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2019-2020 Lineup

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I remember talk on here about a Risto/Dahlin pairing being bad last year, but I honestly don’t remember them being matched up much.

My reasoning on that is partially based on the fact I believe they are likely to be our two best defencemen and the fact that I really like the potential chemistry of the other two pairs.

But mostly it is because of the success Risto had when paired with Pilut. The story goes that the pair worked because it let each player focus on his strengths and minimize his weakness: Risto on the power game and the one-on-one matchups, Pilut on puck-moving and transitions. My thought was that everything Pilut does well, Dahlin does better.

There certainly is the potential for own-zone issues, but I’d say that’s true for pretty much every pairing the Sabres might trot out. There are no Bill Hajts on the roster; almost to a man we’re high-risk, high-reward.

The lineup is also temporary at best because it assumes Pilut and Bogosian won’t be available and that no moves will be made. I would be shocked if at least one of our defenders isn’t moved.

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1 hour 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.

 

1 hour ago, Taro T said:

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

I believe the situation is that if he does not make the NHL, he is still contractually obligated to play for his Liiga team.  However, he can request from his Liiga team that he be allowed to play in the AHL.  It has been suggested that if he were to ask, they would probably allow it.  Liiga teams do not want be seen as an organization that holds players back from chasing the NHL.  It is bad publicity that would have a negative affect on future signings, plus Fins want to see other Fins succeed at the highest level.

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2 minutes ago, Curt said:

 

I believe the situation is that if he does not make the NHL, he is still contractually obligated to play for his Liiga team.  However, he can request from his Liiga team that he be allowed to play in the AHL.  It has been suggested that if he were to ask, they would probably allow it.  Liiga teams do not want be seen as an organization that holds players back from chasing the NHL.  It is bad publicity that would have a negative affect on future signings, plus Fins want to see other Fins succeed at the highest level.

If he is a fringe NHLer at this point and this happens, that Rochester lineup looks sickly good.

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20 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

How many times and how many ways do people have to debunk this? Rasmus Ristolainen is not one of our best (top 2) defenders. He has terrible defensive metrics and is best used when heavily sheltered and in an offensive only role. Dahlin can't Dahlin (exit the zone with possession and rush up ice) when Ristolainen is just dumping the puck up the boards or trying to carry it out himself. 2 things he does a lot and is bad at doing. Rasmus Ristolainen has no business being on the Sabres top pairing with anyone. Dragging down Dahlin to prop up Risto is a ridiculous concept. 

Dahlin - ANYONE other than Risto

McCabe - Miller/Montour/Risto

Pilut - Risto. 

Maybe the coach tells Risto to stop dumping it up the boards and carrying it himself, and let little Rasmus handle the puck because he is really good at it? Since you seem to base everything on charts, explain the Risto/Pilut charts.

 Semi-related, does yelling the same thing over and over again work for you in social situations outside the internet?

Edited by dudacek
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Last summer I tried doing a "zone exit" and "zone entries allowed" project. I expected Ristolainen to be terrible at exiting the zone. He did far better than I expected in the ~8-10 games I counted, and was our best defenseman numerically at connecting on short, crisp transition passes (again, in these few games). I was floored. This happened because I separated instances where Ristolainen makes the decision to move the puck up the ice, either by himself or to his teammates, versus when he's content to flip it out to center ice. Zone exit stats don't make this distinction, and thus muddle up something that's a lot harder to piece together in reality. 

It's certainly a problem that Ristolainen is so content to revert to Nolan-era transition strategies, but the key point is that he did this far more when paired with our bad defensemen (after long shifts of being hemmed in) than with our good ones (like when he was with Pilut this year). The nature of these shifts did tangibly change his decision making and thus surface level exit stats. That's what people mean when they suggest that usage could improve Ristolainen. Not just reduction of minutes in a vacuum, but changing as much as possible about his on-ice situations. It's not just zone exit stats - the Risto trade thread had the word Corsi in the title. If you removed two of the worst skaters in the NHL from Ristolainen's usage this year, Sobotka and Scandella, he posted the following "fancystats": 
890 minutes (~65% of his ice time at 5v5), 50.75 CF%, 52.95 xGF%, 53.31 HDCF%

This includes playing with all other players, some good, some not. For each Jack Eichel, there's a Mitts or a Thompson. His most common partner was McCabe, not Dahlin or anything, and people like jumping on McCabe too. Between corsi and expected goals, taking out usage with just two players that shouldn't have been playing NHL ice time this season erases the primary fancy stat worries about Risto. 

