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matter2003

Sabres Special Teams are a disaster...if we want to fix anything it needs to start there

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Relatively speaking, the Sabres are better 5 on 5 this year than they have been other years.  The difference is their special teams are God awful all around.

The PP started very strong but now is abysmal, sliding down the rankings for a long time into the 20's league wide.  The PK is among the worst in the league and we also both score amongst the fewest shorthanded goals in the league while allowing near the most shorthanded goals in the league,  In fact it got so bad during one long stretch in November that our PP was outscored by the other teams Shorthanded units 4-1.  

 

I am not sure what the answer is, but there is no way a team with Eichel and Dahlin on it should be among the worst PP in the league,  What is everytone seeing that is causing this and what is the adjustment?  Dahlin still has a penchant for shooting the puck directly into the shin pads of the player coming out to guard him at the top of the blueline on the PP, why doesn't he use his dangle skills to move out of the way slightly before shooting?

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The answer is probably coaching. 

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47 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

The answer is probably coaching. 

Probably...for as bad as Housley was last year, the PK was actually decent, ranking 12th overall.

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20 minutes ago, triumph_communes said:

Steve Smith is vastly overrated

Maybe by Botterill, but I didn't see anyone else singing his praises. 

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10 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

Why should a power play with Dahlin on it be good? 

Because he is a highly gifted player that SHOULD be better at making things happen than he is...certainly much better than repeatedly shooting a puck into the shin pads of a onrushing defender.

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Well they are 2 very different animals with different problems but the similarity for both is the team's inability to play in front of either net. Putting Risto in front is (for now) Krueger's best possible option and it has helped a little. Otherwise we're very predictable and don't play as a unit very well. For years now we have not passed the puck well and thus our puck movement is slow on the PP, predictable, and easy to defend. Olofsson's early slot presence threw some teams off but once the scouting was in team's ended that. Reinhart needs to move the puck more and shoot more. When he does that we have scored a few and that needs to be a focus for him rather than his all too frequent play of just quickly giving it back to Jack.

the PK can be better if we take care of the net area better but really won't improve until the bottom half of the roster gets better. 

Lastly, we have to be better at face offs. Dare I say it, we miss ROR in that regard big time. 

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The Pk isn't going to improve until the goaltending improves. It is that simple. 

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On 1/10/2020 at 9:10 AM, TrueBlueGED said:

Maybe by Botterill, but I didn't see anyone else singing his praises. 

I definitely pumped him up. I probably shouldn't have, but I also think that anybody dumping on an assistant coach is probably blowing smoke because nobody has any idea what influence any of them have on what we see on the ice.

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2 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

The Pk isn't going to improve until the goaltending improves. It is that simple. 

Yes and no.  The PK (and PP) will also improve if we can get puck possession at the onset of the PK/PP.  This is where our terrible FO% continues to kill us.

It would be interesting to see the PK% with Ullmark in net vs Hutton.

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3 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

The Pk isn't going to improve until the goaltending improves. It is that simple. 

was going to post the exact same message.   Ullmark is a decent 1b or backup at this stage of career and Hutton shouldn't be on an NHL roster.

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On 1/10/2020 at 8:49 AM, triumph_communes said:

Steve Smith is vastly overrated

Is he rated?  

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1 hour ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Yes and no.  The PK (and PP) will also improve if we can get puck possession at the onset of the PK/PP.  This is where our terrible FO% continues to kill us.

It would be interesting to see the PK% with Ullmark in net vs Hutton.

Teams ranked by PK%, best to worst, and their corresponding FO% rank while shorthanded:

  1. San Jose (4th)
  2. Washington (14th)
  3. Dallas (8th)
  4. Boston (28th)
  5. Tampa Bay (6th)
  6. Calgary (22nd)
  7. Arizona (15th)
  8. Edmonton (26th)
  9. Carolina (25th)
  10. Chicago (20th)
  11. Philadelphia (1st)
  12. St. Louis (9th)
  13. Pittsburgh (31st)
  14. Columbus (12th)
  15. Vancouver (2nd)
  16. Ottawa (3rd)
  17. New Jersey (30th)
  18. NY Islanders (23rd)
  19. Vegas (13th)
  20. Colorado (27th)
  21. Florida (5th)
  22. NY Rangers (24th)
  23. Montreal (18th)
  24. Anaheim (17th)
  25. Minnesota (29th)
  26. Toronto (16th)
  27. Los Angeles (11th)
  28. Buffalo (19th)
  29. Nashville (10th)
  30. Winnipeg (21st)
  31. Detroit (7th)

Half of the top-10 PK teams have bottom-10 FO%. The best FO% team, and only team above 50% on them while short handed, is 11th in PK. The worst PK team in the league has 29 fewer FO wins, 32 more losses, and has given up a whopping....three....more goals. Much like every other aspect of hockey, FO% has a negligible impact over time.

