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GASabresIUFAN

Dead Team Walking - Are the Sabres Even Fixable?

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..... With the goal of making the team a legit playoff team this season.

I think this roster is short a legit 2nd line center and a backup goalie.

The second problem is easily fixed.  I'd recall Hammond and send down Hutton.  No one is claiming Hutton and I think he'd even agree to the demotion to get his game back.

The first problem is more critical and harder to fix, however if Jbot can find the right player, then this lineup all falls into place.

VO Jack Reinhart (or MoJo)

Skinner New Guy Mojo (Reinhart

Girgensons Larsson Okposo

Sheary Erod Vesey

But who can we get to be the "new guy" and at what cost? The two guys I'd love to try to get are Kopitar and Getzlaf.  Both have NMC so it's unlikely they'd want to come, but they'd be the perfect additions.  Cups winners and leaders, both still producing and playing with a winger like Skinner and MVP Jack might be a solid selling point.  

Obviously moving either guy would rip the heart out of the fans of either franchise, but rebuilds are necessary in both places.  Kopitar is 32 and has 4 years left after this at $10 mill per season.  That would lower LA's asking price, and it would be tough nut for us to take with Dahlin, VO and Samson needing to be re-signed this year of next but it just maybe worth it.  Getzlaf is better $ wise with only 1 year left after this season @8.25. 

Jbot might as well swing for the fences.  One never knows.  

Edited by GASabresIUFAN

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Hire Sylvester McMonkey McBean* to build a Star On machine ...

tumblr_ln66ksQJmc1qb9pa3o1_500.gif

 

* Coincidence? I think not!

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It's too late to do anything, now we must wait until the deadline.

The time to act was over the summer, moving Ristoband pieces for a #2C, starting Casey in Roch, adding a proven veteran Goaltender.   Those were 3 obvious necessary moves that needed to happen before game 1... JBOT wiffed on all 3 so here we are.

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I think there is still time to add a 2C.  And that would be my priority.

I’d want to add some grit on the bottom 6 as well.

I think we can live with Ullmark and 1 out of every 4 games of Hutton if we can get the 2nd line going.

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8 hours ago, Wyldnwoody44 said:

nuclear explosion bomb GIF

No offense, but I'm not sure you've been watching that closely. This is a playoff bubble team already in just half a season of RaKru Magic™. It's a pretty good hockey team that doesn't need to be nuked again. An elite center and a number one goalie have emerged — enormous developments along with the epiphany of Olofsson. If Skinner emerges from post-contract coma (which started after he secured said contract the first half of last season) you're essentially adding a top-line winger to the team. Things are not trending in the right direction at the moment, but the playoffs are still a very real possibility. Watch your trigger finger, Mr. Raygun.

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20 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

No offense, but I'm not sure you've been watching that closely. This is a playoff bubble team already in just half a season of RaKru Magic™. It's a pretty good hockey team that doesn't need to be nuked again. An elite center and a number one goalie have emerged — enormous developments along with the epiphany of Olofsson. If Skinner emerges from post-contract coma (which started after he secured said contract the first half of last season) you're essentially adding a top-line winger to the team. Things are not trending in the right direction at the moment, but the playoffs are still a very real possibility. Watch your trigger finger, Mr. Raygun.

It was kinda a joke but it's the best my. Gif game could come up with. We are improved, I will give you that. I don't know if we're improved enough relative to our cap/signings to have a lot of future confidence. I also think I have lost complete faith in Botts to get the job done anymore. 

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I agree that the likelihood of finding a legit 2C during the season is slim.  Maybe something happens at the deadline but what contending team trades a 2C and what out of contention teams are going to just give one away one without asking for equal or more compensation? 

I look at the lineup in the first post - that 4th line is poor and probably a reason we fall below top 3 in the division.  Besides a 2C, we need a power forward type winger.  Maybe one if these roles can be filled with Cozens?   I think a key is improving the top 6 enough to push MoJo to the 3rd line, that would be a sign of progress. 

We need to see future development from Cozens, Pekar, Asplund, Mittlestat, and Thompson.  We need a few of these guys to be solid NHL players.  

Cozens is the most promising.  The rest are a notch or two down.  . 
 

Edited by Pimlach
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1 hour ago, Pimlach said:

I agree that the likelihood of finding a legit 2C during the season is slim.  Maybe something happens at the deadline but what contending team trades a 2C and what out of contention teams are going to just give one away one without asking for equal or more compensation? 

I look at the lineup in the first post - that 4th line is poor and probably a reason we fall below top 3 in the division.  Besides a 2C, we need a power forward type winger.  Maybe one if these roles can be filled with Cozens?   I think a key is improving the top 6 enough to push MoJo to the 3rd line, that would be a sign of progress. 

We need to see future development from Cozens, Pekar, Asplund, Mittlestat, and Thompson.  We need a few of these guys to be solid NHL players.  

Cozens is the most promising.  The rest are a notch or two down.  . 
 

