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LGR4GM

The Sabres Center Conundrum

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It sounds like some are concerned about our center depth and projecting it as a major problem this season. Discuss. 

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The best we can hope for at this point, barring some preseason trade for a 2C, is JBot recognizing the issue early on (which obviously should have already taken place) and trade for someone before it's too late. 

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How do we currently feel about Mitts?

Where do we stand on Cozens?

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5 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

tHow do we currently feel about Mitts?

Where do we stand on Cozens?

Need to see them in action this preseason Mitts should be stronger and obviously more experienced this year. 

Cozens IMO starts in Rochester and Gets his 9 games before the season ends.. Even if he shines in camp he is most likely not ready for an 82 game schedule

Edited by ddaryl

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5 minutes ago, ddaryl said:

Need to see them in action this preseason Mitts should be stronger and obviously more experienced this year. 

Cozens IMO starts in Rochester and Gets his 9 games before the season ends.. Even if he shines in camp he is most likely not ready for an 82 game schedule

He can't play in Rochester. 

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24 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

How do we currently feel about Mitts?

Where do we stand on Cozens?

I have a better question... how do you feel about them?

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Eichel

Mittelstadt

Rodrigues

Sobotka

Girgensons

Larsson

Ruotsalainen

Cozens

Asplund

 

 

You've got Mittelstadt and Cozens competing for 2C.  We have Many guys competing for 3C/4C.  The only problem is that nobody appears ready today to fit in ROR's shoes.  If you're waiting on that to happen, you're in dreamland.  Could we do better at 2C THIS season?  Yes.  Did I see a realistic trade or FA signing that I think Botterill missed out on?  No.  They don't grow on trees.

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33 minutes ago, triumph_communes said:

Eichel

Mittelstadt

Rodrigues

Sobotka

Girgensons

Larsson

Ruotsalainen

Cozens

Asplund

 

 

You've got Mittelstadt and Cozens competing for 2C.  We have Many guys competing for 3C/4C.  The only problem is that nobody appears ready today to fit in ROR's shoes.  If you're waiting on that to happen, you're in dreamland.  Could we do better at 2C THIS season?  Yes.  Did I see a realistic trade or FA signing that I think Botterill missed out on?  No.  They don't grow on trees.

Those 2 are the future options for the position. That is why I specifically mentioned them. 

Zemgus Girgensons is not a center. 

36 minutes ago, Zamboni said:

I have a better question... how do you feel about them?

Cozens game will transfer easier to the NHL compared to what Mitts' game has thus far.

Edited by LGR4GM

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6 minutes ago, erickompositör72 said:

Just a hypothetical- would Cozens at 2C this year make any less sense than Casey at 2C last year?

Yes. Cozens is not ready and last year there was another plan that Berglund blew up. Cozens needs that year in juniors IMPO.

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4 minutes ago, erickompositör72 said:

Just a hypothetical- would Cozens at 2C this year make any less sense than Casey at 2C last year?

Mitts arguably suffered from being thrust directly into a NHL lineup. Cozens is likely to suffer the same way.  Dahlin was the exception, not the rule.  We don't need to screw up yet another prospect because our GM lacks the ability to find and make deals.

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2 minutes ago, ... said:

Mitts arguably suffered from being thrust directly into a NHL lineup. Cozens is likely to suffer the same way.  Dahlin was the exception, not the rule.  We don't need to screw up yet another prospect because our GM lacks the ability to find and make deals.

Skinner, Montour, Jokiharju, Miller

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2 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Yes. Cozens is not ready and last year there was another plan that Berglund blew up. Cozens needs that year in juniors IMPO.

 

1 minute ago, ... said:

Mitts arguably suffered from being thrust directly into a NHL lineup. Cozens is likely to suffer the same way.  Dahlin was the exception, not the rule.  We don't need to screw up yet another prospect because our GM lacks the ability to find and make deals.

I don't disagree at all. I guess what I'm getting at is I have more faith in Cozens's future than Casey's, which may have been said before.

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Cozens is not ready for NHL 2nd line center duties. Don’t let preseason games against mostly AHLers fool your eyes.

Mitts is a different type of discussion. I’m not saying Mitts is quite ready either. But he’s just not going to Roch. at this point. He’s here, he’s staying (unless traded), he’ll be developing on an NHL team. 

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2 minutes ago, erickompositör72 said:

 

I don't disagree at all. I guess what I'm getting at is I have more faith in Cozens's future than Casey's, which may have been said before.

I don't blame you but I think we need to think how do we get Cozens to his ceiling, not how do we limp into the playoffs in 2020. 

