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LGR4GM

Sabres Best Defender Right Now?

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31 minutes ago, SwampD said:

do zone exits and entries even correlate to winning?

If you can’t get the puck out of the DZone or into the OZone, you won’t win many games.

8 minutes ago, SwampD said:

I’m going to need numbers compared to others. Just because you keep saying this, doesn’t make it true. And if we had forwards with size and skill who were able to collect the puck on the half wall it wouldn’t even be an issue anyway.

The problems with the Sabres this decade has never been the D.

He has been a little better this season I think, but still needlessly throws the puck off the wall/boards and out more than anyone else.  And I agree that a part of it is the forwards as well.

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1 hour ago, SwampD said:

I’m going to need numbers compared to others. Just because you keep saying this, doesn’t make it true. And if we had forwards with size and skill who were able to collect the puck on the half wall it wouldn’t even be an issue anyway.

The problems with the Sabres this decade has never been the D.

Took me a second to find the article. https://theathletic.com/974041/2019/05/13/stimson-a-few-key-stats-the-next-sabres-coaching-staff-should-use-when-considering-rasmus-ristolainens-usage/

Quote

SoloShare.pngThe x-axis is the percentage of exits that each back does not use a teammate to exit the zone. The y-axis is the share of exits within the position, basically among all the backs taking on a bigger workload in this phase. What stands out is the Rasmus Ristolainen handles the largest percentage of zone exits (20 percent) by the backs for the 2018 – 2019 Sabres. He also attempted to exit on his own 78 percent of the time, just ahead of Rasmus Dahlin. Now, before we criticize, let’s first look at how successful each player was when they went solo.

Solo.png

Now we see a different picture. 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.

And therein lies the issue. If the player handling the most exits elects to do it himself more than anyone else but struggles mightily in that aspect, that has a direct impact on the team’s performance. This is easily coachable. This applies to Zach Bogosian as well.

Finally, we can also look at how well each back deals with pressure. Pressure, as defined by Sznajder, is when a player attempts to exit with an opponent within a stick length or stride.

Pressure.png

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.

Conclusion

If the Sabres do not move on from Risto – they need to coach him up. The best way to do that is with facts, each of which reveals something about how he plays. The solo exit data illustrates that Risto is not using his teammates enough. The lower controlled exit percentages while soloing illustrates how ineffective he is in doing that. Finally, his punting under pressure contributes to the team’s overall average nature during the breakout phase. If he can improve in this area and the Sabres limit his minutes, that will have a cascading positive effect. Newcomer Brandon Montour had excellent data in this area – mirroring Dahlin’s numbers while solo and having a similar output to Pilut while under pressure

I know you specifically asked for numbers of uncontrolled exits but I will admit to not have them. It is an observation of mine. Even if it is wrong, he was bad at using help to exit the zone or doing it himself. It will be interesting to see how these numbers look now. I again could not find them from the start of this year so I cannot prove my point. You have me there on actually producing the numbers/facts for how I view Risto this season. 

Edited by LGR4GM

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22 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

Like when Dahlin had his head taken off and Risto and McCabe did nothing. Or when Sobotka was leveled and they did nothing? That type of honest? 

You want to give Risto and McCabe 14-16 minutes a night, I am perfectly fine with that. But they are a detriment to the team with more than 20minutes a night. Risto has never been able to handle it and never will. He's a #4 defender who can run your PP. 

If Ristolainen is a number 4 does that mean Dahlin, Jokiharju, Miller, and everyone else are a bunch of bottom pairing guys or is Ralph Kreuger just the 4th straight moronic coach we've had who has been over playing Ristolainen while having better options to take his minutes?

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1 hour ago, LGR4GM said:

Took me a second to find the article. https://theathletic.com/974041/2019/05/13/stimson-a-few-key-stats-the-next-sabres-coaching-staff-should-use-when-considering-rasmus-ristolainens-usage/

I know you specifically asked for numbers of uncontrolled exits but I will admit to not have them. It is an observation of mine. Even if it is wrong, he was bad at using help to exit the zone or doing it himself. It will be interesting to see how these numbers look now. I again could not find them from the start of this year so I cannot prove my point. You have me there on actually producing the numbers/facts for how I view Risto this season. 

