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PASabreFan

The Krueger Crux? "Not thinking out there"

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Randall, keep fighting the good fight. I taught ya well, son. 'member when I showed you how to split a log?

But even this old cynic and curmudgeon feels something stirrin' in his bones when he sees and hears RaKru. Just a hunch of course. You are spot on to question the optimism that seems to be based on very little but spidey sense. It feels so much different than the arrival of Bylsma and Housley. I might liken it to when the Pens hired Bob Johnson.

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Also I hope dudacek and triumph understand that I'm just slipping back into a character flaw with how deep I'm going into this and how nit-picky it is, and I think you guys have good points. 

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1 hour ago, PASabreFan said:

Randall, keep fighting the good fight. I taught ya well, son. 'member when I showed you how to split a log?

But even this old cynic and curmudgeon feels something stirrin' in his bones when he sees and hears RaKru. Just a hunch of course. You are spot on to question the optimism that seems to be based on very little but spidey sense. It feels so much different than the arrival of Bylsma and Housley. I might liken it to when the Pens hired Bob Johnson.

The crazy thing is that the bold is actually feasible - my dad had me on the log-splitter before my memories begin (they go back to when I was 5 at this point) down in Cuba, NY, a place I know you're familiar with, at a cabin that had many visitors/family friends whose faces/names I would now not recognize/remember

Edited by Randall Flagg

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7 hours ago, Randall Flagg said:

In what ways were Yakupov's weaknesses hidden? Can you get into details here? Was it just the fact that he was probably heavily sheltered? Is it really unique that a volatile rookie is sheltered in an offensive role? Is Phil thus a genius for giving Mittelstadt a higher percentage of offensive zone starts than like any other skater in the NHL? 

The year after Krueger, Nail's power play time dropped from 17% of his total ice time to 15% of his total ice time. Is this statistically meaningful, indicative of what would be the fall of a player that Ralph had set up to be something someday? I don't see it. What was different about the makeup and strategy of this power play time under Ralph vs the next guy, that put Nail in a box and slowly led to him withering away in a way that wouldn't have happened otherwise?

Did Ralph key into something that every other coach who had him, plenty with better track records, just somehow missed, failed to pick up on themselves?

I just can't get excited about a young player having a good season under Ralph Krueger. That ***** happens on every team ever, and there's nothing there to grasp on to indicate that Ralph somehow had something special that will carry over and affect us differently than if it was another coach. It reads far more like the list of vague good stuff you can come up with for literally any head coach hire ever, which is fine, but not a compelling narrative. 

Krueger has a very unique power play system

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3 minutes ago, triumph_communes said:

Krueger has a very unique power play system

giphy.gif

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1 hour ago, ... said:

giphy.gif

All I want from my coach is that he understands that the singers gotta sing and the dancers gotta dance

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I have read things about Krueger's power play setup - I wonder if he'll be in charge of that here, and I'm interested to see it if so. 

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"It's creating pressure at the puck," he said. "And then as you move away from the puck and your role drops from second, third, fourth, fifth player, you will have more of a zone than a man focus. But at the puck, the aggressiveness is going to be important and what that does is stops those long, cycling shifts."

"It's all about getting pucks back. It's about playing strong defense through strong offense and continuing to pressure teams when we don't have the puck."

This sounds all so...elementary.  Clearly they've identified this as at least one of the major issues.  It leaves one to assume Disco Dan and Phil stressed zones and positioning over individual pressure.  

I do have to say RK is very openly stressing the concept of letting them play and seeing what they can do/what they have.  I find this both curious and refreshing.  Curious to see the results, also curious to know, again, to what extent Dan and Phil were dictating roles and responses, and refreshing because I don't think we've heard a coach say they want to leverage the player's individual strengths.

Maybe Nolan in his own way, but definitely not Phil, Dan, Ron and Lindy.

Whatever happens, October and November will be interesting just to see what RK does with the team.