I don't know, I get that the trade market is always tough, but then I think if how an average GM like Darcy Regier manufactured trades for Briere, Drury, Dumont, and Barnes, giving away little to build some the the franchises greatest successes.

The Skinner deal was one of those types of deals, and there have been deals to make during Botterill's tenure. J. T. Miller, Duclair, and Namestnikov have all been on the market during the last year, and could have been had with money or lower-rated prospects going the other way.  Heck, even a guy like Patrick Marleau could have added experience and short-term help to the roster.

The preferred way to build is always from within the system, and Botterill has definitely embraced that.  However, in the NHL it is also the riskiest way to build.  Botterill's over-reliance for his rebuild on guys like Mittelstadt and Thompson is evidence of that.  Waiting around for Cozens to hit the roster, despite how good he projects, would be another catastrophic blunder.  This franchise, with an aging core of talented players, cannot afford to waste more seasons.

Botterill to save this (and next) season will have to play against his nature and do what every averagly-skilled GM does, and make some trades to add some skill and experience to the lineup.  He also has to balance the cap spend between offense and defense, a problem he created.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'd like to see Kruger figure out a way to get Skinner and Eichel back together on a line. Skinner with other dudes obviously isn't working out. Olofsson is showing that he can drive the play on his own - maybe put him on line #2 and see how it goes for a while. The secondary scoring can't get any worse than it is now. 

 

There, I fixed it. Season saved.

Edited by Skibum
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Experienced 2nd line center. Don’t count on Dylan “green horn” Cozens next season to be some answer. Kid will need 2-3 years at least before he’s a (assuming everything goes perfectly, and rarely does) legit option at 2nd line center. I hope he develops well. 

Grit on the bottom six. Not some meat head fighter. Although those are really a thing of the past anyway...

Keep the Ullmark, Hutton combo for now with the hopes that UPL develops well and comes in for the 21-22 season to backup Ullmark. If Ullmark regresses, then rethink the duo.

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1 hour ago, Skibum said:

I'd like to see Kruger figure out a way to get Skinner and Eichel back together on a line. Skinner with other dudes obviously isn't working out. Olofsson is showing that he can drive the play on his own - maybe put him on line #2 and see how it goes for a while. The secondary scoring can't get any worse than it is now. 

 

There, I fixed it. Season saved.

Everything we know about Ralphie so far is that he's not going to break up his top line to try and "get Skinner going." It's up to Jeff. However, if Eichel cools off and Skinner keeps showing some spark with added ice time, the coach might have to give in to the Tweetie Birds and Aud Clubbers.

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1 hour ago, Skibum said:

I'd like to see Kruger figure out a way to get Skinner and Eichel back together on a line. Skinner with other dudes obviously isn't working out. Olofsson is showing that he can drive the play on his own - maybe put him on line #2 and see how it goes for a while. The secondary scoring can't get any worse than it is now. 

 

There, I fixed it. Season saved.

I don't mind the idea of switching Eichel and MoJo.  Move Skinner and a RW to Jack's line and put MoJo between Samson and VO and see what happens.  Got to try something.

6 minutes ago, Zamboni said:

Experienced 2nd line center. Don’t count on Dylan “green horn” Cozens next season to be some answer. Kid will need 2-3 years at least before he’s a (assuming everything goes perfectly, and rarely does) legit option at 2nd line center. I hope he develops well. 

Grit on the bottom six. Not some meat head fighter. Although those are really a thing of the past anyway...

Keep the Ullmark, Hutton combo for now with the hopes that UPL develops well and comes in for the 21-22 season to backup Ullmark. If Ullmark regresses, then rethink the duo.

I'm want to send Hutton down to get reps and maybe even rotate Hammond and Johansson in for spot starts to see what they have.  They can't be worse then Hutton right now. If one of them looks good, move him into the backup role and leave Hutton in Rochester until he finds his game. 

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We might also see some Swedish Black Metal Magic happen between MarJo and VO on line 2.

I look at it this way: Skinner played out of his mind with Jack and Sam last year. With the way Jack is playing this year, that line could be making pure hockey porn right now. And again, the second line in its current state is going nowhere. Swapping Skinner for VO isn't going to cost much scoring, because there isn't any scoring to give up. If you don't have a legit #2 C, you might as well load up the top line with the best guys you've got.

Edited by Skibum
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26 minutes ago, Skibum said:

We might also see some Swedish Black Metal Magic happen between MarJo and VO on line 2.

I look at it this way: Skinner played out of his mind with Jack and Sam last year. With the way Jack is playing this year, that line could be making pure hockey porn right now. And again, the second line in its current state is going nowhere. Swapping Skinner for VO isn't going to cost much scoring, because there isn't any scoring to give up. If you don't have a legit #2 C, you might as well load up the top line with the best guys you've got.

If Skinner is better than Olofsson then making this move will likely cost the Sabres scoring.  In his best years Skinner has topped out at 63 points (3 separate times), so we could/ should expect him to be involved in ~32 more scoring plays getting back onto Eichel's line.  (Compared to 19 points to date.)