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32 minutes ago, TrueBlueGED said:

Teams ranked by PK%, best to worst, and their corresponding FO% rank while shorthanded:

  1. San Jose (4th)
  2. Washington (14th)
  3. Dallas (8th)
  4. Boston (28th)
  5. Tampa Bay (6th)
  6. Calgary (22nd)
  7. Arizona (15th)
  8. Edmonton (26th)
  9. Carolina (25th)
  10. Chicago (20th)
  11. Philadelphia (1st)
  12. St. Louis (9th)
  13. Pittsburgh (31st)
  14. Columbus (12th)
  15. Vancouver (2nd)
  16. Ottawa (3rd)
  17. New Jersey (30th)
  18. NY Islanders (23rd)
  19. Vegas (13th)
  20. Colorado (27th)
  21. Florida (5th)
  22. NY Rangers (24th)
  23. Montreal (18th)
  24. Anaheim (17th)
  25. Minnesota (29th)
  26. Toronto (16th)
  27. Los Angeles (11th)
  28. Buffalo (19th)
  29. Nashville (10th)
  30. Winnipeg (21st)
  31. Detroit (7th)

Half of the top-10 PK teams have bottom-10 FO%. The best FO% team, and only team above 50% on them while short handed, is 11th in PK. The worst PK team in the league has 29 fewer FO wins, 32 more losses, and has given up a whopping....three....more goals. Much like every other aspect of hockey, FO% has a negligible impact over time.

But now show me their goaltenders.  PK is goaltending and puck possession.  We can’t get possession and our goaltending is average to below average, thus we’re lousy on the PK.

Ullmark save % on the PK is .836, Hutton’s .824. In Boston, Halak is .891and Rask .863.  That helps make up for the lack of possession.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN

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On 1/10/2020 at 8:21 AM, matter2003 said:

Because he is a highly gifted player that SHOULD be better at making things happen than he is...certainly much better than repeatedly shooting a puck into the shin pads of a onrushing defender.

Dahlin has easily been one of our only good PP players.

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Sabres PP showing signs of life...went 2 for 3 last night and now has gone 6 for 14 after going 2 for 29...maybe Kreuger is figuring some things out...putting Risto in front of the net seems to be paying dividends

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1 hour ago, matter2003 said:

Sabres PP showing signs of life...went 2 for 3 last night and now has gone 6 for 14 after going 2 for 29...maybe Kreuger is figuring some things out...putting Risto in front of the net seems to be paying dividends

Absolutely.  It’s what Boston did with Chara in his prime.  Seriously who is easier to move out of the slot Risto or Reinhart.  The mystery is what took so long to try it?

 

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1 minute ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Absolutely.  It’s what Boston did with Chara in his prime.  Seriously who is easier to move out of the slot Risto or Reinhart.  The mystery is what took so long to try it?

 

Risto is a physical presence and on top of that has a nasty streak in him, so he is an ideal player to put in front of the net because he is likely giving as much punishment in that spot as he is receiving.

Edited by matter2003

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The pp is not better because Risto is in the slot. The pp is better because one of the best passers on the team isn't being wasted in the slot and he also shoots pretty good. 

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9 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

The pp is not better because Risto is in the slot. The pp is better because one of the best passers on the team isn't being wasted in the slot and he also shoots pretty good. 

It could be both.

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19 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

The pp is not better because Risto is in the slot. The pp is better because one of the best passers on the team isn't being wasted in the slot and he also shoots pretty good. 

 

10 minutes ago, SwampD said:

It could be both.

One is definitely part of the other.  Risto in the slot has given Reinhart more freedom.  

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36 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

The pp is not better because Risto is in the slot. The pp is better because one of the best passers on the team isn't being wasted in the slot and he also shoots pretty good. 

Really?  It looked like he was pretty effective when he boxed out his man and slammed home the rebound the other night from 5 feet in front of the net

Edited by matter2003

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17 minutes ago, matter2003 said:

Really?  It looked like he was pretty effective when he boxed out his man and slammed home the rebound the other night from 5 feet in front of the net

I assume you mean this play 

 

 

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Now lets talk about why this PP goal by Reinhart is successful. 

The very thing the Sabres need to do more of happens here. The puck goes down low to Risto at the side of the net. There is lots of evidence that PP's should be run from low to middle instead of from high (point) to low (net front). Here the puck gets low, defenders collapse to cover Risto. Reinhart who was covered opens up in the slot and Risto delivers a nice pass, Sam with a nice shot. 

Now neither of those things involve Reinhart's passing for Risto's net front presence. They happen because the puck is moved low, the defense starts adjusting and Sam sits in the natural space that should open a little. He has a good enough shot that we get the goal, Risto is a good enough passer. 

This is how our pp should be run. You can put Reinhart in Risto's spot, you can put Eichel or Skinner Or Olofsson in Reinhart's spot (you need the quick gather and release of that pass) but the important factor is the puck being moved low to mid or high with a quick shot that follows. 

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