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dudacek

Ice time and deployment

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I’m not one to freak out over the results of five games, but I am extremely interested in learning how our new coach uses players.

People are worried about Risto getting 24:28 a game. It’s a tad higher than what I’d like, but not crazy high; he’s fit and most teams have defenceman in that 24 minute window.

They are also talking about Dahlin, who is 6th on the team, is being sheltered, and is sitting when the team is protecting a lead. Again, his usage seems to be working in terms of cutting his gaffes,  maximizing his points and  winning hockey games.

Another trend that is getting no attention is the fact that Jack Eichel is getting 22:11 a night, fourth most among NHL forwards and Sam Reinhart isn’t far behind at  21:20, good for 9th. Both are often against the other team’s best players. Is that good for the team long-term?

What do we thing of Ralph’s player usage so far?

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I'm on board.  It makes sense to limit the high stress situations the kids see right now.  You have to increase that slowly, something that wasn't done in the recent past.

 

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We're on what, the fourth coach giving Ristolainen heavy minutes?  The logical conclusion is that they know something that the fans and talking heads don't know.

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18 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I’m not one to freak out over the results of five games, but I am extremely interested in learning how our new coach uses players.

People are worried about Risto getting 24:28 a game. It’s a tad higher than what I’d like, but not crazy high; he’s fit and most teams have defenceman in that 24 minute window.

They are also talking about Dahlin, who is 6th on the team, is being sheltered, and is sitting when the team is protecting a lead. Again, his usage seems to be working in terms of cutting his gaffes,  maximizing his points and  winning hockey games.

Another trend that is getting no attention is the fact that Jack Eichel is getting 22:11 a night, fourth most among NHL forwards and Sam Reinhart isn’t far behind at  21:20, good for 9th. Both are often against the other team’s best players. Is that good for the team long-term?

What do we thing of Ralph’s player usage so far?

I think one of these things informs the other. If Eichel and Reinhart are doing a lot of defending against other teams best lines it means we're probably defending more in general. 

That means our more defensive D pair is probably seeing more ice time as well.

Dahlin's ice time is probably dependant on the success of our forward group. If we're spending more time in the offensive zone then Dahlin probably gets more minutes contributing to that offense.

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30 minutes ago, Eleven said:

We're on what, the fourth coach giving Ristolainen heavy minutes?  The logical conclusion is that they know something that the fans and talking heads don't know.

Another one on board.

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Like:

*Usage of the “third line”. 

*Protected usage of the “fourth line”.   Not playing last 8 minutes of our close games is a good call.
*two D-man (including Risto) on the 2nd PP.  Although this speaks to the lack of depth with our forwards.  It’s a different look and I like it. 

Dislike:

* Vlad on the second line.  Yes better than last year but an offensive liability.  He has zero points while Skinner and MoJo have 4 each.  Too much TOI each night. 
*Vesey playing with first line in lieu of Olafsson.   Too conservative.  Not like Jimmy is some kind of Defensive wizard.  A good defense might be a good offense.  Score or possession will protect your lead.

 

ambivalent

 *Ristos minutes and 5v5 play.  He was a -10 in October last year with five points (PP#1).  So far he has only one point and a -1, with similar minutes/usage,  so better?  Smarter people than I will need to explain why it’s better or worse. 

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3 hours ago, Broken Ankles said:

Like:

*Usage of the “third line”. 

*Protected usage of the “fourth line”.   Not playing last 8 minutes of our close games is a good call.
*two D-man (including Risto) on the 2nd PP.  Although this speaks to the lack of depth with our forwards.  It’s a different look and I like it. 

Dislike:

* Vlad on the second line.  Yes better than last year but an offensive liability.  He has zero points while Skinner and MoJo have 4 each.  Too much TOI each night. 
*Vesey playing with first line in lieu of Olafsson.   Too conservative.  Not like Jimmy is some kind of Defensive wizard.  A good defense might be a good offense.  Score or possession will protect your lead.

 

ambivalent

 *Ristos minutes and 5v5 play.  He was a -10 in October last year with five points (PP#1).  So far he has only one point and a -1, with similar minutes/usage,  so better?  Smarter people than I will need to explain why it’s better or worse. 

Risto is getting much less pp time this year

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6 hours ago, dudacek said:

I’m not one to freak out over the results of five games, but I am extremely interested in learning how our new coach uses players.

People are worried about Risto getting 24:28 a game. It’s a tad higher than what I’d like, but not crazy high; he’s fit and most teams have defenceman in that 24 minute window.

