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The Krueger Effect

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The Krueger Effect has been transformative. The Sabres are one of the league's biggest early season stunners, with an 8-1-1 record out of the gate, unexpected offensive balance and goaltending ranked in the top five in save percentage (.926).

The changes haven't just been tactical -- though anyone who has seen the Sabres play with the puck pressure, quickness and creativity Krueger demands has witnessed those systemic tweaks -- but are also attitudinal. This is Buffalo. These are the Sabres. The expectation of victory has been antithetical to the franchise, which has the longest active playoff drought (eight seasons) and has never won the Stanley Cup since entering the NHL in 1970.

https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/27905088/the-krueger-effect-how-new-buffalo-sabres-coach-led-turnaround

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Just now, WildCard said:

 

 

Read this article this morning.  There will be plenty of these.  The test is coming for this team.  They will hit a rocky spot, things will go downhill.  It'll be interesting to see how they handle it.

From all reports, the team communication is certainly set up to be able to handle it.  Whether the players can or not remains to be seen. 

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I read that this morning ... good article. Could have been better with more “meat” and insight. But ... it’s ESPN so ...

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10 games is a bit of a watermark. They’ve succeeded long enough to force people to reassess.

Reassessment will continue, as it does for most teams.

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Dang it I just saw the article and was going to post it.

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4 minutes ago, dudacek said:

10 games is a bit of a watermark. They’ve succeeded long enough to force people to reassess.

Reassessment will continue, as it does for most teams.

10 games is also an infamous number of games, and not to be trusted, by those who followed the team last year.

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The line about the expectation of winning being antithetical to the franchise is a bad take. The expectation to win was put in place by the Knoxes from Day One when they hired multiple Cup winner Punch Imlach. Then Bowman, then Muckler... The fans have always expected the Sabres to win. And up until, oh, 2011, the franchise was (surprising to some) among the franchise leaders in all-time winning percentage. This woe is us attitude is a relatively new phenomenom in Sabres hockey.

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12 minutes ago, dudacek said:

10 games is a bit of a watermark. They’ve succeeded long enough to force people to reassess.

Reassessment will continue, as it does for most teams.

The Athletic 's Dom Luszczyszyn runs his model for how the teams will finish daily and he's bumped the Sabres chance of making the playoffs from 9% to 28% and for the 1st time gives the Sabres a 1% chance of winning the division.  (But he still gives them 0% chance of winning the Stanley Cup.)

It's been interesting watching their trend line continuously go up.

Too bad Carp and his charts don't seem to be around.

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4 hours ago, PASabreFan said:

The line about the expectation of winning being antithetical to the franchise is a bad take. The expectation to win was put in place by the Knoxes from Day One when they hired multiple Cup winner Punch Imlach. Then Bowman, then Muckler... The fans have always expected the Sabres to win. And up until, oh, 2011, the franchise was (surprising to some) among the franchise leaders in all-time winning percentage. This woe is us attitude is a relatively new phenomenom in Sabres hockey.

 

It is not antithetical to the Sabres psyche for the last couple of GMs.  There are literally no Sabres players that can remember the Sabres as a winning franchise.  The stuff the fans remember is ancient history.  I think it's a happy coincidence that this their 50th season and there is a lot of looking back at the team's past success.  It will help the current players learn that history, and start to make some of their own.

Edited by Doohickie
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4 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

 

It is not antithetical to the Sabres psyche for the last couple of GMs.  There are literally no Sabres players that can remember the Sabres as a winning franchise.  The stuff the fans remember are ancient history.  I think it's a happy coincidence that this their 50th season and there is a lot of looking back at the team's past success.  It will help the current players learn that history, and start to make some of their own.

But the line refers to the franchise. And the mention of never winning a Cup since 1970 makes it sound like we've been this sad sack outfit for five decades.

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I was pretty sceptical about hiring him until I heard a press conference with him. I really liked what he said and how he went about it. His reaction to questions was obvious that he was listening and gave good answers. 

I like to listen to all his press conferences now

Edited by miles
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I thought it was a pretty good article.

As a related point, I've noticed that RK is pretty impassive on the bench -- very little reaction to goals for or against, wins, etc.  I think it's of a piece with his "stay calm" mantra that he clearly believes in for both players and coaches.

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5 minutes ago, Taro T said:

The Athletic 's Dom Luszczyszyn runs his model for how the teams will finish daily and he's bumped the Sabres chance of making the playoffs from 9% to 28% and for the 1st time gives the Sabres a 1% chance of winning the division.  (But he still gives them 0% chance of winning the Stanley Cup.)

