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Constructive Ideas: Playoff Contender to Cup Contender

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Our skill guys aren't "tough" enough and any "tough" guys we have aren't skilled enough.  We have too few of both.

Goaltending needs a better bridge to KK. 

 

That's it.  That's the plan.  The reason we're here is because Reinhart, while a good player, is not franchise altering.   That season was just the worst to be bad.  And we passed on Leon, the best player in that draft.  The Middlestat pick has been a bust.  Nylander was a bust.  And we trade ROR for Tage Thompson.  Awesome.  

Basically sucking for 7 years got us Dahlin and Jack.  I guess Cozens will be good?

The organization needs a rebuild.  I see no signs in the last 3 years anything has improved from development to the big club to the coach to management.  

Clean house.  Maybe you make Ralph GM.  Idk.  

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4 hours ago, thewookie1 said:

At the end of this season, Leino's contract will leave the Sabres book. Hopefully that will lift the curse as we haven't played in the playoffs since that contract was signed.

Yep that'll be great news. Still gotta wait til 2022-2023 for Cody Hodgson & his $800,000 per/year to come off the books too.

Really shows how bad we bungled those 2 deals, where here we are many years later & still paying for it... literally

Edited by MillerVaive

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5 hours ago, MillerVaive said:

Yep that'll be great news. Still gotta wait til 2022-2023 for Cody Hodgson & his $800,000 per/year to come off the books too.

Really shows how bad we bungled those 2 deals, where here we are many years later & still paying for it... literally

I don’t  know how you blame the team for Hodgson.  How were they to know a chronic, incurable illness would manifest itself after that contract was negotiated?

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26 minutes ago, Weave said:

I don’t  know how you blame the team for Hodgson.  How were they to know a chronic, incurable illness would manifest itself after that contract was negotiated?

The benefit of hindsight helps. The team gave him that extension that seemed high at the time, based on his previous season, betting that in the future it would look like a bargain & obviously the opposite happened. His play fell off & a couple years later we decide we're gonna do a rebuild & buy him out. We switched GM's between the extension & the buyout so you had a total philosophical change take place. Darcy was looking to the future & then Murray was gonna tank for it. But after the buyout I believe Nashville picked him up & maybe he played another year or 2 but his play continued getting worse. It wasn't until 2017 or so where he was diagnosed with that illness.

For me the issue was the 6 year $25 million extension on a player who just scored 15 goals. A gambling man can look back at that extension & figure it was worth the risk, committing that much to him & that much term. But was it the wisest move? I think its fair to question that. Not really worth doing now since whats it matter at this point. We have plenty of other problems we question multiple times a day. But this all occurred during one of our franchises darkest times. With many other questionable decisions that have cost us dearly & still do. We can chalk that up to bad luck but that doesnt sound right imo.

Theres always an amount of risk with a GM's decisions. I think the best gm's mitigate those risks. Forgetting about the illness for a minute, but maybe only committing to him for a 2 to 3 year bridge deal to see what kinda player he really was wouldve been the less risky decision. Also i think it matters at the end, were we aware that Hodgsons drop off in play was due to a medical condition, even one we couldnt properly diagnose? Was there an alternative to buying him out? He retired a year or so after we waived him so if we were aware of his medical issues being a big factor in his decline, could we have stashed him in the AHL or classified him as LTIR or something equivalent at the time? Like with Okposo, we're on the hook for another couple seasons but if he were to retire we're not.

Long story short i guess i blame them for committing that much to the extension based off his 15 goal season in the 1st place & i blame the buyout at the end by Murray. Obviously Leino & you can throw Ehrhoff & Moulson in there too. We have a history of bad contracts. But with the buyouts, Murray didn't seem to care about the impact it would have on our team for years in the future. Or he felt it was worth the risk. Hindsight isn't as kind i guess. Sorry for the novel i'm pulling an all nighter haha.

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Thought for the day

Season GF GA diff  GF/GP GA/GP

15-16 201 222 -21 2.45 2.71

16-17 201 237 -36 2.45 2.89

17-18 199 280 -81 2.42 3.41

18-19 225 271 -46 2.74 3.30

19-20 162 178 -16 2.84 3.12

It's interesting with people here arguing that TM's teams had better forwards, the GF doesn't bare that out. In TM best seasons, featuring teams with ROR, Kane, a healthy KO, Jack and Sam scored a whopping 201 goals in back to back years.  Wow!