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I find that what Krueger describes is the ideal workplace environment in terms of working with people you trust towards a common goal in an environment where you feel empowered. There’s nothing unusual in hearing an organization preach it, practicing it is much less common.

It will definitely be interesting to see how he can foster it on the ice. It certainly seems to run counter to the “structure” and “detail” we heard so much of. The endorphin rush of successful creation during a hockey game is pretty powerful carrot, particularly among a group that hasn’t experienced it in a while. He will be feeding them something they want to hear.

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On 9/5/2019 at 12:31 PM, PASabreFan said:

It feels so much different than the arrival of Bylsma and Housley.

Eh.  I'm not feeling it.  Maybe I'm so jaded as a fan that I can't get excited about what might happen until it does happen.

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1 hour ago, Doohickie said:

Eh.  I'm not feeling it.  Maybe I'm so jaded as a fan that I can't get excited about what might happen until it does happen.

While I'm not sure this is any different than other coaching changes, the perception of Krueger may be different because there's no basis for negativity based on past results. His time in EDM was years ago and a tire fire organization. If he'd been coaching last year and failed miserably, I think the mood would be worse. The best the nay-sayers can do is "he hasn't had an NHL job in years".

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2 hours ago, Doohickie said:

Eh.  I'm not feeling it.  Maybe I'm so jaded as a fan that I can't get excited about what might happen until it does happen.

It's literally just buzz words, crafted in a marketing room, until they start winning hockey games. I'm with you. The amount they are selling slogan is a little insulting to fans intelligence, I think. They've already got their new tagline on everyone social media post: "Aggressive and Connected".

How bout, "bring in talented players to play hockey". I like that one. It's like the focus has shifted to intangibles and culture instead, as a fall-back. 

Edited by Thorny
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Bringing some elements of the conversation from the prospects' challenge thread to this one: we literally have nothing to go on at this moment to gauge RK's impact.  There are interesting tidbits being dropped in the latest news and interviews, varying opinions on what was observed during the prospects' challenge games, RK's actual coaching history, the weighing of Botterill's ability to hire an effective coach, analysis of what the Sabres may need, the Sabres organization record of success (or, more accurately, the lack thereof) with coaching hires, and whatever other random elements all playing into the walk-up to this season.

We're going to need patience.  We'll have a better idea of what we have here after the final preseason game.

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Joe Yerdon dives into Krueger’s system in the Athletic

https://theathletic.com/1200172/2019/09/11/analyzing-what-the-prospects-challenge-showed-about-how-ralph-krueger-could-model-the-sabres-style-of-play/

 

“They want us to be that fourth wave up in the rush,” (defence prospect Devante) Stephens said. “They want to keep the puck in the offensive zone as much as possible, so when puck is in the zone, like us pinching down on the walls, there’s a lot of support from the forwards back-checking and stuff like that and that just allows us to do more and be more creative.”

How they’re going about this is similar to how Team Europe did it in 2016 with a 2-1-2 setup.

Two forecheckers are sent in to apply pressure to the puck carrier and his support. One forward goes after the initial puck carrier while the second forechecker gets right up on one of the opponent’s support skaters. This forces the puck carrier to either make a rash decision or not make their reads correctly, which can lead to turnovers. The Devils (in prospects camp) had a lot of trouble handling this pressure and committed turnovers in their own zone or the neutral zone that led to odd-man rushes.

Edited by dudacek
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Sounds like Yerdon is claiming part of the new system was used during the prospect challenge.   Hmm...

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Bylsma ran a 2-1-2 forecheck exactly as described. I'm sure people remember some of those pretty Kane/ROR/Reinhart takeaways. 

"keep the puck in the offensive zone"

"us pinching down on the walls, there's a lot of support from the forwards backchecking that allows us to be creative"

I remain convinced that any "system dive" for a new coach is simply a regurgitation of hockey tactics universally seen as good and desirable. Like sizzle cautions, until we have enough games to where we can see tendencies on tape, we will continue repeating pillars of solid hockey fundamentals over and over again as if the last coach obviously had no idea what they are

Here's how the summer after hiring Phil went:
Importance of being able to relate to players off the ice

"The on-ice and off-ice areas are difficult to separate, but Jack's recent comments about a coach he can talk to about topics other than back pressure and positioning are particularly telling.