2 minutes ago, Zamboni said:

Cozens is not ready for NHL 2nd line center duties. Don’t let preseason games against mostly AHLers fool your eyes.

Mitts is a different type of discussion. I’m not saying Mitts is quite ready either. But he’s just not going to Roch. at this point. He’s here, he’s staying (unless traded), he’ll be developing on an NHL team. 

I would also like to point out we haven't really seen Mitts yet this season. 1 Preseason game doesn't really do much. 

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50 minutes ago, triumph_communes said:

You've got Mittelstadt and Cozens competing for 2C.  We have Many guys competing for 3C/4C.  The only problem is that nobody appears ready today to fit in ROR's shoes.  If you're waiting on that to happen, you're in dreamland.  Could we do better at 2C THIS season?  Yes.  Did I see a realistic trade or FA signing that I think Botterill missed out on?  No.  They don't grow on trees.

This I think is a key point.  For those criticizing JB for not bringing in a real 2C:  which guys were available this summer that JB should've gotten?  Kevin Hayes is a fair response -- but we should remember that he got 7 years x $7.14MM to go to Philly.  How much would he have required to go to Buffalo instead?  7 years x $8MM?  Would anyone have wanted to give him that much?

Having said that, it's not unfair to criticize JB for failing to solve the problem, especially after he traded ROR.  Nor is it unfair to criticize JB for having Mittsie be the plan to fill the hole -- especially if Mittsie is a washout, which is distinctly possible.  I just think it's also fair to expect the JB critics to be able to name some guys that JB should've brought in.

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Botterill critics are aware that it's not trivial to bring in a 2C. They aren't mad because in a vacuum he was unable to do it, they're mad because our center spine was a huge reason we sucked last year, is poised to be a similar problem this year, was his fault in the first place, and it was easy to see that coming at the time he was making decisions that led us to this point

 

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3 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

Botterill critics are aware that it's not trivial to bring in a 2C. They aren't mad because in a vacuum he was unable to do it, they're mad because our center spine was a huge reason we sucked last year, is poised to be a similar problem this year, was his fault in the first place, and it was easy to see that coming at the time he was making decisions that led us to this point

 

We sucked the year before with a better center spine. Actually I think we were worse. 

 

Ignore it at your peril but the defensive rebuild is just as vital as the center the spine. 

Edited by LGR4GM
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7 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

We sucked the year before with a better center spine. Actually I think we were worse. 

 

Ignore it at your peril but the defensive rebuild is just as vital as the center the spine. 

I don't want to get sucked into this discussion again, but the presence of good pieces on a bad team doesn't mean the badness of that team was the fault of the good pieces and therefore trading those pieces is just fine. That's horrifying logic for a team that 

a.) used the relevant player like Jay Beagle, breaking defensive zone start records with the second best offensive player on the team despite desperately needing offense, and doing so by putting some of the worst players in the league at his side while doing that
b.) Decided that Pouliot, Moulson, Nolan, Josefson, and Griffith were all good bottom six pieces to use...together...at the same time
c.) Started the season with Matt Tennyson in the NHL, and played significant chunks of the year with Antipin/Beaulieu/Gorges/Falk all playing defense together at the same time
d.) was given the worst season-long goaltending performance I've ever seen this team have

We weren't bad because of our center spine in 17-18, it was the only part of the team worth keeping together going forward. When we fell apart last year, it was DIRECTLY because we had some of the worst depth scoring in the league (in ways I've outlined with copious amounts of detail many times here), which was DIRECTLY driven by the weakest middle six center group in the league by a long shot having to constantly go up against the elite 2Cs of the eastern conference, night after night after night.

"Yeah well we sucked with [good player]" is exactly the type of analysis that lacks the nuance to either remotely understand what is wrong with any given hockey team, or prevent you from making glaring mistakes with your roster. It does nothing but hand-wave away things that deserve to be heavily criticized 

Edited by Randall Flagg
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4 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

I don't want to get sucked into this discussion again, but the presence of good pieces on a bad team doesn't mean the badness of that team was the fault of the good pieces and therefore trading those pieces is just fine. That's horrifying logic for a team that 

a.) used the relevant player like Jay Beagle, breaking defensive zone start records with the second best offensive player on the team despite desperately needing offense, and doing so by putting some of the worst players in the league at his side while doing that
b.) Decided that Pouliot, Moulson, Nolan, Josefson, and Griffith were all good bottom six pieces to use...together...at the same time
c.) Started the season with Matt Tennyson in the NHL, and played significant chunks of the year with Antipin/Beaulieu/Gorges/Falk all playing defense together at the same time
d.) was given the worst season-long goaltending performance I've ever seen this team have

We weren't bad because of our center spine in 17-18, it was the only part of the team worth keeping together going forward. When we fell apart last year, it was DIRECTLY because we had some of the worst depth scoring in the league (in ways I've outlined with copious amounts of detail many times here), which was DIRECTLY driven by the weakest middle six center group in the league by a long shot having to constantly go up against the elite 2Cs of the eastern conference, night after night after night.

