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Surviving the Tailspin

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WGR brought it up this morning and tbh we've all probably thought of this, but man doesn't it feel nice to come out of the other end of a November tailspin that in previous years would eat us alive?  For the 2nd year in a row we started off incredibly hot and blew up in November, but this year come December we appear to finally be able to stop the fall and right weather the storm. It's hard not to attribute some of this to Krueger, but it also has Eichel playing MVP level hockey, and Ristolainen looking like, well the Risto we all wanted when we drafted him. 

So, where do we go from here? Do we continue to hover around .500 hockey? Tailspin again? Or do we play a little above that and manager say a 6-2-2 pace from here on out?

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3 minutes ago, sabresparaavida said:

Last year, we were doing well throughout November IIRC. It wasn't until really December till we crashed. 

True, it was December. Regardless of when the tailspin happened the point/question remains the same

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Well, I guess we need to see if they can sustain it, first.  Make it to Christmas playing well again and we might have something here. They certainly looked good last night.

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Last November we were getting lucky, 'cardiac kid' type games, and then were grounded.

 

This November we still played competitively in almost every game, if not dominated (with a BIG exception for special teams) and was getting unlucky.  They didn't lose faith throughout and luck is turning around.

 

Special teams is still a MAJOR problem though.  Too predictable and slow, and they think making passes through traffic will somehow change it.  Wrong.  It's the slow pacing which is why there is always traffic for the dangerous passes.

I honestly don't think the PK has been that bad, but more-so that Hutton laid an egg on more than one occasion.

Hutton really laid an egg on them and he was their 'starter' through that time.  Glad that's changed.

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If they don’t fix the special teams, this team is going to hit the skids again.  That said, it’s nice to be able to watch the games again.

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Tailspin ending is result of a young team starting to grow.  Still need pieces... Cozens and 1 more, but you can see the fear of losing going away.

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Things seem to be looking up. Still some big questions though. The goaltending is still a problem. The defensive zone coverage needs a lot of work. Also the PP and PK  are atrocious. This team has too much offensive talent to stink on PP. PK  is ranked 29, enough sd. 

If they can stay in playoff race for rest of year that will be a positive

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I came here to mention the power play as others have noted above. I think they're 4 for the last 50 something, around 7% over that stretch which is ABYSMAL. What's amazing is the amount of points Jack has put up despite the power play being so dead.

The PK is also 30th in the league.

Fix the special teams and keep stringing together wins.

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1 hour ago, triumph_communes said:

Last November we were getting lucky, 'cardiac kid' type games, and then were grounded.

 

This November we still played competitively in almost every game, if not dominated (with a BIG exception for special teams) and was getting unlucky.  They didn't lose faith throughout and luck is turning around.

 

Special teams is still a MAJOR problem though.  Too predictable and slow, and they think making passes through traffic will somehow change it.  Wrong.  It's the slow pacing which is why there is always traffic for the dangerous passes.

I honestly don't think the PK has been that bad, but more-so that Hutton laid an egg on more than one occasion.

Hutton really laid an egg on them and he was their 'starter' through that time.  Glad that's changed.

 

It seems like the PK has looked better recently, but still isn’t keeping the puck out of the net.

Some big saves might give us the momentum we need to reverse the slide.

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Since the 3 game losing streak that ended with the hard fought loss to Boston on 11/27, the Sabres are 5-2-3 and 3-1-1 in December. They’ve scored 39 and allowed 31.  Hutton was in net for only 2 games (both OTL - but he was excellent against Tor in Tor). 
 

Anyone notice that Risto is now +9 for the season (and +9 in the last 5 games)

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29 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Since the 3 game losing streak that ended with the hard fought loss to Boston on 11/27, the Sabres are 5-2-3 and 3-1-1 in December. They’ve scored 39 and allowed 31.  Hutton was in net for only 2 games (both OTL - but he was excellent against Tor in Tor). 
 

Anyone notice that Risto is now +9 for the season (and +9 in the last 5 games)

He's finally being asked to do less and has been given a partner that meshes well with him. Let's hope he can keep it up because we have seen him play stretches before of sound hockey. 

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@Brawndo  Are those charts telling us that Risto is improved year over year and Scandy is way improved year over year? 
 

I do love it when the eye test and the computer say the same thing.  My guess is Joker’s play has really helped Scandella and RK is finally finding the proper usage for Risto. Having Montour back and healthy also helps.  
 

Edited by GASabresIUFAN

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This is what Housley wasn't able to do for 5 months...get the team to climb back up once they jumped off the cliff last year.

3 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

If they don’t fix the special teams, this team is going to hit the skids again.  That said, it’s nice to be able to watch the games again.

I don't see the ST being this bad all year long...I mean how can they allow more shorthanded goals for a month than score PP goals---that's nearly impossible.

I think they have to regress to the mean at some point...the good thing is they are routinely winning at 5 on 5 which is something that hasn't happened in a LONG time...

Edited by matter2003

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1 hour ago, Brawndo said:

This is impressive 

BB0A4654-07CB-49AF-9554-CA87C544DC39.png

7A8055E9-3FAB-4613-82E2-6E6E33707C09.png

but... I thought if a player was red he was irredeemable.  You mean different context can change a player?!?!  Don't let this logic seep into a trade speculation thread.

Edited by triumph_communes

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Is it just me or do the Sabres potentially play better without Dahlin in there?  

I know he is an all-world talent but he also makes some very poor defensive zone miscues and seems to be at the center of bad goals a lot as well...Sabres seem to play a simpler game when he is not in there...

 

Not that I am advocating him not playing, he will eventually solve that and continue to evolve offensively, but I just wanted to see if anyone else saw the same thing?

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I expect 7 D tonight with Dahlin’s most significant role on the PP.

I also feel the above “flaws” are in his game, but no more pronounced than last year, and that his positive plays outweigh his negatives.

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1 hour ago, matter2003 said:

Is it just me or do the Sabres potentially play better without Dahlin in there?  

I know he is an all-world talent but he also makes some very poor defensive zone miscues and seems to be at the center of bad goals a lot as well...Sabres seem to play a simpler game when he is not in there...

 

Not that I am advocating him not playing, he will eventually solve that and continue to evolve offensively, but I just wanted to see if anyone else saw the same thing?

I hear you.

I just hope that while he was on his injury break, he spent a lot of time witch coaches showing him how to make better decisions.  He does have crazy great skill, but I think the average NHL player is much better than what he's used to, so even a phenom like himself can be pushed into making mistakes.  That needs to be fixed.

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1 hour ago, matter2003 said:

Is it just me or do the Sabres potentially play better without Dahlin in there?  

I know he is an all-world talent but he also makes some very poor defensive zone miscues and seems to be at the center of bad goals a lot as well...Sabres seem to play a simpler game when he is not in there...

 

Not that I am advocating him not playing, he will eventually solve that and continue to evolve offensively, but I just wanted to see if anyone else saw the same thing?

I was thinking that but didn’t want to speak it aloud.

That said you rarely get worse when you add better talent to your roster

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1 hour ago, matter2003 said:

Is it just me or do the Sabres potentially play better without Dahlin in there? 

 

1 hour ago, dudacek said:

I also feel the above “flaws” are in his game, but no more pronounced than last year, and that his positive plays outweigh his negatives.

If it is true, that the Sabres "play better without Dahlin in there", then that implies his positive plays do not outweigh his negatives.

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