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Does Risto want out?

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2 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Pretty much across the board, yes.

Its never been explained to me though how much of that is Risto being bad and how much of that is player X suddenly having to share Risto’s tough situations.

At the end of last season when Risto was out and Montour was thrust into his role, I’m pretty sure I remember reading that Montour’s numbers went into the toilet.

If you want to look at just CF% REL, his only season where he was a net positive also happened to be the only season where he saw more sheltered zone starts.

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Exactly. He's a #4 defender. That's all I am saying. His physical play does not elevate him above that. We could argue if he is a #3 I suppose but that's splitting hairs. 19minutes a night and running the 2nd PP probably maxes out the best Risto has to offer. You also have to continually coach him not to toss the puck out without possession which I think will always be a problem. 

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1 hour ago, SwampD said:

Doesn’t the fact that he has the most solo exits tell you that maybe he is the only one on the soft team that can actually separate players from the puck? And why does he have to do everything? It’s a team game, isn’t it? If that’s his skill, find a way to use it.

Lots of solo exits, but few CONTROLLED solo exits (the other axis on that chart).  Which means that he is throwing it off the boards/glass and out instead of passing it to a teammate, and he is doing it more often than anyone else.  That’s a bad thing.

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2 minutes ago, Curt said:

Lots of solo exits, but few CONTROLLED solo exits (the other axis on that chart).  Which means that he is throwing it off the boards/glass and out instead of passing it to a teammate, and he is doing it more often than anyone else.  That’s a bad thing.

He listens too much to Don Cherry, glass and out!

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38 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Exactly. He's a #4 defender. That's all I am saying. His physical play does not elevate him above that. We could argue if he is a #3 I suppose but that's splitting hairs. 19minutes a night and running the 2nd PP probably maxes out the best Risto has to offer. You also have to continually coach him not to toss the puck out without possession which I think will always be a problem. 

I"m perfectly fine with all of this.  I think the majority agrees that we've wanted either the perfect partner or Risto off the first line for 2-3 years.  We were gifted Dahlin and now we can finally put Risto in a better position.  I love the idea of him running the 2nd PP - that's a positive.  I respect your knowledge of the numbers/metrics and they've helped me see issues with him that extend beyond my eye test and limited hockey IQ.  

Let's agree that his physical play doesn't elevate him above a #4 - then lets also agree that it keeps him on the 2nd pair and that it helps the team.  

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31 minutes ago, Brawndo said:

 

lol you can always count on Wawrow to bring absolutely nothing to the table.

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I won't argue the stats or anyone's opinion but what I have trouble wrapping my head around is if he's as bad as some of you are stating why does every coach and GM for that matter continue to give him all the TOI he gets and with my eye test he gets the majority of his time against the other teams top lines?? Instead of playing a role he's best suited for is he trying to do too much to break this losing binge the team has been on during his entire career?? What I'd like to see is what were his numbers like during the beginning of last season when we were winning compared to what they were when the team as a hole went to crap.

What percentage of throw it off the glass and out came when the team was in their own zone for way too long and he was just trying to get a line change?? Plus if he was so bad with this, why didn't any of his coaches start to cut into his TOI as punishment. I actually like the guy and I hope they don't trade him unless they come out ahead in the deal. I don't think I could stand another ROR deal.

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3 minutes ago, jsb said:

I won't argue the stats or anyone's opinion but what I have trouble wrapping my head around is if he's as bad as some of you are stating why does every coach and GM for that matter continue to give him all the TOI he gets and with my eye test he gets the majority of his time against the other teams top lines?? Instead of playing a role he's best suited for is he trying to do too much to break this losing binge the team has been on during his entire career?? What I'd like to see is what were his numbers like during the beginning of last season when we were winning compared to what they were when the team as a hole went to crap.

What percentage of throw it off the glass and out came when the team was in their own zone for way too long and he was just trying to get a line change?? Plus if he was so bad with this, why didn't any of his coaches start to cut into his TOI as punishment. I actually like the guy and I hope they don't trade him unless they come out ahead in the deal. I don't think I could stand another ROR deal.

