretty good last year. And the four or five years before that.

Maybe Marco’s nasty break-up with his hot model was in his head and that’s why his play dropped off.

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3 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Maybe. I struggle with the fan idea that hockey leadership is stupid.

Yes, there are dinosaurs, but this also a highly competitive billion-dollar industry.

I think what is more likely is that coaches are making decisions based on information we may not have - some of it analytical in nature, some of it political and some of it based on managing humans.

Maybe Skinner really isn’t that good in shootouts and Sobotka really does have the best success rate on left-side zone faceoffs.

And Scandella was pretty good last year. And the four or five years before that.

Maybe Marco’s nasty break-up with his hot model was in his head and that’s why his play dropped off.

I don't care if Sobotka had ROR level of faceoff skills, when the rest of your game is such trash this doesn't make up for it. 

Analytics say Scandella has been on a decline starting with his last year in Minnesota and continuing into now. 

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