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Does Risto want out?

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7 minutes ago, ... said:

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?

Yes. That is what I am going with. 

Again, even if he has been handled poorly, he himself isn't smart enough to figure out more effective ways to deal with that? I just think there has been a constant effort to take blame away from Risto and place it on others for his failures. I think he is mostly responsible regardless of the other team related problems. 

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5 hours ago, Skibum said:

He does a lot of things very, very well. Some games he is a man among boys out there. I don't understand all the hate for this guy; he's been holding his own on a garbage team for a long time. Of course his +/- stinks; his forwards can't score. Who knows how good he could be if he was playing on a better team. Trading him away would be a big mistake if they don't get a really good player in return. 

Ok, I am not a huge analytics guy, I don't know much about breaking down the film, and don't know where players are supposed to be all the time.

But as for the 'hate' for the guy, I can explain that from my point of view.  Over the last 2 years (mostly), I have just seen TOO many times where a goal was scored against the Sabres that was directly a result of his play.  A dumb/bad pass out of his own zone sometimes...him 'chasing' down another player and looking the other way when the eventual goal scorer was taking a shot...or him vacating a spot in front of the net a second or less before the goal was scored from that exact spot.

It happens to most of the D-core on this team, but to my eyes, it seems to happen a LOT more to him than to most of the other players combined.

Sure, he hits, he skates well, he has great 'talent', but I just personally see him looking like it was his mistake or him being 'out of position' more than anyone else when goals are scored against the team with him on the ice.  Maybe a new coach changes that?  I don't know, but at this point I won't be sad to see him gone.

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My biggest problem with analyzing the defensive zone is also that I have no idea where people are "supposed to be" and when. I basically have no idea what I'm looking at. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

My biggest problem with analyzing the defensive zone is also that I have no idea where people are "supposed to be" and when. I basically have no idea what I'm looking at. 

 

There are a ton of videos out there that detail defensive zone positioning and what responsibilities belong to what players.

The one thing you'll notice with Ristolainen is that he constantly tries to do too much. He covers a ton of ice in the defensive zone to little real effect. Being his partner on defense must be a f*cking nightmare.

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Just now, darksabre said:

There are a ton of videos out there that detail defensive zone positioning and what responsibilities belong to what players.

The one thing you'll notice with Ristolainen is that he constantly tries to do too much. He covers a ton of ice in the defensive zone to little real effect. Being his partner on defense must be a f*cking nightmare.

Any recommendations for specific videos? If not, I can hit youtube later this week and find some. 

I was originally going to do something with our team defense this summer, but I rapidly became overwhelmed when watching games and was incapable of seeing anything good or bad that I could really pin down as unique or a problem 

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4 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

My biggest problem with analyzing the defensive zone is also that I have no idea where people are "supposed to be" and when. I basically have no idea what I'm looking at. 

 

Trust this.. Ristolainen is out of position, a lot. Perhaps he's been told to try and be more physical just because he's the only D who can, but he shouldn't be told that.  His positioning issues increased the more he went after being the "tough guy D".

They need to settle him down and change him from the mindset that he needs to be something he is not, despite his size.

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9 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Yes. That is what I am going with. 

Again, even if he has been handled poorly, he himself isn't smart enough to figure out more effective ways to deal with that? I just think there has been a constant effort to take blame away from Risto and place it on others for his failures. I think he is mostly responsible regardless of the other team related problems. 

Unfortunately, I think none of us, including the team, are in a position to know exactly how to parse the Risto situation accurately.  It might take a few more years, and Risto on a different team (or, at least, with completely different usage), before it's clear.  On an average team with average circumstances I would be inclined to agree with you, but, to me, there's still a lot of grey area.  The Sabres have screwed up so much since before Darcy was fired.

If there's a good trade for him, then buh-bye.  But I don't mind them trying to maximize his value so long as it makes sense in putting this team in the playoffs.

 

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1 minute ago, Randall Flagg said:

Any recommendations for specific videos? If not, I can hit youtube later this week and find some. 

I was originally going to do something with our team defense this summer, but I rapidly became overwhelmed when watching games and was incapable of seeing anything good or bad that I could really pin down as unique or a problem 

Just dig around on youtube. There are all sorts of videos from amateurs to ex-NHLers and coaches, but they all teach basically the same stuff. You'll get to see plenty of videos of NHL players moving around their defensive zone the correct way.

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4 minutes ago, darksabre said:

There are a ton of videos out there that detail defensive zone positioning and what responsibilities belong to what players.

