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dudacek

True or false: Risto was much improved under Ralph?

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1 hour ago, LGR4GM said:

Alex was good even when he was 22. Pronger did it when he was 24 and 25. 

 

Alex was good at 20 -22, not as good as say Tyler Myers, but a nice prospect.  Alex got much better at 28, and even better at 30.  Not even close.  
 

Pronger was considered to be a player that was behind in his development when he came to St. Louis.  Playing with Al McGinnis on a strong veteran team helped him develop and win a Norris at 26.   Then he actually got better and more dominant.  

I’m not saying Risto is as good as these guys, he isn’t.  I’m saying defenseman peak in late their 20’s done even in lie 30’s.  Risto has some upside.  

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Chara was a freak who knew little about hockey and learned in NHL.  He was good from beginning but just needed experience.  Risto makes same mistakes over and over.  Bad positioning in own zone being the biggest.

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1 hour ago, Pimlach said:

Alex was good at 20 -22, not as good as say Tyler Myers, but a nice prospect.  Alex got much better at 28, and even better at 30.  Not even close.  
 

Pronger was considered to be a player that was behind in his development when he came to St. Louis.  Playing with Al McGinnis on a strong veteran team helped him develop and win a Norris at 26.   Then he actually got better and more dominant.  

I’m not saying Risto is as good as these guys, he isn’t.  I’m saying defenseman peak in late their 20’s done even in lie 30’s.  Risto has some upside.  

And I am telling you you are picking exceptions not rules. MOST NHL players forwards or defenders peak between ages 25-28. Further Risto's upside is what? 5-10% above his average more maybe 1 or 2 seasons? He still isn't a top pairing guy even then. Risto is what he is. I will continue to say it because he is not the exception. 

This is not directed at you but I love how Ristolainen is going to magically get better at 26 after 7 full seasons but man, Dahlin isn't that good, not as good as billed. The fact the board seems to hold both of these ideas is astonishing. 

1 hour ago, SwampD said:

I think Risto stole LGR’s girlfriend.

I think after 7 seasons we know who he is as a player. This fantasy he will suddenly become better is delusional. He might at best have a peak season in the next 2-3 which will be 10% better than his average. Woo. Let me get all excited. The guy is a 3/4 defender with PP upside and there is nothing wrong with that. 

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Liger, nitpicking a bit, NHL players peak performance around 25-28 has been quantified (to the best of my knowledge) with points totals.  I don't think anyone is suggesting that Risto has a new peak in his offense output that has been untouched.  It's his defensive game and overall team game that is being surmised as still having room for growth.  And that is something that absolutely can occur independent of skills and physical development.  I don't think Chara is a good comparable here because my recollection is that to took to 25-26 for Chara to grow into that ridiculous body of his.  Not the same as Risto.

Will this happen with Risto?  I have no idea.  I'd sure like it to happen.  But I wouldn't plan for it.

Quote

This is not directed at you but I love how Ristolainen is going to magically get better at 26 after 7 full seasons but man, Dahlin isn't that good, not as good as billed. The fact the board seems to hold both of these ideas is astonishing. 

"The board" isn't a monolith.  I'm pretty sure you can separate out these elements of the board and discover that the results don't have as much overlap as insinuated here.

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3 minutes ago, Weave said:

Liger, nitpicking a bit, NHL players peak performance around 25-28 has been quantified (to the best of my knowledge) with points totals.  I don't think anyone is suggesting that Risto has a new peak in his offense output that has been untouched.  It's his defensive game and overall team game that is being surmised as still having room for growth.  And that is something that absolutely can occur independent of skills and physical development.  I don't think Chara is a good comparable here because my recollection is that to took to 25-26 for Chara to grow into that ridiculous body of his.  Not the same as Risto.

Will this happen with Risto?  I have no idea.  I'd sure like it to happen.  But I wouldn't plan for it.

"The board" isn't a monolith.  I'm pretty sure you can separate out these elements of the board and discover that the results don't have as much overlap as insinuated here.

Agree on chara and disagree on what you are suggesting on Risto. 

If Risto's defensive game "improves" it will be because he is used in situations he is better suited for more often not that his actual overall defensive game is better. Again, we have had 7 seasons. I am stunned people think there is some mythical other level coming. 

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5 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

 I am stunned people think there is some mythical other level coming. 

And I'm still mystified that people thought losing on purpose would lead to winning.  So welcome to Club Fail.  Keep 6' distance and wear your mask please.

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6 minutes ago, Weave said:

And I'm still mystified that people thought losing on purpose would lead to winning.  So welcome to Club Fail.  Keep 6' distance and wear your mask please.

I don't want to rehash the tank... but I ***** will. 

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As I’ve already posted I think Risto probably doesn’t have any other level he is going to hit and sustain.

But I dont think the idea of him Improving is outlandish, just unlikely.

As @SwampD said above, the flaws in his game (recklessness) are things that tend to improve with maturity. And Chara is hardly alone as a late bloomer.