Cool. Doesn't really change my point, though. My eye tells me that often, those other defenders make the controlled exit only after Risto makes the physical play to separate the puck from the opposing player.

I'm not disagreeing that he is not the greatest with the puck, but I like the fact that he often gets the puck.

Oh, and I also love his yearly pasting of Ovechkin.

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To my eyes, Risto remains the best Sabre at winning contested pucks and separating attackers from the puck.

It’s a skill that appears underrated around here compared to how it seems to be valued by NHL coaches.

His puck carrying skills are above average while his puck moving skills and reads are mediocre. He’s an imperfect but good NHL defenceman who continues to get top four minutes on an improved defence here because he is good enough to get top 4 minutes on pretty much any team.

Edited by dudacek
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2 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

Took me a second to find the article. https://theathletic.com/974041/2019/05/13/stimson-a-few-key-stats-the-next-sabres-coaching-staff-should-use-when-considering-rasmus-ristolainens-usage/

I know you specifically asked for numbers of uncontrolled exits but I will admit to not have them. It is an observation of mine. Even if it is wrong, he was bad at using help to exit the zone or doing it himself. It will be interesting to see how these numbers look now. I again could not find them from the start of this year so I cannot prove my point. You have me there on actually producing the numbers/facts for how I view Risto this season. 

I think it is consensus that Risto has logged "tough" minutes -- lined up against the other teams top players. Wouldn't you expect he would have a tougher time getting it out of the zone against better competition? And do we know what the team strategy is? Is it to get it out of the zone and survive the other team's top line? Without being in the locker room, that's why I will rely on a coach over any fan when it comes to player evaluation. 

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58 minutes ago, SwampD said:

Cool. Doesn't really change my point, though. My eye tells me that often, those other defenders make the controlled exit only after Risto makes the physical play to separate the puck from the opposing player.

I'm not disagreeing that he is not the greatest with the puck, but I like the fact that he often gets the puck.

Oh, and I also love his yearly pasting of Ovechkin.

I am not seeing this. Not with the regularity you are implying. 

48 minutes ago, dudacek said:

To my eyes, Risto remains the best Sabre at winning contested pucks and separating attackers from the puck.

It’s a skill that appears underrated around here compared to how it seems to be valued by NHL coaches.

His puck carrying skills are above average while his puck moving skills and reads are mediocre. He’s an imperfect but good NHL defenceman who continues to get top four minutes on an improved defence here because he is good enough to get top 4 minutes on pretty much any team.

 I acknowledged he was a #4 defender but would not put him higher and I think he gets to that #4 spot because he can operate on the powerplay. 

26 minutes ago, SabresFanInRochester said:

I think it is consensus that Risto has logged "tough" minutes -- lined up against the other teams top players. Wouldn't you expect he would have a tougher time getting it out of the zone against better competition? And do we know what the team strategy is? Is it to get it out of the zone and survive the other team's top line? Without being in the locker room, that's why I will rely on a coach over any fan when it comes to player evaluation. 

And he has been bad when given those minutes as evidence by basically all the metrics and eye tests. Hence why I keep labeling him as a #4 defender. 

I refuse to rely solely on a coach or gm because they are a coach or gm. There's lots of bad coaches and gms who have been wrong just like there are with fans. I will continue to question what they do until they prove to me they know what they are doing. I find it interesting that for several years this board has argued for Risto to get less minutes and we have seen improvement in team and personal play when they occurred in the last couple weeks. 

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It's like they knew this conversation was happening... 

https://theathletic.com/1381978/2019/12/05/hockey-advanced-stats-primer-part-2-how-can-and-should-we-measure-play-driving-ability/

Quote

 moving the puck from defense to offense, pushing play forward. “Transition” actions like zone entries and exits are, by nature, at the root of play-driving.