The one thing you'll notice with Ristolainen is that he constantly tries to do too much. He covers a ton of ice in the defensive zone to little real effect. Being his partner on defense must be a f*cking nightmare.

In the context of playing with bad players, he might have developed the habit, not out of choice, of trying to cover for them.  If his stats improve when playing with players who aren't a sh*&-show themselves, I think this is a possibility that can't be tossed aside.

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Just now, ... said:

In the context of playing with bad players, he might have developed the habit, not out of choice, of trying to cover for them.  If his stats improve when playing with players who aren't a sh*&-show themselves, I think this is a possibility that can't be tossed aside.

The problem here is it's a two way street. If you're not the best player, but you're on the ice with a defenseman who doesn't play his position right because he's decided he can't trust you, then you can't trust him either. Risto would be better off just taking the minus while being reliably in position and making reliable plays. Let the bad players be responsible for their bad play instead of making things worse for them (and yourself).

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2 minutes ago, darksabre said:

The problem here is it's a two way street. If you're not the best player, but you're on the ice with a defenseman who doesn't play his position right because he's decided he can't trust you, then you can't trust him either. Risto would be better off just taking the minus while being reliably in position and making reliable plays. Let the bad players be responsible for their bad play instead of making things worse for them (and yourself).

This is @LGR4GM's mediocre IQ at play, and, likely, confused instruction from a multitude of Sabres' coaches.  Again, I think you have to factor in stubborn, inept game-day strategies, too.  The question is, which one is the most causal?  Is he more stupid than used poorly?  Is he more used poorly than not clear on just what he's supposed to do?

Seriously, if we on Sabrespace can get to this point in trying to figure out Risto, it is no surprise he hasn't been traded.  I think pre-fancy stats NHL clubs would have over-paid for the Risto of today a decade ago, but these days, it's unclear what he is exactly.  

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24 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

My biggest problem with analyzing the defensive zone is also that I have no idea where people are "supposed to be" and when. I basically have no idea what I'm looking at. 

 

 

19 minutes ago, darksabre said:

There are a ton of videos out there that detail defensive zone positioning and what responsibilities belong to what players.

The one thing you'll notice with Ristolainen is that he constantly tries to do too much. He covers a ton of ice in the defensive zone to little real effect. Being his partner on defense must be a f*cking nightmare.

I’m with Flagg on this and a lot of hockey’s tactical aspects.

Housley apparently relied on a man-to-man system that resulted in a lot of scrambling, or it least that is the impression I get from Craig Rivet, who should know and was critical of the system.

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2 minutes ago, dudacek said:

 

I’m with Flagg on this and a lot of hockey’s tactical aspects.

Housley apparently relied on a man-to-man system that resulted in a lot of scrambling, or it least that is the impression I get from Craig Rivet, who should know and was critical of the system.

I've read people break this down elsewhere in the past too. McCabe up at the right point because that's where his guy went, stuff like that.

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3 hours ago, Randall Flagg said:

1654735379_Ristostuff.thumb.PNG.d22090b2c0bbde77a159eb114a8cd3d1.PNG

This was always interesting to me (not exactly what you asked for). When Risto wasn't playing with the worst players in the league at their positions last season, all of his fancy stat issues go away. If you remove Tage from the list, and just focus on Vlad and Marco, who were each a bit worse than Tage IMO, your sample size is basically 1000 minutes, it still contains all other Sabre players from good to bad, and things are peachy. You can't say the same about the actual-bad players on that list, because it's a chart of each of those players' stats without the other three. one of those is not like the others. 

When you re-watch games, you can see that when Risto's partner is as bad as Scandy was last year, he is far more likely to do what liger talks about - he views the only safe play as the one that ends the 45 second onslaught they just experienced, chucking the puck to safety. Like Liger, I always assumed that he did not discriminate situations when deciding to do this - and I still think he does it more than he should. But, and I've said this before, when I actually took some time last summer to watch games and count exits, and discerned between them when there was pressure vs when there wasn't, and when there were options available vs when there weren't, he actually stunned me with his transition ability with options available, both with and without pressure. I only got through like ~7 games, but I expected him to be the worst on the team at it and he was one of the best. Now, he gets a lot of minutes in non-ideal situations with these bottom-tier players, and in those situations when he recovers a puck he often has no real choice but to clear it, as a guy like Marco might be sluggish to make himself available as an outlet, or a guy like Tage might be in the wrong spot facing the wrong way when he gets the puck. But IMO the reason his fancy stat problems vanish without these terrible players (who were bad enough that you can't reasonably assume that removing them takes out all non-ideal cushy situations, because it's not like we loaded all of those guys up with tough minutes together or anything, Tage was sheltered and Vlad had less-defensive minutes than at least 3 other Sabre forwards)is because while he's not good enough to drag them to competence, he's fine when put out in more reasonable, less taxing situations. I've always thought this to some degree, but I believe it more now than I did then. That's why I think he was so good with Pilut - the one thing Pilut is great at is receiving a pass from his teammate and sending it up the ice successfully, and it was all Risto needed to complete the picture.