When Mark Giordano was Risto’s age he was putting up 19 points as an NHL sophomore. It took him 10 more years to win the Norris.

Brent Burns took the leap from a 40-point guy to a 60-point guy as a 29 year old in his 11th season. He won his first Norris at 31.

John Carlson emerged in year nine at the age of 27 and might win his first Norris this year at age 30.

None of those guys were appreciably better at Risto’s age than what Risto was this year.

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4 minutes ago, dudacek said:

As I’ve already posted I think Risto probably doesn’t have any other level he is going to hit and sustain.

But I dont think the idea of him Improving is outlandish, just unlikely.

As @SwampD said above, the flaws in his game (recklessness) are things that tend to improve with maturity. And Chara is hardly alone as a late bloomer.

When Mark Giordano was Risto’s age he was putting up 19 points as an NHL sophomore. It took him 10 more years to win the Norris.

Brent Burns took the leap from a 40-point guy to a 60-point guy as a 29 year old in his 11th season. He won his first Norris at 31.

John Carlson emerged in year nine at the age of 27 and might win his first Norris this year at age 30.

None of those guys were appreciably better at Risto’s age than what Risto was this year.

Well Giordano you can toss out from the get go. You say it yourself, sophomore year. The other two might apply but again, did they suddenly get better or were they getting better all the time. How often do these jumps happen? Why would Risto suddenly get better?

I have seen Risto plateau over the last 3 years. He hasn't improved or gotten worse. Again, he is what he is going to be. 

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4 minutes ago, dudacek said:

As I’ve already posted I think Risto probably doesn’t have any other level he is going to hit and sustain.

But I dont think the idea of him Improving is outlandish, just unlikely.

As @SwampD said above, the flaws in his game (recklessness) are things that tend to improve with maturity. And Chara is hardly alone as a late bloomer.

When Mark Giordano was Risto’s age he was putting up 19 points as an NHL sophomore. It took him 10 more years to win the Norris.

Brent Burns took the leap from a 40-point guy to a 60-point guy as a 29 year old in his 11th season. He won his first Norris at 31.

John Carlson emerged in year nine at the age of 27 and might win his first Norris this year at age 30.

None of those guys were appreciably better at Risto’s age than what Risto was this year.

John Carlson is an interesting comparison. It's hard to argue he hasn't been benefited by playing on a much better team his whole career. He's had much better fancy stats, but not consistently. It's possible that if Risto was on a better team he might have cracked that 50% CF mark in 17-18. But Carlson did it at 21... 

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Carlson was good prior to his "breakout" and was in year 5 for that breakout followed by 2 injury filled years and then his year 28 year.

Burns is another player who was injured and then bam, suddenly he is playing 82 games a year. I would bet money his physical prep changed. 

Risto is already physically in great shape. This goes back to the chara issue. Chara got good because he finally grew into his massive body. Riso is at his peak physical level right now. What is he suddenly going to be able to do? Process the game faster, think it differently, change his instincts? Unlikely. 

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1 hour ago, LGR4GM said:

Agree on chara and disagree on what you are suggesting on Risto. 

If Risto's defensive game "improves" it will be because he is used in situations he is better suited for more often not that his actual overall defensive game is better. Again, we have had 7 seasons. I am stunned people think there is some mythical other level coming

It will merely  be the natural progression of a defensemen at this age. It wont be mythical.

In keeping with the thread; it will be what it will be.

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Guys, I’m not arguing with you on the main point of this one, but the fact remains that Burns, Giordano and Carlson had all established themselves in seven or more years of NHL play where we thought we knew “who they were”  before suddenly taking a leap into being elite.

These weren’t slow, steady climbs. 

Carlson had five years of 30-something points out of 7 before jumping from 37 points in 72 games to 68 in 82. He had only crested 40 points once. It was completely out of the blue.

Burns had topped 40 twice in NINE years before reeling off FIVE years of at least 60. No one saw it coming.

Giordano didn’t hit 50 in his first nine years either. He had his first at 32. It isn’t really relevant that he started later.

These guys all took big, unexpected jumps at a later point in their careers than Risto is now. It’s not as much of an anomaly as you are making it out to be.

Edited by dudacek
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1 minute ago, dudacek said:

Guys, I’m not arguing with you on the main point of this one, but the fact remains that Burns, Giordano and Carlson had all established themselves in seven or more years of NHL play where we thought we knew “who they were”  before suddenly taking a leap into being elite.

These weren’t slow, steady climbs. 

Carlson had five years of 30-something points out of 7 before jumping from 37 points in 72 games to 68 in 82. He had only crested 40 points once. It was completely out of the blue.

Burns had topped 40 twice in NINE years before reeling of FIVE years of at least 60. No one saw it coming.

Giordano didn’t hit 50 in his first nine years either. He had his first at 32. It isn’t really relevant that he started later.

These guys all took big, unexpected jumps at a later point in their careers than Risto is now. It’s not as much as an anomaly as you are making it out to be.

