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Risto wants out

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We're definitely a better team with him than without him so unless we're getting a stud 2nd line center than we need to keep him imo. Drew Doughty had the 2ndworst +- and I see him as an elite Dman but if you look at all of the +- players almost all the top guys were from winning teams, only a select few were not.

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I'm a fan of Risto.  I think you can win with players like him.  Do I think he's the smartest defenseman, no, but he does a lot of good things.   I'm more than happy to pay him 5.4 mil for his services. 

 

I won't blame him for his +/-.  He plays a ton of minutes on historically putrid offensive teams.  

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Really can't blame him, what's it been, 6 seasons now?

He's rode out the worst Sabres squads I can remember with such a duration of time.

Makes me wonder what guys like Reinhart and Eichel are thinking.

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1 hour ago, Scottysabres said:

Really can't blame him, what's it been, 6 seasons now?

He's rode out the worst Sabres squads I can remember with such a duration of time.

Makes me wonder what guys like Reinhart and Eichel are thinking.

Same. Lehner, O'Reilly, Berglund, Sobotka, now Ristolainen...the firmly entrenched losing culture in Buffalo is destroying our players. Who knows what Eichel, Reinhart, McCabe, Bogosian, Larsson, Girgensons, Rodrigues, and Okposo are thinking? This team badly needs to make the playoffs THIS SEASON.

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O'Reilly syndrome.... highly contagious.  Who's next?   Reinhart?   Hutton?

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Fake news. That article didn't say anything that wasn't already said at the end of the season. Would he welcome a fresh start on a contender, sure. Pretty much all of them would (except Skinner) but there's no real indication he is demanding a trade. 

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6 hours ago, CallawaySabres said:

I don't care if he says he hates the team and the fans.....tough luck. Unless we win the trade, he stays.

Yep.  70% (I'm guessing) of people don't like their jobs, but they get up every morning and do their best.  Surely for $5.4 million, Risto can suck it up and play hard if he's here.

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1 hour ago, Tondas said:

Yep.  70% (I'm guessing) of people don't like their jobs, but they get up every morning and do their best.  Surely for $5.4 million, Risto can suck it up and play hard if he's here.

Do they really tho?  As a software engineer i literally cant wait to go to work everyday because it feels like im having fun doing what i love. People may think they are doing "their best" at jobs they hate but really they are just convincing themselves of that more than they are actually doing it.

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This has the makings of another idiotic Botteril trade.  We trade a good player and an intense competitor for garbage.

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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. 

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Could we change the thread title to something that better describes the "article"?

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42 minutes 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, name what he does well.You are the 3rd poster in this thread to say something along these lines. Tell me what it is that Rasmus Ristolainen does well that contributes to his team winning games. 

 

I will list what he does terribly.... his zone defense is actually quite bad and he gives up the blueline consistently. He fails to use his teammates for zone exits. He is one of the worst Sabres for solo zone exits. He is one of the worst at maintaining possession when pressured. There is a ton of evidence that when pressured he coughs the puck up by just tossing it around the boards. His shot suppression is mediocre at best. 

The only thing he does "very very well" is the powerplay. Of course now he will run the 2nd powerplay because Dahlin will get the first. He's a mediocre 2nd pairing defender with solid powerplay abilities who plays at first pairing level inconsistently throughout the year. He is a net drag to the tune of -5.2% on his team when he is on the ice. That translates to 5.2% more offense at 5v5 for the other team even when you factor in Risto's supposed offensive abilities. Plus minus doesn't matter but for Risto it is quite clear why he has the worst in the league. He is a #4 defender with bad zone exits, zone defense, and shot suppression who is only good at shot generation on the powerplay. He is the very definition of a guy who needs to be sheltered. 