And so is the nature of those entries and exits. Research has shown that controlled entries (carry-ins) are about twice as valuable as uncontrolled ones (dump-ins) in creating shots. The analytics community also found that controlled defensive zone exits help to create offensive zone entries for the team with the puck far more often than uncontrolled defensive zone exits.

In other words, controlled is good and uncontrolled is not nearly as good. It’s why stats like controlled entry percentage and controlled exit percentage are regularly cited to champion an individual’s “play-driving” ability.

 

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8 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

I am not seeing this. Not with the regularity you are implying. 

 I acknowledged he was a #4 defender but would not put him higher and I think he gets to that #4 spot because he can operate on the powerplay. 

And he has been bad when given those minutes as evidence by basically all the metrics and eye tests. Hence why I keep labeling him as a #4 defender. 

I refuse to rely solely on a coach or gm because they are a coach or gm. There's lots of bad coaches and gms who have been wrong just like there are with fans. I will continue to question what they do until they prove to me they know what they are doing. I find it interesting that for several years this board has argued for Risto to get less minutes and we have seen improvement in team and personal play when they occurred in the last couple weeks. 

Fans have knee-jerk reactions and are all over the place with their emotional side. When the team wins, we are going to the Cup. When they lose, it is because the entire team sucks and everything is picked apart. It's madness. I will stick with the coach only because that person knows what they have asked of the athlete. Again, how do you know what they ask their lineup to do against the opponent's top line?

Two opposing opinions on this. When Risto wins a battle and feeds it up the wall to the winger, I will certainly see that. And when he makes a bad passes, you'll see that. And we (and other fans) are so caught up in being right and our preconceived notions, that we don't notice the other side. (I will say I notice it, but I can live with it because I think he does other things that I like.) 

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6 hours ago, SwampD said:

On another note, what the hell has happened to Jake McCabe lately. He looks like a hot mess. It seems like he needs the familiarity of the same partner to play well. He isn’t taking to the rotating partners very well.

No data.  But wouldn't be surprised if he's been playing a bit banged up.  It's not often that a guy wearing a letter (well, one not named Ray at any rate) is a healthy scratch and no big stink is made about that.  He was the healthy scratch that game when Dahlin broke.

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18 hours ago, SabresFanInRochester said:

Fans have knee-jerk reactions and are all over the place with their emotional side. When the team wins, we are going to the Cup. When they lose, it is because the entire team sucks and everything is picked apart. It's madness. I will stick with the coach only because that person knows what they have asked of the athlete. Again, how do you know what they ask their lineup to do against the opponent's top line?

Two opposing opinions on this. When Risto wins a battle and feeds it up the wall to the winger, I will certainly see that. And when he makes a bad passes, you'll see that. And we (and other fans) are so caught up in being right and our preconceived notions, that we don't notice the other side. (I will say I notice it, but I can live with it because I think he does other things that I like.) 

You don't think coaches and gms get emotional or emotionally attached to players and ideas then? 

Last year during the streak lots of people were super pumped about the Sabres and a bunch of fans, myself included, looked at the underlying numbers and said we need to use caution and the team still has issues. We were loudly shouted down. What is my point, you are implying that a fan cannot be objective and most probably can't but that goes in both directions where Coaches and GMs are not always objective either. 

Until the Sabres start to prove they actually know how to win and what moves it takes to win, I will question them. Honestly what you are describing is some blind loyalty to the team that I will never adopt. 

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1 hour ago, LGR4GM said:

You don't think coaches and gms get emotional or emotionally attached to players and ideas then? 

Last year during the streak lots of people were super pumped about the Sabres and a bunch of fans, myself included, looked at the underlying numbers and said we need to use caution and the team still has issues. We were loudly shouted down. What is my point, you are implying that a fan cannot be objective and most probably can't but that goes in both directions where Coaches and GMs are not always objective either. 

Until the Sabres start to prove they actually know how to win and what moves it takes to win, I will question them. Honestly what you are describing is some blind loyalty to the team that I will never adopt. 