You're talking points production though, not defensive acumen. Risto's problem has never been points, his problem is playing sound defense. Through every season of his Sabres career he has never had a year where the team controlled the puck more with him on the ice than without. He's only had a positive CF% rel ONCE. All these other players we're comparing him with were hitting those marks earlier and often.

Risto compares more closely with Hal Gill than any of these other guys.

I just don't know if I'm confident that he can develop a defensive game the same way that a lot of other defensemen have developed their scoring.

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10 minutes ago, darksabre said:

You're talking points production though, not defensive acumen. Risto's problem has never been points, his problem is playing sound defense. Through every season of his Sabres career he has never had a year where the team controlled the puck more with him on the ice than without. He's only had a positive CF% rel ONCE. All these other players we're comparing him with were hitting those marks earlier and often.

Risto compares more closely with Hal Gill than any of these other guys.

I just don't know if I'm confident that he can develop a defensive game the same way that a lot of other defensemen have developed their scoring.

Burns certainly and Carlson to a certain extent though weren’t much different than Risto at that stage of their careers: good but not elite offensively and mediocre defensively. 

Neither is elite defensively right now, their elite status comes from their point totals.

If Risto became a 60 point scorer now and changed nothing defensively, that would probably push his possession numbers into the adequate range on its own.

Again, I don’t think it will happen, just that it has.

(And Risto has far, far more skill than Gill ever did, so its not a good comparison for this discussion)

Edited by dudacek

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44 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Burns had topped 40 twice in NINE years before reeling off FIVE years of at least 60. No one saw it coming.

It doesn’t really impact your larger point, but didn’t Burns get shuffled back and forth from D to F over the first few years of his career?

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11 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Burns certainly and Carlson to a certain extent though weren’t much different than Risto at that stage of their careers: good but not elite offensively and mediocre defensively. 

Neither is elite defensively right now, their elite status comes from their point totals.

If Risto became a 60 point scorer now and changed nothing defensively, that would probably push his possession numbers into the adequate range on its own.

Again, I don’t think it will happen, just that it has.

(And Risto has far, far more skill than Gill ever did, so its not a good comparison for this discussion)

Sure it is. Gil's possession metrics were just okay even though he didn't contribute much to his team's offense. Risto's possession metrics are just okay despite the fact that he does contribute offensively.

Obviously given the choice between the two you take Risto, because some production is better than no production. But neither guy is particularly useful at helping his team control play. How much leeway can we afford to give Risto if his offensive numbers are accompanied by Hal Gill possession?

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I’m just going to throw this fact out there.

Rasmus Ristolainen has improved his even strength point production over the past couple of years.

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15 minutes ago, darksabre said:

Sure it is. Gil's possession metrics were just okay even though he didn't contribute much to his team's offense. Risto's possession metrics are just okay despite the fact that he does contribute offensively.

Obviously given the choice between the two you take Risto, because some production is better than no production. But neither guy is particularly useful at helping his team control play. How much leeway can we afford to give Risto if his offensive numbers are accompanied by Hal Gill possession?

Ah, different discussion.

Im still following the stream of players improving. I’d argue that Risto’s physical gifts are such that a leap is theoretically possible if his mental game improves, whereas Gill never had the skills to make a leap beyond the point he reached.

Edited by dudacek

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3 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Ah, different discussion.

Im still following the stream of players improving. I’d argue that Risto’s physical gifts are such that a leap is theoretically possible if his mental game improves, whereas Gill never had the skills to make a leap beyond the point he reached.

To the bolded: I think that's a real wish sandwich.

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10 minutes ago, darksabre said:

To the bolded: I think that's a real wish sandwich.

Me too.

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5 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Me too.

So that kinda gets us to the crux of the discussion on Risto's ceiling and potential for any additional growth. I think you can expect a talented defenseman to find the mental part of his NHL game before the physical part, and not vice versa. These guys who improved later on did so because they improved their strength, conditioning, etc. They didn't gain hockey IQ or anything, their bodies simply allowed them to do what their brains wanted them to do. Their bodies grew to meet their hockey IQ.

Risto is physically gifted and pretty much always has been, but I don't think he's going to suddenly get smarter about the game at 26. 

So when we look for his room for improvement, the only thing I think he can really improve is physical. And I don't think there's much left to do there...

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4 minutes ago, darksabre said:

So that kinda gets us to the crux of the discussion on Risto's ceiling and potential for any additional growth. I think you can expect a talented defenseman to find the mental part of his NHL game before the physical part, and not vice versa. These guys who improved later on did so because they improved their strength, conditioning, etc. They didn't gain hockey IQ or anything, their bodies simply allowed them to do what their brains wanted them to do. Their bodies grew to meet their hockey IQ.

Risto is physically gifted and pretty much always has been, but I don't think he's going to suddenly get smarter about the game at 26. 

So when we look for his room for improvement, the only thing I think he can really improve is physical. And I don't think there's much left to do there...

I pretty much believe the exact opposite of this.

Especially with D.

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