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GASabresIUFAN

2019-2020 Lineup

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6 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

@dudacek If Jbot does trade Risto for the long awaited 2C you’ll get your wish as Erod Will then be our 10th forward.

Assuming Sheary doesn't also go out as part of the package. 😉

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4 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Assuming Sheary doesn't also go out as part of the package. 😉

Or Erod 😏

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Just now, GASabresIUFAN said:

Or Erod 😏

Good point.

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I could certainly see Rodrigues falling into a slot next to Larsson and Zemgus in the lineup as a '10th forward', but what four forwards not named Eichel, Reinhart, Skinner, Johansson, and acquired 2C are better hockey players than Evan? I don't see any.

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39 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

I could certainly see Rodrigues falling into a slot next to Larsson and Zemgus in the lineup as a '10th forward', but what four forwards not named Eichel, Reinhart, Skinner, Johansson, and acquired 2C are better hockey players than Evan? I don't see any.

Rodrigues is currently our 5th best forward. This is indeed a very sobering revelation.

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One of the most hope-inducing developments for me last season was Victor Olofsson’s brief stint on the top line. I knew his shot was a thing of beauty, but what was revelatory was the economical and mature way he approached each shift. He was the antithesis of Kyle Okposo and Tage Thompson, quickly identifying and executing the proper play without engaging in wasted energy or misplaced bouts of heroism. I love smart hockey players and the way he could read and play with Sam and Jack spoke volumes. Coupled with a release that may be the best we’ve seen here since Rick Martin and he Is my best hope this year at internally addressing our top six issues. Maybe Botterill could be criticized for waiting too long to bring him up. Maybe he should be praised for patiently cooking him for exactly the right amount of time. Haven’t seen a Sabre call-up look that ready since Ennis and Foligno.

i still like Casey Mittelstadt a lot, although that is admittedly more because of the skill and will he showed as a junior than what he showed with the Sabres last year. He is a player whose success has always come from overwhelming his peers with furious bursts of skating and stickhandling at a pace beyond what they could react to. For that style to translate to the pros, he needs to get stronger, faster and - most importantly - more fit. He also needs to add more nuance to his repertoire. In short, he needs to mature. His hands are lightning fast and he is a hockey nerd with a competitive streak a mile wide. I have no doubt he can be our second-line centre, I just don’t know how long it will take. I might be in the minority, but I think Botterill was correct to keep him in the NHL last year. He was certainly one of the organizations top 4 centres and having him learning the ropes with Dahlin behind Sam and Jack could pay off down the road.

The most confounding player in the organization for me is Alex Nylander. I didn’t like the pick at the time. I’m not partial to soft, skilled wingers. I haven’t liked the reports about his lack of engagement. I have a strong suspicion his background has made him entitled. And his numbers have been nothing to write home about. But when I watch him play, I don’t find myself asking “what’s wrong with Alex?” I find myself asking “what’s wrong with his linemates? Get him the puck!” He is reminiscent of Reinhart in the way he moves himself and the puck to the right places and he can clearly think the game at the NHL level. And like a young Reinhart, his greatest weakness is a tendency to let the game come to him rather than impose himself on it. His skating and his shot are top-six caliber and his body is big enough to withstand NHL rigours, even if he could learn and thing or two from Sam about how to use it. Really, I think his ceiling, should he ever reach it, would look a lot like our newest player, Marcus Johansson. And, three years after Tim Murray planted the idea in my head, I remain intrigued with how he would look next to Jack. I applaud Botterill for not gifting him that spot and am encouraged that he seemed to accept the challenge put in front of him last year. And I would not be surprised to see him packaged along with Risto to solve our 2C issues. But if he’s here in October, I think the time has come to see what’s he’s got.

I feel bad for Tage Thompson. He seems like a good kid and it’s not his fault he was kept up last year when he clearly was not an effective NHLer. I think he has NHL hands, NHL speed, an NHL shot and a NHL frame once he bulks up to the 215-220 range. I just don’t know if he will ever have the head to put those tools together at the NHL level. He never seems to think the game beyond the move that is directly in front of him. I am encouraged by what he did at the end of the season in Rochester and hope he can build off that and a good summer conditioning program. I don’t blame Botterill for being attracted to the skill set, but am not happy that he either settled for him in the O’Reilly deal, or preferred him to other Blues prospects. And keeping him up all year is one of the most puzzling decisions our GM has made.