I agree.  This team is lacking a soul right now.  There is enough talent here to win and we aren't with any consistently.  A recent article illustrated our puck luck if you can believe it.  We are scoring to much from the perimeter to sustain winning and it shows. 

The worst part is that we aren't seeing progress.  This is a more talented team then last year and in consequence is winning more, but not enough more to show that we are progressing into a real playoff team.  Despite the changes in roster and coaching, the team plays the same way.  It's enough to drive a fan to drink.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN

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20 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

I am not seeing this. Not with the regularity you are implying. 

 I acknowledged he was a #4 defender but would not put him higher and I think he gets to that #4 spot because he can operate on the powerplay. 

And he has been bad when given those minutes as evidence by basically all the metrics and eye tests. Hence why I keep labeling him as a #4 defender. 

I refuse to rely solely on a coach or gm because they are a coach or gm. There's lots of bad coaches and gms who have been wrong just like there are with fans. I will continue to question what they do until they prove to me they know what they are doing. I find it interesting that for several years this board has argued for Risto to get less minutes and we have seen improvement in team and personal play when they occurred in the last couple weeks. 

You mean like you.

 

4 coaches have played him the same way and I would bet on if he was traded that coach would use him the same way also. At what point do you admit you're wrong? 

Like I asked you before if being a NHL head coach was so easy why don't you apply? You do have the arrogance for it as you seem to think you know everything!

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4 minutes ago, Ross Rhea said:

You mean like you.

 

4 coaches have played him the same way and I would bet on if he was traded that coach would use him the same way also. At what point do you admit you're wrong? 

Like I asked you before if being a NHL head coach was so easy why don't you apply? You do have the arrogance for it as you seem to think you know everything!

I am reporting this post. No reason for a personal attack and you aren't adding anything to the conversation. 

I highlighted the bolded parts of your response to indicate specifically what I mean. 

Final thought, I am not wrong about Ristolainen. He's a #4 defender. 

Edited by LGR4GM
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42 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

I am reporting this post. No reason for a personal attack and you aren't adding anything to the conversation. 

I highlighted the bolded parts of your response to indicate specifically what I mean. 

Final thought, I am not wrong about Ristolainen. He's a #4 defender. 

I'm not sure arrogance is the right word, but I also don't think it's totally unfair. As I told you in another thread a few days ago, you seem to have an inability to accept that it's okay for people to have a different opinion to yours and tirelessly try to convince people that "your" opinion is the"right" opinion. You are sometimes condescending and dismissive while doing so. How many different posters on how many different topics will it take for you to realize that you may have a hand in why you feel so many posters take issue with you?

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55 minutes ago, Ross Rhea said:

You mean like you.

 

4 coaches have played him the same way and I would bet on if he was traded that coach would use him the same way also. At what point do you admit you're wrong? 

Like I asked you before if being a NHL head coach was so easy why don't you apply? You do have the arrogance for it as you seem to think you know everything!

Take it down a notch here please.

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15 minutes ago, Hank said:

I'm not sure arrogance is the right word, but I also don't think it's totally unfair. As I told you in another thread a few days ago, you seem to have an inability to accept that it's okay for people to have a different opinion to yours and tirelessly try to convince people that "your" opinion is the"right" opinion. You are sometimes condescending and dismissive while doing so. How many different posters on how many different topics will it take for you to realize that you may have a hand in why you feel so many posters take issue with you?

I am perfectly happy with people having different opinions and a statement like this is completely false. To use your vernacular it is a bastardization of what I was saying in this thread and the conversation I was having with another poster. Why wouldn't anyone, not just me, argue their opinions on an internet message board? It was implied that we should trust our coaches and I vehemently oppose that considering we are mired at the bottom of the league in part do to questionable coaching. I will not blindly follow an organization that can't make the playoffs. At no point in that response did I personally attack the poster who said it. It is interesting that another poster said that we should be critical of the team and called us out in a thread a few weeks ago when they felt we weren't but here today I am "tirelessly trying to convince people that my opinion is right".  Of course I am because when it comes to Risto I think I am right. Seems pretty weak to state an opinion, get push back from and alternate point of view, and simple fold or go away. 