This would appear to fly in the face of "but the reason those shifts were spent hemmed in was because he was out there in the first place." Apparently, that's not what happens as long as he is given NHL teammates.

I'm not saying Risto is great, or isn't flawed, but that's not nothing. Further, when he got hurt and Brandon Montour, who is a very nice player, took his spot, he got his face caved in as well, completely unable to handle high-twenties minutes against top players. Even better, Montours addition and presence on the power play, and Dahlin taking Risto off the top power play, gave Montour a scoring rate eerily similar to Risto's while here, while Risto's scoring kinda dried up (I remember seeing 5 points in his last 16 games or so - two of them in the game Detroit ran for the bus). I don't think it's quite as simple as Risto is a dumb lunk who will always have negative team-level on ice effects.

That doesn't mean I don't want to use him to address the spot in our roster we were worst in the league at, since there are supposedly teams that see him as a top pairing defenseman. But while it's not as simple as "give Risto 21 instead of 25 minutes" it's also not as simple as "Risto is inherently bad at all the things, and stupid, and that's why his metrics are yucky" 

 

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21 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Maybe the coach tells Risto to stop dumping it up the boards and carrying it himself, and let little Rasmus handle the puck because he is really good at it? Since you seem to base everything on charts, explain the Risto/Pilut charts.

 Semi-related, does yelling the same thing over and over again work for you in social situations outside the internet?

What the hell did I do to you? 

I'm done sabrespace. It's been 12 months of ***** like this on this board. No counter point using data or facts or anything just personal sniping garbage. Where do I yell or personally attack you? I questioned your lineup, sorry that I wasn't aware that wasn't allowed. 

Your response is to attack not what I said but me personally. Well done. I guess that just proves your lineup was the garbage I presumed. 

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Just now, LGR4GM said:

What the hell did I do to you? 

I'm done sabrespace. It's been 12 months of ***** like this on this board. No counter point using data or facts or anything just personal sniping garbage. Where do I yell or personally attack you? I questioned your lineup, sorry that I wasn't aware that wasn't allowed. 

It's your tone.  Whenever anyone disagrees with you -- or posts something you disagree with -- you exude an air of ticked-off exasperation.  We're just trying to have a friendly conversation here about something we all care about. 

Your hockey talk is great.  Just try to make it sound a little friendlier and with less of a "how can you be so stupid?  this is driving me crazy!" underlying vibe.

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4 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

It's your tone.  Whenever anyone disagrees with you -- or posts something you disagree with -- you exude an air of ticked-off exasperation.  We're just trying to have a friendly conversation here about something we all care about. 

Your hockey talk is great.  Just try to make it sound a little friendlier and with less of a "how can you be so stupid?  this is driving me crazy!" underlying vibe.

This happens a lot on here from many people. 

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11 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

What the hell did I do to you? 

I'm done sabrespace. It's been 12 months of ***** like this on this board. No counter point using data or facts or anything just personal sniping garbage. Where do I yell or personally attack you? I questioned your lineup, sorry that I wasn't aware that wasn't allowed. 

Your response is to attack not what I said but me personally. Well done. I guess that just proves your lineup was the garbage I presumed. 

Don’t leave, who would I agree with?

Edited by GASabresIUFAN

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5 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

What the hell did I do to you? 

I'm done sabrespace. It's been 12 months of ***** like this on this board. No counter point using data or facts or anything just personal sniping garbage. Where do I yell or personally attack you? I questioned your lineup, sorry that I wasn't aware that wasn't allowed. 

Your response is to attack not what I said but me personally. Well done. I guess that just proves your lineup was the garbage I presumed. 