They are also talking about Dahlin, who is 6th on the team, is being sheltered, and is sitting when the team is protecting a lead. Again, his usage seems to be working in terms of cutting his gaffes,  maximizing his points and  winning hockey games.

Another trend that is getting no attention is the fact that Jack Eichel is getting 22:11 a night, fourth most among NHL forwards and Sam Reinhart isn’t far behind at  21:20, good for 9th. Both are often against the other team’s best players. Is that good for the team long-term?

What do we thing of Ralph’s player usage so far?

Krueger is simply going with the flow of the game. He's actually doing that crazy wild thing of teaching defense to young players - what a concept! Phil had that belief that everything could be solved by offense. It can be fun to watch, but that's not how you win. 

Eichel makes the big bucks so he puts up the big minutes. I don't have a problem with that, he's our best player. I like the idea of going strength against strength, but will be interested to see if that continues against top checking players like when we play Boston or St. Louis for example. So far, we actually look like a hockey team for once.  

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1 hour ago, PerreaultForever said:

Krueger is simply going with the flow of the game. He's actually doing that crazy wild thing of teaching defense to young players - what a concept! Phil had that belief that everything could be solved by offense. It can be fun to watch, but that's not how you win. 

Eichel makes the big bucks so he puts up the big minutes. I don't have a problem with that, he's our best player. I like the idea of going strength against strength, but will be interested to see if that continues against top checking players like when we play Boston or St. Louis for example. So far, we actually look like a hockey team for once.  

I’ve seen this idea more than once, and I don’t really agree.  I think, so far this season, the D group is more involved than ever in offense and is the most offensively talented D group Buffalo has had in a very long time.  I don’t think the team has played a defense first style, or has been more defense first than when Housley was coach.

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8 minutes ago, Curt said:

I’ve seen this idea more than once, and I don’t really agree.  I think, so far this season, the D group is more involved than ever in offense and is the most offensively talented D group Buffalo has had in a very long time.  I don’t think the team has played a defense first style, or has been more defense first than when Housley was coach.

Housley was system first. Krueger is pressure first. Difference is small, but huge. 
 

We do have a huge talent boost on defense that I believe has had a huge role. And we are missing two of the top six guys to boot. Botterill is a good GM

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5 minutes ago, triumph_communes said:

Housley was system first. Krueger is pressure first. Difference is small, but huge. 
 

We do have a huge talent boost on defense that I believe has had a huge role. And we are missing two of the top six guys to boot. Botterill is a good GM

I agree with most of this but I’m not sure that either or both of Bogo and Pilut would be in the top 6.  It’s possible though.  Interesting question.  Joker has similar skills to Pilut but is bigger and a better skater.  And Scandy is much improved over last season and IMHO playing much better than Bogo was in the 2nd half of last season.  

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13 minutes ago, triumph_communes said:

Housley was system first. Krueger is pressure first. Difference is small, but huge. 
 

We do have a huge talent boost on defense that I believe has had a huge role. And we are missing two of the top six guys to boot. Botterill is a good GM

I think this is all correct 

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3 hours ago, nfreeman said:

I agree with most of this but I’m not sure that either or both of Bogo and Pilut would be in the top 6.  It’s possible though.  Interesting question.  Joker has similar skills to Pilut but is bigger and a better skater.  And Scandy is much improved over last season and IMHO playing much better than Bogo was in the 2nd half of last season.  

Pilut is not in the top six with this team, Bogo might not be, but Montour certainly is.

Edited by dudacek
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20 minutes ago, triumph_communes said:

Botterill is a good GM

Based on 2 horrific losing seasons, hiring an incompetent coach or making one the worst trades in NHL history?

Suffice it to say Botteril has a lot to prove. 

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21 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Pilut is not in the top six with this team, Bogo might not be, put Montour certainly is.

Yes indeed — I spaced on Montour.  

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50 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

Yes indeed — I spaced on Montour.  

 

1 hour ago, dudacek said:

Pilut is not in the top six with this team, Bogo might not be, put Montour certainly is.

While Montour definitely makes the lineup when he returns, I'm not sure your statement on Pilut is accurate.  It depends on how HCRK values pure pucks movers over guys who add a physical element like McCabe, Scandella and Bogo.  Right now I'd agree that Pilut gets sent down when he returns especially if the team is still going well, but if Scandella falters, I wouldn't be surprised if Pilut steps into his role. 

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2 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

 

While Montour definitely makes the lineup when he returns, I'm not sure your statement on Pilut is accurate.  It depends on how HCRK values pure pucks movers over guys who add a physical element like McCabe, Scandella and Bogo.  Right now I'd agree that Pilut gets sent down when he returns especially if the team is still going well, but if Scandella falters, I wouldn't be surprised if Pilut steps into his role. 