Players are people, not cogs in a machine and how you relate to them can make a world of difference."
"He sure comes across as a guy you'd want to work for."

The summer visits with players, the hours-long skating with Jack just to talk

“Phil’s extremely prepared for his meetings, detailed, goes about in a very concise way,” Botterill said. “Second is just his communication skills. Whether star players, up-and-coming defensemen, he’s found a way to interact with them … on a personal level. And thirdly, just his track record of development – whether it’s in high school, whether it’s in juniors, whether it’s the National Hockey League – he gets the most out of his players.” 

Buzzword hockey
This season I'm most excited about: "Housley's system. Fast aggressive hockey that attacks the opposition. A mobile D. Might not happen right away, but I at least hope to sees glimpses of what is to come"

"I love the changes I've seen.  The execution of those changes is coming along but the defensive pressure system is awesome.  They are making a point of using the D to keep pucks in the zone and the forwards are coming back hard as back support if the puck gets by the D.  That was never the case before.

In the Islanders game I look at the number of off-sides calls they forced the Islanders into and it shows their willingness to hold the blue line entry and pressure the puck and take away the possession entry."

From The Buffalo News' system dive:

"Phil Housley's system has one essential tenet.

No standing anytime.

The new coach is transforming the Sabres into an aggressive team, one that features active defensemen and quick-thinking forwards. Some parts of the system – blue-liners leading the rush or firing away from the point – will be obvious. Other things – defenders tightening their gaps and stepping up at the blue line – will be more nuanced.

Nearly everything will revolve around skating.

The Sabres backed off opponents last season. Then they backed off some more. The result was too much time in the defensive zone.

This season, the forwards are expected to be aggressive in the neutral zone. They will quickly close on their opponents, forcing them to make decisions earlier than they'd hoped. It should result in more turnovers.

The Sabres also will make it tougher for teams to enter their zone. It was rare for defensemen to step up at the blue line and impede a player's progress. Now the blue-liners are expected to move forward instead of backward. They'll slow the opponents and force them to dump and chase rather than carry into the zone and set up plays.

[Flagg insert - wow, I wasn't expecting to find even a "instincts versus thinking" discussion in this! - end of Flagg insert]

The Sabres spent too much time last year thinking about where they should stand instead of skating to where the puck could go.

At its core, hockey is an instinctual game. Players need to react to funny bounces, broken sticks and referees who are unable to get out of the way. Housley wants his skaters moving at all times, which would give them more opportunities to find the puck when it hops unexpectedly. The coach will give his players a general idea of where to be, but he'll leave it up to them to react accordingly.

It's how the Sabres wanted to play last year. Now they have to show they can do it.

"For us, the guys playing, it's more than just the system," O'Reilly said. "It's got to be feet first and let instincts take over." "  -End of TBN article

"I absolutely loved LOVED his comment about providing structure and then TRUSTING THE PLAYERS TO CREATE within that structure."

And who wasn't sick of articles drooling over the concept of the "five man attack" by the time that first training camp was ending?

“I anticipate an attacking mindset, playing with speed, playing with pace, playing fast,” Housley said. “That includes a five-man attack. Our defense is going to be very involved in the play.”

Vouching from former players a la RNH
"He brings such a different element to coaching because of the player he was; he sees the game unlike probably anyone else who's ever played the game," Subban said. "When he talks, all that matters to me is what is coming out of his mouth."  

 Ryan Ellis, who's been with Nashville for the entirety of Housley's tenure, spoke highly of his communication abilities

"Phil has been awesome,"he told Yahoo! Sports."Since 'Day One' he came in here, I think for a lot of the D he was a similar player as the way he thought the game and I guess thought the game should be played. Just the little things talking with him day-in-day-out the knowledge that he brings … Obviously his numbers, his games played, his points all that stuff speak for themselves so it's easy to listen to a guy like that and take what he has to say and understand it and learn from it."