 

https://theathletic.com/974041/2019/05/13/stimson-a-few-key-stats-the-next-sabres-coaching-staff-should-use-when-considering-rasmus-ristolainens-usage/ - Ryan Stimson, May 13, 2019

"On this chart, the x-axis is the percentage of total exits each player faced while under pressure. The y-axis is that player’s controlled exit percentage while under pressure. That is not an error where Ristolainen is located – when faced with pressure on exits, Risto exited with possession two percent of the time. This is the off-the-glass-and-out play whenever an opponent came near him. Dahlin and Pilut again show quite well here. You don’t expect players to do real well when under pressure, but this charts paint an interesting picture about the decision-making of each player."

Pressure.png

 

"The y-axis shows the controlled exit percentage on solo exits. While the numbers bear out that assisted exits are better than solo exits, Dahlin seems to excel no matter what. Lawrence Pilut should see significantly more playing time next season and is the next most successful on his own. We find Ristolainen near the bottom in terms of solo controlled exit percentage."

Solo.png

 

Edited by LGR4GM
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Flagg showed a play that he labeled “why we love Risto” in one of his posts a while back. In it, the Sabres were struggling to get the puck out of the zone. Finally, Risto came in and blasted the guy, he lost the puck, another Sabre grabbed the puck and got it out of the zone.

I’m pretty sure the only stat that Risto collected for that play was a hit. The one stat you fancy folk might actually scorn more than +/-.

I think he has more value than current defensive stats are able to measure. His physicality is a positive more than it is given credit for.

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9 minutes ago, SwampD said:

Flagg showed a play that he labeled “why we love Risto” in one of his posts a while back. In it, the Sabres were struggling to get the puck out of the zone. Finally, Risto came in and blasted the guy, he lost the puck, another Sabre grabbed the puck and got it out of the zone.

I’m pretty sure the only stat that Risto collected for that play was a hit. The one stat you fancy folk might actually scorn more than +/-.

I think he has more value than current defensive stats are able to measure. His physicality is a positive more than it is given credit for.

I 100% disagree. This ignores the fact that even if fancy stats couldn't figure out what risto did well exactly it would still have a positive impact on the fancy stats we do have. 

As for this, why then does it not more positively impact every, literally every, stat we do measure on defense? Shot suppression, zone exits, zone defense, etc... 

If he is such a physical stalwart using his immense physical prowess to take the puck away and help clear the zone, why does it not reflect in any metric. Everything from wins to WAR?  Why is it that when you put him with almost any defense partner their metrics drop? Your own example gives us a clue. It is great that he pushed someone off the puck, but he still needed his teammate to clear the zone. For a guy that accounts for the most solo zone attempts on the team, that tells me the opposite of what it told you. He can separate a player from the puck but can't by himself take the next step which is clearing the zone with possession. Separating a player from the puck is great but it is step 1 of 3. 1) Separate the player from the puck. 2) Gain possession of the puck post separation. 3) Exit the zone with possession, pass or skate. That is why hits aren't correlated to a lot of things, because the point of the hit is to gain puck possession and that isn't always the case. Not saying you should not hit or be physical but questioning that if Risto is so "good" physically why does it not translate to anything other than a clip here or there? 

Erik Karlsson pushes Rasmus Dahlin off the puck in a game this past year. Dahlin lost possession of the puck. So that was a great play by Karlsson right? Not really, while he separated the puck carrier from the puck he also failed to gain control resulting in... Jeff Skinner OT goal. Let's go back further. San Jose hit Skinner along the wall, Skinner loses possession but the San Jose player (unsure who it was, Thorton maybe, Kane another "physical" forward is also on the ice) doesn't get possession. Playing physical is fine but it is not the end step.

The end step is regaining possession and while I appreciate that Risto on the play that was highlighted was able to give a teammate a chance to get the puck out, that's 1 play in hundreds where Risto doesn't get the same result. He comes in pushes on a forward in the corner, the forward dishes the puck off, Risto stays in the corner or slowly drifts back towards the net. Opposing team gets a great shot and maybe a goal. I watched that play so often in the last couple years it hurts. Hitting can be useful if you are gaining possession of the puck, a lot of times with Risto, that does not happen. 