This isn't a claim that he's Parayko in his own zone, or isn't prone to brainfarts. But coaches that send him out with Scandella against Crosby for extended periods of time do damage to our ability to see what Risto really is, and that's a player whose whole package isn't as bad as it can be made out to be. Karlsson and Burns each might be the kings of defensive zone low-light reels because of their sheer minute intake, but nobody argues that it puts a meaningful dent into the value of their contributions elsewhere - just that it stops them from being literally Bobby Orr. Risto is that on a much smaller scale, if he was given a reasonable, sensible partner and used like a reasonable team would use an offensive-tilted 2nd pairing, 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. 

Thank you for that.


This is a much more detailed (and much better stated) version of what I've been saying for a while regarding Ristolainen.  And a big part of why I expect that if he's given 2nd pairing usage and minutes that he will look like a much better player.

He's good enough to play within his own responsibilities (excepting on holding his own blue line; doubt he ever figures that out) but once he starts to try to cover for a teammate, he gets badly lost in his own zone and loses track of his own responsibilities.  He also strikes me as impatient and that leads to some of his running around.  When the opposing team gets a cycle running, he tends to try to disrupt it himself rather than wait for the attackers to get impatient/ mare an errant pass/ drop.

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26 minutes ago, LTS said:

Trust this.. Ristolainen is out of position, a lot. Perhaps he's been told to try and be more physical just because he's the only D who can, but he shouldn't be told that.  His positioning issues increased the more he went after being the "tough guy D".

They need to settle him down and change him from the mindset that he needs to be something he is not, despite his size.

Really seems more that he's impatient and that he can only contain that urge to get frustrated at watching a cycle for about 5 seconds before he tries to take matters into his own hands, so to speak.

He rarely starts out out of position, but gets there quickly w/ a cycle.

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7 minutes ago, ... said:

This is @LGR4GM's mediocre IQ at play, and, likely, confused instruction from a multitude of Sabres' coaches.  Again, I think you have to factor in stubborn, inept game-day strategies, too.  The question is, which one is the most causal?  Is he more stupid than used poorly?  Is he more used poorly than not clear on just what he's supposed to do?

Seriously, if we on Sabrespace can get to this point in trying to figure out Risto, it is no surprise he hasn't been traded.  I think pre-fancy stats NHL clubs would have over-paid for the Risto of today a decade ago, but these days, it's unclear what he is exactly.  


Agreed, especially the bolded.
 

5 minutes ago, dudacek said:

 

I’m with Flagg on this and a lot of hockey’s tactical aspects.

Housley apparently relied on a man-to-man system that resulted in a lot of scrambling, or it least that is the impression I get from Craig Rivet, who should know and was critical of the system.

 

2 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

I've read people break this down elsewhere in the past too. McCabe up at the right point because that's where his guy went, stuff like that.

I'm not sure what to make of Housley's two seasons here and how he used Risto. He deployed Risto in two very different ways each of those seasons and you can see it in Risto's fancy stats, TOI, etc. No wonders Risto is frustrated.

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1 hour 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).

I disagree that coaching is the reason. 

Nolan was able to get the best out of players and that was the reason he was brought back (also to be the scapegoat for the GM that had no intention of being good while Ted was here). 