I like CJ Smith's skating and his hustle. I don’t see him as anything other than a long shot with a 3rd line ceiling. He’s far more likely to be an AHL tweener like a Brian Flynn or Kevin Porter.

This group has some talent and it could go a long way toward solving our middle six issues if Botterill can actually develop players like he talks about developing players. But I will believe it when I see it. I really need one or more to take a step this year to have hope that this regime can turn this ship around.

Edited by dudacek
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If we don’t make another move, I’d ice:

Olofsson Eichel Johansson

Skinner Mittelstadt Reinhart

Vesey Rodrigues Sheary

Girgensons Larsson Okposo

Dahlin Ristolainen

McCabe Montour

Scandella Miller

Spares: Nelson, Wilson (would get interesting when Bogo comes back)

 

Nylander Lazar Thompson

Smith Asplund Leier

Elie Dea Porter Oglevie 

Cornel Malone Smith Randell

Pilut Borgen

Redmond Fitzgerald

Bryson McWilliam

Hickey Gosselin

Lukkonnen Hammond 

 

Hunwick and Sobotka can take a vacation on Moulson Island.

Edited by dudacek

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5 hours ago, Marchand'sNose said:

Rodrigues is currently our 5th best forward. This is indeed a very sobering revelation.

No. 

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8 hours ago, dudacek said:

If we don’t make another move, I’d ice:

Olofsson Eichel Johansson

Skinner Mittelstadt Reinhart

Vesey Rodrigues Sheary

Girgensons Larsson Okposo

Dahlin Ristolainen

McCabe Montour

Scandella Miller

Spares: Nelson, Wilson (would get interesting when Bogo comes back)

 

Nylander Lazar Thompson

Smith Asplund Leier

Elie Dea Porter Oglevie 

Cornel Malone Smith Randell

Pilut Borgen

Redmond Fitzgerald

Bryson McWilliam

Hickey Gosselin

Lukkonnen Hammond 

 

Hunwick and Sobotka can take a vacation on Moulson Island.

You forgot Roustalinin the forward and i think he slots in as 3C

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16 minutes ago, North Buffalo said:

You forgot Roustalinin the forward and i think he slots in as 3C

Does he play center?

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1 hour ago, North Buffalo said:

You forgot Roustalinin the forward and i think he slots in as 3C

 

52 minutes ago, inkman said:

Does he play center?

He does.  He's offensively gifted.  But he's tiny (5' 8") and this will be his 1st year in NA.  Don't see him as an NHLer out of the gate.

He's also 21 this October.

Edited by Taro T

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Thought he was 5'8" not tall but built like a brick and can skate.. dont underestimate him

Edited by North Buffalo

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39 minutes ago, North Buffalo said:

Thought he was 5'8" not tall but built like a brick and can skate.. dont underestimate him

He is 5'8"  (typo on the 5'L", oops).  But Hockey DB has him at 178.

No way are the Sabres going to start this season w/ Eichel, 21yo Mittelstadt, & new to NA 21 yo Ruotsaleinen as the top 3 centers.  That has, IMHO, get pinned in their own end all day written all over it.

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30 minutes ago, Taro T said:

He is 5'8"  (typo on the 5'L", oops).  But Hockey DB has him at 178.

No way are the Sabres going to start this season w/ Eichel, 21yo Mittelstadt, & new to NA 21 yo Ruotsaleinen as the top 3 centers.  That has, IMHO, get pinned in their own end all day written all over it.

Put Routs with Erod and Sheary... the smurfs line.. in retro jerseys... lol... seriously probably right 

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13 hours ago, dudacek said:

If we don’t make another move, I’d ice:

Olofsson Eichel Johansson

Skinner Mittelstadt Reinhart

Vesey Rodrigues Sheary

Girgensons Larsson Okposo

Dahlin Ristolainen

McCabe Montour

Scandella Miller

Spares: Nelson, Wilson (would get interesting when Bogo comes back)

 

Nylander Lazar Thompson

Smith Asplund Leier

Elie Dea Porter Oglevie 

Cornel Malone Smith Randell

Pilut Borgen

Redmond Fitzgerald

Bryson McWilliam

Hickey Gosselin

Lukkonnen Hammond 

 

Hunwick and Sobotka can take a vacation on Moulson Island.