My first paragraph responded to your opinion. Why was it was ignored in your response?

The tone of your posts often seems to be “I can’t believe I have to explain this to you idiots.” If it is not meant that way, I’d encourage you to reconsider how you phrase things.

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15 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

What the hell did I do to you? 

I'm done sabrespace. It's been 12 months of ***** like this on this board. No counter point using data or facts or anything just personal sniping garbage. Where do I yell or personally attack you? I questioned your lineup, sorry that I wasn't aware that wasn't allowed. 

Your response is to attack not what I said but me personally. Well done. I guess that just proves your lineup was the garbage I presumed. 

And I will take this further in that in addition to my response, I posted a rationale for my “garbage lineup” further upthread. You ignored that as well, basically saying to me “that argument is irrelevant so I’m going to pretend it doesn’t exist. Only the set of facts that support my opinion are important.”

If you want to discuss this further, DM me. I despise board drama and regret contributing to this one.

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50 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

It's your tone.  Whenever anyone disagrees with you -- or posts something you disagree with -- you exude an air of ticked-off exasperation.  We're just trying to have a friendly conversation here about something we all care about. 

Your hockey talk is great.  Just try to make it sound a little friendlier and with less of a "how can you be so stupid?  this is driving me crazy!" underlying vibe.

Might I add that when half of your posts state that you're leaving and never coming back, it tends to grate on people.

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Dahlin-Risto

Pilut-Montour

McCabe-Miller

Scandella-Bogosian

Hunwick-Nelson

Hickey-Jokiharju

Bryson-Borgen

x-Johnson

x-Samuelsson

x-Laaksonen

 x-Fitzgerald

 

 

ok.... what's going to give?  We're overcompensating on defensive depth here a wee bit..

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2 hours ago, shrader said:

Might I add that when half of your posts state that you're leaving and never coming back, it tends to grate on people.

Didn't say that did I? But that's not important. 

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1 hour ago, LGR4GM said:

Didn't say that did I? But that's not important. 

There’s a first for everything. 

But seriously, it’s completely ok for people to disagree with you. It would be boring as hell if everyone thought the same way. Disagreement is not an attack. I married the only other person I know who takes criticism so poorly. So you may want to keep your distance from me. 

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2 hours ago, shrader said:

There’s a first for everything. 

But seriously, it’s completely ok for people to disagree with you. It would be boring as hell if everyone thought the same way. Disagreement is not an attack. I married the only other person I know who takes criticism so poorly. So you may want to keep your distance from me. 

That's the plan. 

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On 7/8/2019 at 10:22 AM, dudacek said:

The way I look at it is that Johansson and Vesey are probably better than Sobotka and Thompson and could therefore improve our starting 12, just like Miller and Montour are probably better than Beaulieu and Scandella or whoever gets dropped into the 7 slot to make room.

I get that we’d be better off grabbing top six players than bottom six players, but I don’t see why it’s wrong to improve our bottom six. Grabbing Sheary didn’t stop Botterill from grabbing Skinner

Significantly better. 

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On 7/8/2019 at 10:32 AM, dudacek said:

You’ve been away for awhile, but I have been very vocal in making this criticism of Botts.

 

I've been as vocal on Botterill criticism as many but, man, I'm starting to like his pro-talent evaluation after seeing his additions to the defense. 

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8 minutes ago, Thorny said:

I've been as vocal on Botterill criticism as many but, man, I'm starting to like his pro-talent evaluation after seeing his additions to the defense. 

We're now at a point where sample sizes are large enough that we can make conclusions and distinctions. 
Scandella after one offseason became Scandella, Pilut, Dahlin (of course, a no-duh move), Montour, Miller, Jokiharju after three. Maybe I'm missing a guy or two. We've gone from inconclusive, to a clear trend towards puck movers and sexy skaters. Though an obvious interest in Borgen and the addition of Samuelsson shows appreciation for having complementary styles woven in.