I keep hearing repeatedly that Risto being physical is some magic trait that means we have to have him on the team but it doesn't. If his physicality was so useful it would reflect in some underlying metric that is correlated to winning, and it does not. Note that I am specifically talking about Risto's brand of physical play. I have seen it work in a game here and there but it does not work consistently and has not. He is a mediocre defensive player and a #4 defender. 

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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.

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7 minutes ago, SwampD said:

Flagg showed a play that he labeled “why we love Risto” in one of his posts a while back. In it, the Sabres were struggling to get the puck out of the zone. Finally, Risto came in and blasted the guy, he lost the puck, another Sabre grabbed the puck and got it out of the zone.

I’m pretty sure the only stat that Risto collected for that play was a hit. The one stat you fancy folk might actually scorn more than +/-.

I think he has more value than current defensive stats are able to measure. His physicality is a positive more than it is given credit for.

The fun part about that video is that Risto spends a bunch of time just way out of position doing who the hell knows what until he makes that hit in the middle of the ice in his own zone because basically he's not supposed to be there. It worked, sure, but it's not good hockey.

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11 minutes 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.

No because again, he is bad at solo exits. Why does it not impact any metric positively if it is so useful? Dahlin was 2nd in solo exits, he was really good at doing it with possession. Risto was first and he was the worst player on his team at solo exits with possession. So again, what is his physicality getting me? Shot suppression, blue line defense, zone exits... none of these see a positive impact when Risto plays. Lawrence Pilut has better possession exits than Risto, so how is that a player that is not physical is exiting the zone more consistently with possession than a player who is physical if that physicality really matters? 

To the bold, he literally just tosses the puck out of the zone.  I don't believe that any coach he's had in the last 6 years has not said, "hey maybe just take a second and survey the ice before firing the puck away". 

Edited by LGR4GM

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Maybe I can say it a little differently.  I'm ok with paying 5.4 mil (40th in the league) to a 24 year old Risto to be the #4 defenseman.  I think he brings enough to see if reduced minutes, a better overall defense and hopefully a stronger 2nd and 3rd line offense can help his numbers get better.  

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8 minutes ago, 7+6=13 said:

Maybe I can say it a little differently.  I'm ok with paying 5.4 mil (40th in the league) to a 24 year old Risto to be the #4 defenseman.  I think he brings enough to see if reduced minutes, a better overall defense and hopefully a stronger 2nd and 3rd line offense can help his numbers get better.  

His numbers offensively will probably go down a little because his PP1 time is going to drop. He might be better defensively but at this stage, I need to see it. Reinhart played on 4 years of the same trash teams as Risto and he has managed to somehow get better every year. Dahlin played on the same bad team as Risto last year and even as an 18yr old rookie outperformed him in basically every metric. 

We don't have to trade Risto. However I don't expect him to be suddenly better this coming season. Better means more than 1 standard deviation better than normal in this case. I firmly believe the entire defense will be better without Housley here. 

Edited by LGR4GM

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18 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

No because again, he is bad at solo exits. Why does it not impact any metric positively if it is so useful? Dahlin was 2nd in solo exits, he was really good at doing it with possession. Risto was first and he was the worst player on his team at solo exits with possession. So again, what is his physicality getting me? Shot suppression, blue line defense, zone exits... none of these see a positive impact when Risto plays. Lawrence Pilut has better possession exits than Risto, so how is that a player that is not physical is exiting the zone more consistently with possession than a player who is physical if that physicality really matters? 

To the bold, he literally just tosses the puck out of the zone.  I don't believe that any coach he's had in the last 6 years has not said, "hey maybe just take a second and survey the ice before firing the puck away". 

He literally doesn’t do just that. It literally might be all you see, though.😀

Honest question, isn’t there some stat that shows players with and without performance, or something like that? And if so, does it show that Risto makes other players worse when he is on the ice?

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13 minutes ago, SwampD said:

.

Honest question, isn’t there some stat that shows players with and without performance, or something like that? And if so, does it show that Risto makes other players worse when he is on the ice?

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.

Edited by dudacek
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