Name our top 3 RHD before the Montour trade each year, going back 4 years. 

Also the coach last year was so clueless he thought Vladamir Sobotka was better than Evan Rodrigues for basically the entire season. 

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1 hour ago, Randall Flagg said:

This was always interesting to me...ing, at 19 minutes. Not because he magically becomes better by removing minutes, but because you're minimizing the things that make him tank, rather than loading them up on his shoulders to an obscene degree. Like, what should be the whole point of coaching - getting your players into situations where they maximize their ability to help the team. 

My guess is this...THIS...is the reason he ain't gone yet.  In a round about way.  This is keeping his value to Botterill and the Sabres higher than what he might be getting in offers.  Simple as that. RK, being a different animal than Phil and Disco Dan, may very well use the data supplied to him by the Sabres' analytics dept. and use Risto differently.  

I can see this playing out beyond opening night.  Risto starts here.  RK uses him more appropriately.  RIsto's value over the season rises.  Sabres are a bubble team come the trade deadline.  Risto is then a piece in a "hockey trade" netting us a legit 2C.  Sabres make playoffs.  Jobs are saved.

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Risto was open about complaining being paired with guys like Scandella who he couldn’t trust to pass it to because they’d fumble it. He’s stated as much.  He is a good player, he just needs a change of scenery. 

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1 minute ago, ... said:

My guess is this...THIS...is the reason he ain't gone yet.  In a round about way.  This is keeping his value to Botterill and the Sabres higher than what he might be getting in offers.  Simple as that. RK, being a different animal than Phil and Disco Dan, may very well use the data supplied to him by the Sabres' analytics dept. and use Risto differently.  

I can see this playing out beyond opening night.  Risto starts here.  RK uses him more appropriately.  RIsto's value over the season rises.  Sabres are a bubble team come the trade deadline.  Risto is then a piece in a "hockey trade" netting us a legit 2C.  Sabres make playoffs.  Jobs are saved.

The problem is the logjam on defense right now. They have 9 rostered defensemen and Pilut or Jokiharju could make the team out of camp. They really can't keep Risto unless they find a way to move some other guys out.

They'll trade him before the season starts or they wont trade him at all.

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14 minutes ago, darksabre said:

The problem is the logjam on defense right now. They have 9 rostered defensemen and Pilut or Jokiharju could make the team out of camp. They really can't keep Risto unless they find a way to move some other guys out.

They'll trade him before the season starts or they wont trade him at all.

There are other D they could trade or demote.

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Just now, ... said:

There are other D they could trade or demote.

Maybe, but then you lose some of that depth just to keep a guy around that you were going to trade. I can't see Botterill doing that either. 

Risto is gone before October or else he's here to stay for the season. 

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I would say Riso and his "situation" might even explain why Botterill decided to create a logjam at D.  He has plenty of options in handling the situation.

I should say "situation".

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24 minutes ago, Formerly Allan in MD said:

What bothers me most about Risto is his comment late last season about how hard it STILL is to figure out how to play defense in the NHL.  That from a rookie is okay; from a vet like him it says a lot.

Here's what it says to me:  Ron Rolston, Ted Nolan, Dan Bylsma, Phil Housley.  In retrospect, do you trust any of these guys to develop a Dman or put a cohesive defensive scheme together?  (XHCPH seemed good on paper but things didn't work out that way).

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Whatever.  Stay or go.  If we trade him and get a 2c or 2rw I’m good.  Keep him and HCRK uses him properly and he get 35-40 pts and his D improves, I’m also good.  

As long as Jbot holds his nerve this should work out 

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Some more Risto thoughts. I don't really understand why he doesn't just normalize TOI and Points to be xP60 but whatever. Still another look at some data. 

https://www.diebytheblade.com/2019/8/12/20802141/the-buffalo-sabres-may-need-to-rethink-their-approach-with-rasmus-ristolainen

 

19 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

Here's what it says to me:  Ron Rolston, Ted Nolan, Dan Bylsma, Phil Housley.  In retrospect, do you trust any of these guys to develop a Dman or put a cohesive defensive scheme together?  (XHCPH seemed good on paper but things didn't work out that way).