Hasn’t Pilut already been sent down? I thought I read he was finishing his rehab in Rochester. 

I think a lot of people have this “concept of Pilut” based on his first 10-15 games. 

He was pushed around and coughed up the puck to the tune of one assist and -17 over a 20 game stretch to finish the season, before putting up a +2 in the final game against Detroit. It was as bad as any 20-game stretch we’ve seen from Bogo or Scandella.

He’s our least physical defenceman, but he’s also no better than our fourth-best puck mover. He doesn’t P.K. and he won’t PP on this team. And I don’t see the Sabres playing another “kid” regularly while Dahlin and Jokiharju are already in the lineup.

He has yet to prove himself an NHL defenceman. I don’t see him in our top six without a trade or an injury.

Edited by dudacek
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6 hours ago, dudacek said:

Hasn’t Pilut already been sent down? I thought I read he was finishing his rehab in Rochester. 

I think a lot of people have this “concept of Pilut” based on his first 10-15 games. 

He was pushed around and coughed up the puck to the tune of one assist and -17 over a 20 game stretch to finish the season, before putting up a +2 in the final game against Detroit. It was as bad as any 20-game stretch we’ve seen from Bogo or Scandella.

He’s our least physical defenceman, but he’s also no better than our fourth-best puck mover. He doesn’t P.K. and he won’t PP on this team. And I don’t see the Sabres playing another “kid” regularly while Dahlin and Jokiharju are already in the lineup.

He has yet to prove himself an NHL defenceman. I don’t see him in our top six without a trade or an injury.

Wholeheartedly agree.

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Krueger's use of Olofsson and Dahlin in the final 10 minutes of games we are leading is bad. We got caved in by Florida and yet I am supposed to think it would have been worse if Rasmus ***** Dahlin, the best skating, best puckhandling defender on the team is out there? Play to win and stop this playing not to lose crap. 

As for the other deployments, they seem okay. I think Risto needs 1-3 less shifts a night still.

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21 hours ago, nfreeman said:

I agree with most of this but I’m not sure that either or both of Bogo and Pilut would be in the top 6.  It’s possible though.  Interesting question.  Joker has similar skills to Pilut but is bigger and a better skater.  And Scandy is much improved over last season and IMHO playing much better than Bogo was in the 2nd half of last season.  

at this point I'm not even sure Montour goes in the top 6. I mean if they are all healthy as is, do you break the chemistry of what is working? obviously you can send Joker down, but would you want to? he has been very good, they have all been good.

Totally disagree with the idea that this D is not playing more D. Sure, in this league, your D has an offensive side, but this year there are lots of times they drop back and cover rather than rushing into the corner or towards the net. They are picking their spots better and playing more organized and more defensively. When you do that well, it opens up the chance to move the puck up the ice rather than scrambling around in your own end.  We are also using the stretch pass a lot which is also helping big time. 

It's a team oriented balanced approach.

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On 10/13/2019 at 12:29 PM, Eleven said:

We're on what, the fourth coach giving Ristolainen heavy minutes?  The logical conclusion is that they know something that the fans and talking heads don't know.

I’ve seen this mentioned a bunch now, the issue is, Risto performed poorly in those minutes. 

The answer to “they know something we don’t”, to be applicable, has to be they either A) that the Sabres would have been even worse without Risto playing those minutes, or B) that he’s not at fault for the poor results that followed that usage. 

Which is the argument? 

Or are the minutes that Krueger is giving Risto, even though equal in amount, somehow better suited to him than the minutes he was getting under other coaches? In which case, Krueger knew something we, AND the other coaches, didn’t know. 

Krueger may be utilizing Risto appropriately but I don’t buy the argument that previous coaches did too and we just couldn’t understand it. 

Edited by Thorny

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Mostly A.  Would be interesting to see usage charts and see if he’s being used differently but still for huge ice time amounts.

I think he’s just one of those guys, like Zhitnick, that has the skill set and stamina for that level of ice time. And he has been the most suited player for big minutes pretty much his entire time here.

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Except for the second half of last season, Risto’s usage over the past few years has been a pretty accurate reflection of the Sabres D corps.

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On 10/13/2019 at 3:00 PM, Broken Ankles said:

Like:

*Protected usage of the “fourth line”.   Not playing last 8 minutes of our close games is a good call.

well, they're certainly not getting protected usage when they're out there. they have a defensive zone start % of about 65%.

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