Surprisingly with "less" fire power up front we are now scoring more goals.  Not nearly enough, but I thought the stats were interesting.  Also despite Hutton terrible goaltending, our GA is also improving.  Ullmark's GAA is 2.72, which is as good as TM's best team.  Sadly if Hutton had been better we'd be a playoff contender.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN

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8 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Thought for the day

Season GF GA diff  GF/GP GA/GP

15-16 201 222 -21 2.45 2.71

16-17 201 237 -36 2.45 2.89

17-18 199 280 -81 2.42 3.41

18-19 225 271 -46 2.74 3.30

19-20 162 178 -16 2.84 3.12

It's interesting with people here arguing that TM's teams had better forwards, the GF doesn't bare that out. In TM best seasons, featuring teams with ROR, Kane, a healthy KO, Jack and Sam scored a whopping 201 goals in back to back years.  Wow!

Surprisingly with "less" fire power up front we are now scoring more goals.  Not nearly enough, but I thought the stats were interesting.  Also despite Hutton terrible goaltending, our GA is also improving.  Ullmark's GAA is 2.72, which is as good as TM's best team.  Sadly if Hutton had been better we'd be a playoff contender.

Jack and Sam were not the players they are now.

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22 minutes ago, SwampD said:

Jack and Sam were not the players they are now.

No but their support cast was better according to many here. After all wasn’t ROR great, Kane awesome and boy what a great addition KO was before he got hurt.  We even had the great Gionta scoring 12-15 goals on the 3rd line.  

Apparently Jbot collection’s of under performers with our lousy PP are producing more offense.  There are reasons for this.  Jack development, but also Sam’s.  Also better offensive players on defense, but that doesn’t change the fact that this poor offense team is actually better at scoring then the ROR lead teams, including the 16-17 that had the best PP in the NHL.

 

 

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32 minutes ago, SwampD said:

Jack and Sam were not the players they are now.

Also, the league has EXPLODED with goals the last two seasons. GA needs to normalize this before he can make the claims he's making

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IN TM's final year we were 90% of league average for GF and 6% worse then league average GA

This season we are 95% of league average in GF and only 4% worse then  league average GA - Ullmark at 2.72 is 9% better then the league average GA.

This team, like it or not, is better then when JBot took over.  Scoring is up 5.56% and when Ullmark starts we are 15% better in net.  Not good enough improvement but improved.  Flagg does that make you feel better?

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10 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

IN TM's final year we were 90% of league average for GF and 6% worse then league average GA

This season we are 95% of league average in GF and only 4% worse then  league average GA - Ullmark at 2.72 is 9% better then the league average GA.

This team, like it or not, is better then when JBot took over.  Scoring is up 5.56% and when Ullmark starts we are 15% better in net.  Not good enough improvement but improved.  Flagg does that make you feel better?

Yes! I just know that right before this explosion happened, an Art Ross winner had 87 points, whereas now we're gonna have like 10 guys go over 100, so it was important to contextualize those numbers.

The issue is that it has nothing to do with Jason, why the Sabres are slightly better offensively. We had Jack and Sam before Jason, only Jack and Sam were little babies that were ~60-70/40-50 point players. Jack is now a 90-100 point player, and Sam is up about 20 points from what he was doing back then. All measures of scoring chances and quality of shots show that Jason's teams are worse at generating offense than pre-Jason teams (which I have shown went from fifth worst before Jason to dead last with Jason), even WITH Eichel/Reinhart, and any goal increase is essentially just because of their skill and league-wide scoring increases.

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32 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

Yes! I just know that right before this explosion happened, an Art Ross winner had 87 points, whereas now we're gonna have like 10 guys go over 100, so it was important to contextualize those numbers.

The issue is that it has nothing to do with Jason, why the Sabres are slightly better offensively. We had Jack and Sam before Jason, only Jack and Sam were little babies that were ~60-70/40-50 point players. Jack is now a 90-100 point player, and Sam is up about 20 points from what he was doing back then. All measures of scoring chances and quality of shots show that Jason's teams are worse at generating offense than pre-Jason teams (which I have shown went from fifth worst before Jason to dead last with Jason), even WITH Eichel/Reinhart, and any goal increase is essentially just because of their skill and league-wide scoring increases.

I disagree.  I agree that forward depth is not where it needs to be especially at center, but our mobile D group is much much more skilled then the TM teams.  Their improvement along with Jack/Sams maturity has been critical in any uptick in offense.  It’s also the reason that I’m optimistic about the future.  

This is an improved hockey team even if it doesn’t always feel that way.  Getting 2 centers to compliment Jack will see this team explode.  Cozens maybe one of the 2.  Jbot needs to find the other.  

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