We disagreed, I stated why I disagreed. Another completely 3rd party person jumped in to make a personal attack and then fled because they added no substance to the conversation. 

You have also made statements that are condescending and dismissive. That is what the term snowflake is, condescending and dismissive. It is a term you have used multiple times in personal attacks on this board in the last week so pot meet kettle. 

 

Edited by LGR4GM

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1 minute ago, LGR4GM said:

I am perfectly happy with people having different opinions and a statement like this is completely false. To use your vernacular it is a bastardization of what I was saying in this thread and the conversation I was having with another poster. Why wouldn't anyone, not just me, argue their opinions on an internet message board? It was implied that we should trust our coaches and I vehemently oppose that considering we are mired at the bottom of the league in part do to questionable coaching. I will not blindly follow an organization that can't make the playoffs. At no point in that response did I personally attack the poster who said it. We disagree, I stated why I disagree. 

You have also made statements that are condescending and dismissive. That is what the term snowflake is, condescending and dismissive. It is a term you have used multiple times in personal attacks on this board in the last week so pot meet kettle. 

 

Yes, pot meet kettle. I'm guilty. I'm not trying to pile on, just offering an observation. 

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2 minutes ago, Hank said:

Yes, pot meet kettle. I'm guilty. I'm not trying to pile on, just offering an observation. 

That's fair. 

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On 12/6/2019 at 8:24 AM, LGR4GM said:

You don't think coaches and gms get emotional or emotionally attached to players and ideas then? 

Last year during the streak lots of people were super pumped about the Sabres and a bunch of fans, myself included, looked at the underlying numbers and said we need to use caution and the team still has issues. We were loudly shouted down. What is my point, you are implying that a fan cannot be objective and most probably can't but that goes in both directions where Coaches and GMs are not always objective either. 

Until the Sabres start to prove they actually know how to win and what moves it takes to win, I will question them. Honestly what you are describing is some blind loyalty to the team that I will never adopt. 

 

On 12/6/2019 at 10:17 AM, LGR4GM said:

I am reporting this post. No reason for a personal attack and you aren't adding anything to the conversation. 

I highlighted the bolded parts of your response to indicate specifically what I mean. 

Final thought, I am not wrong about Ristolainen. He's a #4 defender. 

 

On 12/6/2019 at 11:09 AM, Hank said:

I'm not sure arrogance is the right word, but I also don't think it's totally unfair. As I told you in another thread a few days ago, you seem to have an inability to accept that it's okay for people to have a different opinion to yours and tirelessly try to convince people that "your" opinion is the"right" opinion. You are sometimes condescending and dismissive while doing so. How many different posters on how many different topics will it take for you to realize that you may have a hand in why you feel so many posters take issue with you?

So, the first post I highlighted, you self-anoint yourself as an expert. I didn't realize I was in the presence of a hockey savant.

The second, you make a statement that is the equivalent of me saying Ristolainen is a Vezina candidate. I don't believe that, but I also don't believe your statement to be correct. But you say it with so much confidence that you exude there is no debate. It's an opinion and as much as your ego makes you think everything you believe is gospel, which is beautifully articulated in the 3rd post; sorry -- but just because it's your opinion, doesn't mean it is right.

I have watched the last couple games with emphasis on the defense. Bogo is struggling. Joki is probably the next one with bad decisions. But because he is the newest golden child and hope for the team, his is on a pedestal and his mistakes are ignored. I have seen solid performances out of Risto -- but you will not acknowledge that. Because it goes against your narrative. 

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2 hours ago, Thorny said:

Dahlin. Maybe Risto. 

 

Well, he's not playing so maybe that does make him our best defender......

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When is dahlin coming back. it seems like an awful long time for a concussion 

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4 minutes ago, miles said:

When is dahlin coming back. it seems like an awful long time for a concussion 

He’s 19yo. Let him cook for a while.

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