Unrelated, but comments from Phil's hiring thread:
"Does everybody else feel that Jason Botterill is way smarter than everyone else in the room?"
"Botterill apparently researched the hell out of Housley" -> "That's why I loved the Botterill hire"
"You know the biggest difference I see in Bylsma versus Housley? Housley is a winner and Dan simply isn't."
"Oh well, change, optimism, and feeling good.
And another cycle begins.
Such is life as a Sabres fan."
And I'm currently going through crazy deja vu inception here, because I'm reading the exact type of conversation "yeah, we know the last guy also said it, but HERE'S why it's different this time" in that Phil thread w.r.t. Bylsma as we've been having with Krueger w.r.t. Phil
A comment from September, 2017: "Bylsma absolutely talked about pressuring opponents, pushing the pace of play, and attacking. We literally drooled over it, coming out of the tank. All coaches sound good when they're hired, otherwise they wouldn't have been hired. "That said, I absolutely love the style of play he's preaching: fast, aggressive, pressure. It's everything I've ever wanted from an aesthetic perspective." This was TrueBlueGED a month into Bylsma's first season as Sabres coach. And that's not to pick on True. We all said stuff like that, but that's the quote I saw right away and that's exactly what's going on here. Either our optimism is right or we look back and say "OMG Phil was horrible. his strategy was never going to work, this new guy though, he's going to be so much better"." Deja vuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu man

I'm basically quoting stuff from our very own posters (the identity of them is not the point, and some of them are me) that just kinda explains why some of us sound like poopy pants right now. It's 100% reservation rather than truly believing Krueger is going to suck or anything. 

Edited by Randall Flagg

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From the same article:

 

“There was so little preparation here, you know, so it was a one day practice and the players are also not in physical shape yet to actually implement all the things we want to see,” Krueger said. “We’d like to feel Sabres hockey – all the way through to (ECHL) Cincinnati even – and I think that this is still far from the end product. We expect a much clearer identity as we go through these next few weeks.”

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7 minutes ago, #freejame said:

From the same article:

 

“There was so little preparation here, you know, so it was a one day practice and the players are also not in physical shape yet to actually implement all the things we want to see,” Krueger said. “We’d like to feel Sabres hockey – all the way through to (ECHL) Cincinnati even – and I think that this is still far from the end product. We expect a much clearer identity as we go through these next few weeks.”

Which is exactly what I said many posts up. Some folks are taking things a bit too seriously.

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Sorry, I meant the other thread. Currently touring a school and commenting when I can.

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Ah, @Randall Flagg to be hurt so deeply as to think the rising of the sun only gives fire to the inevitability of the approaching darkness

And to hear in the soft calls of birds in the dewey morn aught but the falsehoods of love pledged only to be absconded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

😜

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1 hour ago, Randall Flagg said:

Bylsma ran a 2-1-2 forecheck exactly as described. I'm sure people remember some of those pretty Kane/ROR/Reinhart takeaways. 

and so forth 

Thoroughly dissected. 

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2 hours ago, Randall Flagg said:

Lots of well-done research...

I'm basically quoting stuff from our very own posters (the identity of them is not the point, and some of them are me) that just kinda explains why some of us sound like poopy pants right now. It's 100% reservation rather than truly believing Krueger is going to suck or anything. 

Who here is suggesting right now, other than PA, that RK is the guy to finally solve the problems?

It seems to me, and correct me if I'm wrong, that you're at best encouraging caution with RK, and, at worst already considering him another bomb just in a Euro suit.

I think the great majority of us are exercising caution at this point.

However, I do detect one interesting thread in your research: the plans and/or thinking were right, they just weren't executed properly or at all.  Agree?

Anyway, I don't think anyone is blaming anyone for being skeptical this time around, even PA.

So, my question, respectfully, is what are trying to get at? 

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