I don't see how anyone could expect that lineup to make the playoffs. Some things fall the right way and it could make it, but definitely shouldn't be the expectation. Basically I don't think that forward group is good enough to be a playoff team without stellar goaltending, and there's no reason to think that's going to happen. 

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I thought Ruotalainen was headed back to Finland if he doesn’t make the big club, which would surprise me if he does.

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2 minutes ago, TrueBlueGED said:

I don't see how anyone could expect that lineup to make the playoffs. Some things fall the right way and it could make it, but definitely shouldn't be the expectation. Basically I don't think that forward group is good enough to be a playoff team without stellar goaltending, and there's no reason to think that's going to happen. 

This. Could make the playoffs, maybe. Should? No way.

You’d need huge contributions from Olofsson and Mittelstadt.

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That team is probably an ~82 point team assuming reasonable improvement from the kids. Above-expectation improvement from several can flirt with the playoffs. 

We need more from Jason.

Oh, and we need a returned-to-form Scandella. Last year's Scandella in this year's top six is bad news, and not one of the 7 or 8 best skaters we have back there when all are healthy.

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8 minutes ago, dudacek said:

This. Could make the playoffs, maybe. Should? No way.

You’d need huge contributions from Olofsson and Mittelstadt.

Right. Beating a dead horse at this point, but adding a true 2C makes that whole lineup look so much better. Everything slots into place better and we upgrade several positions for the price of one. 

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38 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I thought Ruotalainen was headed back to Finland if he doesn’t make the big club, which would surprise me if he does.

Very possibly correct.  Thought somebody was saying he could stay with the Amerks if he wanted, but could definitely be misremembering.

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13 hours ago, dudacek said:

If we don’t make another move, I’d ice:

Dahlin Ristolainen

McCabe Montour

Scandella Miller

 

Good writeups today. I appreciate all the time & detail in your posts & i largely agree with everything you said. With the exception of pairing Risto with Dahlin.

I think our D pairings require balance & with that i think you want to have Dahlin paired with a solid defensive minded player who can cover for him. You'd want to give Dahlin the freedom to take his offensive chances since thats where he dazzles. If they were together I wouldn't want Dahlin to curtail his offensive game for the sake of covering for Risto, since Risto is known for being out of position & being overzealous (in a good way imo) with checking the opposition & taking chances of his own. I'd much rather see Montour up there or Bogo if he were healthy or even McCabe although i dont see McCabe as a 1st pairing obviously. Maybe 1 day Borgen or Johnson can play with Dahlin.

But while having Dahlin & Risto together sounds appealing, across the league from what i've seen the best pairings are those that have balance. Besides from what i already stated, putting Risto on the 2nd pair may help Risto's game as well. Playing less minutes against easier competition (for lack of a better word), may be just what the doctor ordered with his game. And would give our pairings (hate to say it again), more balance down the lineup for that 1, 2 punch.

Regardless its fun to think about how everything will fit together as in years past it felt like we were playing 3 card Monte with trying to find something that would work. We now have some actual NHL'ers on our roster & its gonna be interesting to see with HCRK does with them.

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1 hour ago, Randall Flagg said:

That team is probably an ~82 point team assuming reasonable improvement from the kids. Above-expectation improvement from several can flirt with the playoffs. 

We need more from Jason.

I don't think they're going to re-sign Pominville

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4 minutes ago, MakeSabresGrr8Again said:

This is an article on NHL.com on the "Team Re-set". Scroll to the end and see the terrible line-up they have us putting on the ice.

https://www.nhl.com/news/team-reset-buffalo-sabres/c-308201314?tid=281151520

Jeff Skinner -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Victor Olofsson -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Tage Thompson

Jimmy Vesey -- Marcus Johansson -- Conor Sheary

Vladimir Sobotka -- Evan Rodrigues -- Kyle Okposo

Rasmus Dahlin -- Brandon Montour

Jake McCabe -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Marco Scandella -- Colin Miller

Carter Hutton

Linus Ullmark

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1 minute ago, WildCard said:

Jeff Skinner -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Victor Olofsson -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Tage Thompson

Jimmy Vesey -- Marcus Johansson -- Conor Sheary

Vladimir Sobotka -- Evan Rodrigues -- Kyle Okposo

Rasmus Dahlin -- Brandon Montour

Jake McCabe -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Marco Scandella -- Colin Miller

Carter Hutton

Linus Ullmark

I posted the whole thing in case some wanted to read it.....but, thanks.👍

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