"Yeah well we sucked with [good player]" is exactly the type of analysis that lacks the nuance to either remotely understand what is wrong with any given hockey team, or prevent you from making glaring mistakes

What if we are good this year because of our defense? 

 

We sucked with ROR because our defense was in shambles and our bottom 6 was devoid of talent. But conversely saying we will suck this year because our center spine while ignoring that our bottom 6 should be upgraded and our defense is massively better is just as wrong. 

 

I want to add to that. We sucked last year because we started the season with this defense:

McCabe - Risto

Dahlin - Bogo

Scandella - Bealieu

Nelson

Versus this year:

Dahlin - Jokiharju (maybe but let's leave him here for now)

McCabe - Montour

? ? ? ? ? - Miller

? ? ? ? ? - Risto

Pilut, Gilmour, Scandella are all left side options. So we upgraded, bogo, Scandella, Risto, Bealiueu, and technically McCabe because Dahlin replaces him. We added 3-4 new starting defenders. That impact might exceed what 1 2c would have done. 

Edited by LGR4GM

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2 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

What if we are good this year because of our defense? 

 

We sucked with ROR because our defense was in shambles and our bottom 6 was devoid of talent. But conversely saying we will suck this year because our center spine while ignoring that our bottom 6 should be upgraded and our defense is massively better is just as wrong. 

But in your previous post you seemed to object to the idea that we sucked last year because of our center spine. But it was absolutely the number one factor driving the fact that we were incapable of playing sustainably good hockey. 

I completely agree that our defense may well be good, and I don't even think it was all that bad last year. 

But something that literally tanked our season last year, from first place in late November to the worst record in the league the rest of the way (55 games-worth) outside of that Ottawa roster, is exactly, the, same, right now. So yeah we're gonna talk about that

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2 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

But in your previous post you seemed to object to the idea that we sucked last year because of our center spine. But it was absolutely the number one factor driving the fact that we were incapable of playing sustainably good hockey. 

I completely agree that our defense may well be good, and I don't even think it was all that bad last year. 

But something that literally tanked our season last year, from first place in late November to the worst record in the league the rest of the way (55 games-worth) outside of that Ottawa roster, is exactly, the, same, right now. So yeah we're gonna talk about that

Was it? We had a coach who insisted on playing lesser players in Sobotka and Scandella instead of better guys like Erod and Pilut. We had a defense with no depth and major skill issues. Dahlin and McCabe were good on the left but you had Risto (we've already documented his defensive issues) and then Bogo (who got injured again) and Nelson. That was our right side. Our 3rd LHD was Scandella for much of the season and he couldn't cope with a bad RHD partner once Bealiueu was traded. I think the center position was a major issues last year but there were other major issues that contributed including sub standard goaltending and right side defense that from top to bottom was bad in their own zone. 

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Getting back to the topic of the thread...

Marcus Johansson

Sam Reinhart

 

If these are backup plans for no 2C trade, I'm very curious to how they could work. Was it Krueger or Botts (or both) who mentioned giving Samson another go at center?

Remember, Samson has not played center since before his 2018 "coming of age"

Edited by erickompositör72
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1 minute ago, LGR4GM said:

We sucked the year before with a better center spine. Actually I think we were worse. 

 

Ignore it at your peril but the defensive rebuild is just as vital as the center the spine. 

Defensive rebuild, meh. This is the only team whose defense has three first rounders (all taken in the top 10) and three second rounders on the roster, but they need a rebuild.

The team defense actually got worse after they added Montour, a good player who actually played well after the trade.

How many more slick, puck-moving defensemen does Botterill need if they all lose their minds when the opponent has the puck behind their own net?

I often wonder if Ristolainen would have all his issues with d-zone exits if he played under Ruff after the lockout.

Botterill is spending resources to fix a problem that should be addressed by coaching.  Hopefully Krueger has learned how to coach team defensive zone structure in the EPL.

Meanwhile the team is left trying to figure out if Sobotka or Mittelstadt will be the 2C, and moving career 3rd liners up to the 1st line.

 

 

 

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