It's been interesting watching their trend line continuously go up.

Too bad Carp and his charts don't seem to be around.

I can only assume Dom doesn't think much of the underlying metrics of the Sabres' start.

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There have been several mentions lately of sport science in relation to Krueger.  Actually, they've all been Krueger.  It's nice to see a coach who respects and works with that back-end aspect of a team.  I'm still waiting for mentions of the analytics crew.  

Positioning Krueger's administration as open and communicative certainly creates a contrasting image of coaches who usually aren't that way.  I find that amazing because you can't "lead" effectively without it.

Good article, overall.

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Just now, nfreeman said:

I thought it was a pretty good article.

As a related point, I've noticed that RK is pretty impassive on the bench -- very little reaction to goals for or against, wins, etc.  I think it's of a piece with his "stay calm" mantra that he clearly believes in for both players and coaches.

I saw a tiny bit of reaction to the delayed penalty to the Sharks being erroneously blown dead. Hell, it might have been Ralph who hurled the f-bomb!

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28 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

Dang it I just saw the article and was going to post it.

Yep, @Brawndo Jr. beat you to it.

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28 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

10 games is also an infamous number of games, and not to be trusted, by those who followed the team last year.

Please see last weeks Sharks GDT start.....

 

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The change is mostly tactical IMHO.  He has them going to the net on offense.  As he said last night he preaches getting bodies to the net over massive shot numbers.  

He also preaches a heavy forecheck and standing up at the blueline effectively concentrating on taking away a team's time and space to make decisions.  When he have done it, we are a dominating team.  

Anaheim, another surprise team, did it to us and beat us soundly, so there is still room for growth.

Honestly the team is playing just like RK's World team and it is a pleasure to watch.

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31 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

But the line refers to the franchise. And the mention of never winning a Cup since 1970 makes it sound like we've been this sad sack outfit for five decades.

Eh, I thought it was pretty much spot on.  We suck and we've never won it all pretty much sums up Buffalo sports in general, innit?

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Just now, Doohickie said:

Eh, I thought it was pretty much spot on.  We suck and we've never won it all pretty much sums up Buffalo sports in general, innit?

The Bills won 2 AFL championships and didn't the Bandits win it all?

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8 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

The Bills won 2 AFL championships and didn't the Bandits win it all?

The Bandits have at least 3 championships.  And the nearly forgotten Stampede won a championship as well.

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I think we won’t know what we have until about mid December.  The games tighten up considerably and teams know other teams tendencies by then.

If we’re still playing consistently well and winning in the depths of the holiday lead-in we’ll be able to make some sound judgements re: the team and coach.

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31 minutes ago, miles said:

I was pretty sceptical about hiring him

I'm still skeptical.  I read that he had Edmonton playing good hockey too, then it fell off after a while.  I like to think RFK learned from that but I also won't believe it until I see it.  That said, it does feel like a fundamental shift has occurred.

 

15 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

The Bills won 2 AFL championships and didn't the Bandits win it all?

Bills won 1 AFL championship, but at that time it was clearly seen as "the junior circuit."  The "real" championship was the NFL championship. 

Bandits are simply not a major sports league.  Player payroll is 1/20 of NHL player payroll, and the NHL is the lowest of the "major" sports leagues, money-wise.

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1 minute ago, Doohickie said:

I'm still skeptical.  I read that he had Edmonton playing good hockey too, then it fell off after a while.  I like to think RFK learned from that but I also won't believe it until I see it.  That said, it does feel like a fundamental shift has occurred.

 

Bills won 1 AFL championship, but at that time it was clearly seen as "the junior circuit."  The "real" championship was the NFL championship. 

Bandits are simply not a major sports league.  Player payroll is 1/20 of NHL player payroll, and the NHL is the lowest of the "major" sports leagues, money-wise.

2 AFL championships.  1964 and 1965.

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48 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

I can only assume Dom doesn't think much of the underlying metrics of the Sabres' start.

Actually, he's been saying that the underlying metrics (through 5 games, haven't read any more recent evaluations) show that they likely ARE a good team as the sort of metrics they had through the 1st 5 games are only rarely displayed by bad teams for any 5 full game segments. 

Pretty sure there is still a lot of weight on how players performed last season but the Sabres rise is noticeable and one of only about 5 teams with that sort of increase in expectations so early.  He's also bumped them from an expected ~82.5 points (didn't record his original point projection, it was close to that) up to 88.5 in only 10 games.

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