So are we talking Nolan"s 1st time around and after, until the tank years that he had no real control?. Are we talking Pens Bylsma or Sabres Bylsma? Are we talking about a successful Ron pre-Sabres or Ron with the Sabres? Are we talking about the Phil who was also successful pre-Sabres or the Sabre coach Phil. The problem with the Coaches was really "what else did they have to work with" most of the time. Are you gonna play Scandy 26:30 mins a game? How about Gorges? McCabe? and so on. None of them could've handled it. Risto's usage was bad because there really wasn't any other player that could handle the load. Evening out that load among other Dmen on the team "might"  have worked  to an extent but, it also might have put others on the ice at times and in situations that they also couldn't handle. Do you take away some of Risto's PP time and put Gorges out there , I don't think so. Risto has been our best option as an all-around Dman in any situation and that's what has derailed his stats to this point. I don't recall any other Dman that could've handled all the time against the Ovi's and Sid's etc. Sabres coaching hasn't been the problem they have all had success at stages of their coaching careers except in Buffalo (except Ted's 1st time around). Teddy, Lindy, Ron, Disco, and Phil......Darcy, Murray, and Jbotts ....can't all be garbage (not to mention different owners over the years}. And none of them lace up the skates during games.

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11 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Thank you for that.


This is a much more detailed (and much better stated) version of what I've been saying for a while regarding Ristolainen.  And a big part of why I expect that if he's given 2nd pairing usage and minutes that he will look like a much better player.

He's good enough to play within his own responsibilities (excepting on holding his own blue line; doubt he ever figures that out) but once he starts to try to cover for a teammate, he gets badly lost in his own zone and loses track of his own responsibilities.  He also strikes me as impatient and that leads to some of his running around.  When the opposing team gets a cycle running, he tends to try to disrupt it himself rather than wait for the attackers to get impatient/ mare an errant pass/ drop.

 

I think we are seeing the result of a very competitive player who is the product of a revolving door of coaches and teammates, he (probably rightfully) didn’t trust. 

This isn’t absolving him from responsibility, it is pointing to a reason why he is what he is.

Whether he stays or goes, his success moving forward will have a lot to do with his willingness to play within the system.

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1 hour ago, LGR4GM said:

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.

I do. He's been misused his whole career. Let's see what RFK can do with him.

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I think @SwampD asked for this earlier in the string.  Both are from Natural Stat Trick -  The first one is Risto only and his partners.  

1996256707_ramsumpartner.thumb.JPG.5231c5c6e772529f2bade9a67aaa352d.JPG

The second one is various partner combinations. 

 

Some of the metrics suggest D-men like Pilut and McCabe played better with Risto than Bogo.   McCabes numbers with players other than Bogo or Risto are also better, but is it b/c of a smaller sample size and heavy offensive zone Faceoff's?   Risto and Pilut seemingly dominate play from a CF/FF perspective.  They also have a positive High Danger % for and against but they get outscored.   Go figure.   Looks like Risto played about two games worth with Hunwick.  Results on CF/FF are good.  HFCF% - positive, HDGA - even.  Protected minutes with 56% Offensive zone FO's yet badly outscored when on the ice.   

For me it comes down to Dahlin.  Huge sample size with Bogo and Risto, and better with Bogo.  Add in Dahlin assuming the PP#1 minutes, and gradually assuming PK minutes translate to a diminishing asset with a steady and high AAV.   We don't need to pay a #4  D pairing $5.4M.  

 

sabres def comparables.JPG

Edited by Broken Ankles
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13 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

I do. He's been misused his whole career. Let's see what RFK can do with him.

Let’s see what Nolan, errrr  Bylsma, errr Housley, errr RK can do with him 😂

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Assuming Jason Botterill thinks Kyle Turris (sorry @TrueBlueGED) is a stopgap fit for us at 2C, what is the add for a Nashville deal to make sense? (Based on the idea they’d like Risto to slide into the hole left open by Subban.)

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2 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Assuming Jason Botterill thinks Kyle Turris (sorry @TrueBlueGED) is a stopgap fit for us at 2C, what is the add for a Nashville deal to make sense? (Based on the idea they’d like Risto to slide into the hole left open by Subban.)

I have a hard time picturing Kyle Turris's trade value as a positive number. So, it'd be a huge add.

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51 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

I do. He's been misused his whole career. Let's see what RFK can do with him.

He can staple him to the 2nd pairing. 25pt, defensively meh Risto incoming.

At what point is it the players fault not the coach? If Krueger leaves will you say this again? Risto is responsible for his play. 

Edited by LGR4GM
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22 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

I have a hard time picturing Kyle Turris's trade value as a positive number. So, it'd be a huge add.

I respectfully disagree. Putting aside the players value.....Turris fills our hole at 2C just as much as Risto fills the hole left by Subban, very little. Dislike Turris being acquired and would rather keep Risto. Other than that, Nash would have to add, so yes I actually agree with you on player value.

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