But Olofsson is on pace for about 70 points this year.  (He has 34 points at present, and can be expected to get ~36 more staying where he is.)  As Skinner is assumed to be better than Olofsson, then he'll likely get less than the 19 points Skinner has playing with lesser players.

None of this even factors in how Eichel would have to adjust his game to work effectively with Skinner.  Could easily see that lowering Eichel's pace from 100+ to ~90 as he needs to be stay higher in the zone than he currently is playing to allow for Skinner to set up lower to the net than Olofsson does and also no longer gets as high quality passing from his 2nd linemate.  

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I’m surprised how much some people take it for granted that Jack’s extraordinary play this year has nothing to do with his linemates.

Edited by dudacek
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1 hour ago, dudacek said:

I’m surprised how much some people take it for granted that Jack’s extraordinary play this year has nothing to do with his linemates.

It's an interesting thought, but that is also why it might be worth while to try him with others and see the effect both his new line and his old one. We might just be able two get to lines going.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN

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4 hours ago, steveoath said:

I'd like to see Skinner AND Victor on eichels line.

Problem with this is that most teams can defend one line of that's all they have to do over a period of time. Not saying not to do this just that I don't believe that's a sustainable  answer.

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9 hours ago, Taro T said:

If Skinner is better than Olofsson then making this move will likely cost the Sabres scoring.  In his best years Skinner has topped out at 63 points (3 separate times), so we could/ should expect him to be involved in ~32 more scoring plays getting back onto Eichel's line.  (Compared to 19 points to date.)

But Olofsson is on pace for about 70 points this year.  (He has 34 points at present, and can be expected to get ~36 more staying where he is.)  As Skinner is assumed to be better than Olofsson, then he'll likely get less than the 19 points Skinner has playing with lesser players.

None of this even factors in how Eichel would have to adjust his game to work effectively with Skinner.  Could easily see that lowering Eichel's pace from 100+ to ~90 as he needs to be stay higher in the zone than he currently is playing to allow for Skinner to set up lower to the net than Olofsson does and also no longer gets as high quality passing from his 2nd linemate.  

Fair enough, but I think it's worth a try. What's really missing is a guy who can carry the play on the 2nd line, whether it's a center or a winger. Olofsson is showing that he may be able to do that, and there's only one way to find out. 

Another option would be to put Olofsson with Skinner on line 2, and (gasp) promote Vesey or Sheary to line 1. Between Eichel's dominance and Reinhart's awareness and slick passing, it's possible that any NHL forward with a modicum of skill could hold down that third spot. 

Bottom line is there are just not enough pieces present to put together two productive scoring lines. It's a real bummer when the above options are all you have to work with, and at the end of the day, the existing lines are probably as good as it's going to get for now. 

Last crazy suggestion before I give up: Try Dahlin at Center #2. That still leaves 7 NHL D-men, most of them at least decent. 

Edited by Skibum

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20 hours ago, Skibum said:

I'd like to see Kruger figure out a way to get Skinner and Eichel back together on a line. Skinner with other dudes obviously isn't working out. Olofsson is showing that he can drive the play on his own - maybe put him on line #2 and see how it goes for a while. The secondary scoring can't get any worse than it is now. 

 

There, I fixed it. Season saved.

The Sabres gave Skinner a ton of $ and he needs to find his game. He directly benefits from playing on a different line behind Jack. He draws easier defensive match ups and has had ample opportunity to score goals this season- his lack of production can only be laid at the diminutive feet of #53. Eichel is a better player away from Skinner. Oloffsson is a vastly superior winger to complement Jack's skill set. He often gets Jack the puck in scoring areas and buries his chances when they come- Skinner is a one way street, pass him the puck and he shoots it- not much of a play maker. I am afraid that in time we will look at the Skinner signing as a mistake.

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3 hours ago, Skibum said:

Fair enough, but I think it's worth a try. What's really missing is a guy who can carry the play on the 2nd line, whether it's a center or a winger. Olofsson is showing that he may be able to do that, and there's only one way to find out. 

Another option would be to put Olofsson with Skinner on line 2, and (gasp) promote Vesey or Sheary to line 1. Between Eichel's dominance and Reinhart's awareness and slick passing, it's possible that any NHL forward with a modicum of skill could hold down that third spot. 

Bottom line is there are just not enough pieces present to put together two productive scoring lines. It's a real bummer when the above options are all you have to work with, and at the end of the day, the existing lines are probably as good as it's going to get for now. 

Last crazy suggestion before I give up: Try Dahlin at Center #2. That still leaves 7 NHL D-men, most of them at least decent. 

You keep bouncing around the answer but don't accept it.  Krueger's taken the chicken chunks he's been given and made a reasonable / good salad with 1/2 of it.  But there's only so much to be done with the rest of it until he has more than just gristle and yuck for those other 2 lines and at backup goalie.  It's probably past time to bring up Hammond.

And, Botterill MIGHT be expecting 1 of those 2 forward pieces to be a healthy Thompson.  (For bottom 6, it's possible.  For 2nd line, to quote little Cindy Loo Who, why Santy Claus, WHY?)

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