And a whole lot of swings-and-misses at bottom six players: Josefson, Griffith, Nolan, Sobotka, Elie. Wilson? I forgot if he's bad or reasonable. Maybe more I'm forgetting. Berglund was fine, but I'm not so sure he was supposed to be the thing he was good at.

Top sixers are just Skinner as of now, but that's a good result. Between he and Sheary and Vesey, you see "ES goals" are a driving factor in his acquisitions.  

I really like his eye for defensemen. I'm terrified of his eye for forward depth, and am not sure I like his list of priorities and eye for top nine guys just yet. Hopefully we'll get a real big piece of evidence here shortly. 

Edited by Randall Flagg
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So this is how the roster surgery seems to be shaping up in terms of filling holes in the depth chart:

Nylander -> Vesey 

Daugherty -> Jokiharju

Tennyson -> Gilmour

O’Regan -> Lazar

 Crisculo ->  Ruotsalainen

Wilcox  -> UPL

Wedgewood -> Hammond

Pominville -> Johansson

 Beaulieu -> Montour

??? -> Miller

Sobotka -> ???

Have I missed anyone worth mentioning? And what we do we think?

Edited by dudacek

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3 minutes ago, dudacek said:

So this is how the roster surgery seems to be shaping up in terms of filling holes in the depth chart:

Nylander -> Vesey 

Daugherty -> Jokiharju

O’Regan -> Lazar

 Crisculo ->  Ruotsalainen

Wilcox  -> UPL

Wedgewood -> Hammond

Pominville -> Johansson

??? -> Miller

Sobotka -> ???

Have I missed anyone worth mentioning? And what we do we think?

This is so weird.  I was posting something similar and then stopped once I was this post.  I was focused a little more on the most common roster from last year vs the projected roster for this season.  

Bogo is being replaced by Miller for now, but I can see Miller in for Risto if he is traded.

Baloo is replaced by Montour.

 

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13 minutes ago, dudacek said:

So this is how the roster surgery seems to be shaping up in terms of filling holes in the depth chart:

Nylander -> Vesey 

Daugherty -> Jokiharju

Gilmour -> Tennyson

O’Regan -> Lazar

 Crisculo ->  Ruotsalainen

Wilcox  -> UPL

Wedgewood -> Hammond

Pominville -> Johansson

??? -> Miller

Sobotka -> ???

Have I missed anyone worth mentioning? And what we do we think?

If we move the pylon back to the trade deadline last season, he's revamped half our top 6 D in a handful of months, giving up comparatively little. Go back a calendar year and it's 4/6. With Johansson and Vesey as fall-backs and hopefully just depth options, I think we are one big forward addition (at a fair price) from about as successful an off-season surgery as one could hope for. 

If we trade Risto for a legit 2C, I'll have zero qualms. 

If we trade Risto for a legit 2RW, I'll call it a significant success.

If we don't make any other moves, I'll be pretty skeptical for next season, but thrilled with the long term prospects of our D-core. 

Edited by Thorny

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If we move Risto and just Risto, is our defense worse or better than what we started last year with? Time has surely distorted how we see this now versus how we did then, but that shouldn't stop us from trying
Dahlin - Montour
McCabe - Miller
Pilut/Scandella - Bogosian
Pilut/Scandella, Nelson, Jokiharju, Hunwick

What was last year, something like
Scandella - Risto
Dahlin - Bogosian
McCabe - Nelson 
Beaulieu, Pilut/Hunwick/Tennyson/Fedun

I have to think we'd still be at least on par, and certainly more deep this year, even without Risto? It sucks that Bogosian and Pilut are hurt, cutting into the depth, but still.

Then two years ago:
Scandella - Risto
McCabe - Bogosian
Beaulieu - Gorges
Falk, Antipin, Fedun, Nelson

Three:
Gorges - Risto
McCabe - Franson
Kulikov - Bogosian
Falk, Fedun, and we saw guys like Bergdorfer and Austin that year.

It appears that, if we do trade Risto, they've made the blow as soft as possible, because I take a Risto-less current Sabre setup over every iteration we've iced since the beginning of the tank
 

Edited by Randall Flagg

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