So you are telling me that after 6 years in the league and over 400 games played, the reason Ristolainen hasn't figure out how to play basic defense is because he has had mediocre coaches? And yet, other players on that very same roster under those very same coaches have preformed better than him. Lawrence Pilut, Dahlin, Montour, are all examples of that. Either he knows how to play defense or he doesn't. The best we can do at this stage is try to limit his exposure to bad situations because he clearly cannot handle tough minutes. I don't think a coach will fix that. A good player should at this point be able to do the basic things well enough to be competent, like exit the zone cleanly and consistently. 

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4 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Some more Risto thoughts. I don't really understand why he doesn't just normalize TOI and Points to be xP60 but whatever. Still another look at some data. 

https://www.diebytheblade.com/2019/8/12/20802141/the-buffalo-sabres-may-need-to-rethink-their-approach-with-rasmus-ristolainen

 

So you are telling me that after 6 years in the league and over 400 games played, the reason Ristolainen hasn't figure out how to play basic defense is because he has had mediocre coaches? And yet, other players on that very same roster under those very same coaches have preformed better than him. Lawrence Pilut, Dahlin, Montour, are all examples of that. Either he knows how to play defense or he doesn't. The best we can do at this stage is try to limit his exposure to bad situations because he clearly cannot handle tough minutes. I don't think a coach will fix that. A good player should at this point be able to do the basic things well enough to be competent, like exit the zone cleanly and consistently. 

My man, Montour did not learn D under Phil.  Dahlin has natural talent well above and beyond Risto and I don't think it's a valid comparison.  Pilut hasn't and isn't learning his D game under Phil.

I think the coaches argument in this instance is far more compelling than it would be for a lot of other cases.

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3 minutes ago, ... said:

My man, Montour did not learn D under Phil.  Dahlin has natural talent well above and beyond Risto and I don't think it's a valid comparison.  Pilut hasn't and isn't learning his D game under Phil.

I think the coaches argument in this instance is far more compelling than it would be for a lot of other cases.

Risto didn't learn D under Phil either. He primarily learned it under Bylsma or realistically his assistant coach. 

It is not compelling at all. He has played for a bunch of coaches with the exact same results. Maybe he just isn't a very smart hockey player who has used and pushed his physical gifts to their limits. 

That's the one thing in this entire conversation that never seems to come up. Ristolainen has a mediocre hockey IQ. We see that demonstrated a lot and I think it is part of the reason we are here now talking about him like this. 

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10 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Risto didn't learn D under Phil either. He primarily learned it under Bylsma or realistically his assistant coach. 

It is not compelling at all. He has played for a bunch of coaches with the exact same results. Maybe he just isn't a very smart hockey player who has used and pushed his physical gifts to their limits. 

That's the one thing in this entire conversation that never seems to come up. Ristolainen has a mediocre hockey IQ. We see that demonstrated a lot and I think it is part of the reason we are here now talking about him like this. 

Mediocre = common, average.  Okay, that's fine and I won't dispute that.  He does have the gifts of having an iron body and can put up points.  I think under crappy tutelage and clueless coaching/usage it can lead to a statement that he's still figuring out how to play.  To me, that's perfectly reasonable for a guy who has been baptized by fire with constant confusion surrounding him. 

Each person is different in their circumstances and how they respond.  Let's not ignore @Randall Flagg's data and conclusion a few posts back.  I think it supports the idea that Risto, in particular, has suffered from being handled by the wrong people.  It happens.

..and, frankly, shouldn't be a surprise given what we've had in the Sabres the past, what, 8 years?

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I also think it's completely fair to consider that Botterill might be leery to get rid of talent if there's data that suggests the "problem" lies elsewhere.  

I'm not arguing to keep Risto, but I am saying that I don't believe his case is cut and dry, although the non-weighted fancy stats support his departure.  I find the whole scenario fascinating.

Edited by ...
If I had a hammer.

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