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LGR4GM

Theory: The Sabres are Buying Goals

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So I have been pondering the Sabres moves. Eakin, Staal, Rieder, Hall. I have also been looking at what the Sabres did last year and what they had to replace. 

Johansson out (9 goals)

Vesey out (9 goals)

Sheary out (9 goals)

Larsson out ( 6 goals)

Now let's look at what they brought out to fill those 3 spots potentially. 

Staal minimum 20 goals and 25 is a possibility 

Eakin they think he will get 15 and possibly 20 goals

Hall we are talking 25 goals but he is also there to get Skinner back up to 40 by taking pressure off that line and also could increase Eichel's goals by 10. 

Rieder has a high of 23 goals and I bet they think he's a good 13th forward who can get you some or at least support goal scoring. 

What is my point? They basically traded out 33 goals for the potential of 63 goals give or take. Why? Because the math. The Buffalo Sabres have to go from a 2.8 goals a game average, good for 21st in the NHL, to a roughly 3.22 goals per game average if they want to sniff the playoffs. They already are good at shot suppression, the goaltending situation is Ullmark dependent but it stands to reason we can expect a positive regression from Hutton  and Ullmark might be just good enough as a starter but without more goals it doesn't matter anyways. 

The Sabres are buying either goals directly or the ability to produce goals. We looked at corsi but that isn't what matters here, they are simply trying to add players that score goals or contribute to that and will let the rest work itself out. Hall, Eakin, Staal are all moves with the singular focus of buying goals. The moves aren't random or strange, they make sense. They looked at value in terms of what their goal scoring would be or if they contribute to goal scorer and that explains Zemgus, Eakins, and why the wanted Hall. The math dictates that without more goals it doesn't matter if we fix other parts of the team. It isn't about corsi but about simply the postive side of xGF. Not saying it will work but it adds up and it explains Cozens talk and why Quinn was drafted and even JPP. The Sabres have determined that their road to winning is goals. 

 

Edited by LGR4GM
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31 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

The Sabres are buying either goals directly or the ability to produce goals. ... The Sabres have determined that their road to winning is goals.

 

Quote

Okay. People who run ball clubs, they think in terms of buying players. Your goal shouldn't be to buy players, your goal should be to buy wins. And in order to buy wins, you need to buy runs.

 

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If you look at the discussion in the off-season thread we have discussed that this team needed to improve their offense and their PK to turn their negative goal differential positive. History shows that teams with a positive goal differential almost always make the playoffs.  Get the differential to +20 or so and you are talk about a true championship contender.

The Sabres were 21st in goals scored (195) last season and 21st in GA (217) last season for a - 22 differential (25th in the NHL). a plus 20 would have put us 9th in differential last season.

Our PK was 30th in the NHL at only 74.6%.  We allowed the 7th most PP GA.  Our 5 on 5 GA was pretty good at only 136; 10th best in the NHL.  We also allowed the 2nd most SHG against at 11.  

The bottom line is that we need to cut down of PP goals against, cut SHGs and find a way to score more goals. KA so far has mostly attacked the goal scoring part of the equation with Hall and Staal, but he really hasn't done anything substantive to upgrade the PK (Eakin seems like a defensive downgrade from Larsson and Rieder a defensive upgrade from Vesey).  He hasn't upgraded the starting 6 D, nor has he improved the goaltending that had a nearly league worst 838 save % on the PK.

 

 

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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17 minutes ago, Gabrielor said:

Plus the draft. They DEFINITELY bought goals at 8.

Precisely. They drafted Quinn to buy goals. 

4 minutes ago, carpandean said:

 

 

Exactly.

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6 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

If you look at the discussion in the off-season thread we have discussed that this team needed to improve their offense and their PK to turn their negative goal differential positive. History shows that teams with a positive goal differential almost always make the playoffs.  Get the differential to +20 or so and you are talk about a turn championship contender.

The Sabres were 21st in goals scored (195) last season and 21st in GA (217) last season for a - 22 differential (25th in the NHL). a plus 20 would have put us 9th in differential last season.

Our PK was 30th in the NHL at only 74.6%.  We allowed the 7th most PP GA.  Our 5 on 5 GA was pretty good at only 136; 10th best in the NHL.  We also allowed the 2nd most SHG against at 11.  

The bottom line is that we need to cut down of PP goals against, cut SHGs and find a way to score more goals,  KA so far has most attacked the goal scoring part of the equation with Hall and Staal, but he really hasn't done anything substantive to upgrade the PK (Eakin seems like a defensive downgrade from Larsson and Rieder a defensive upgrade from Vesey).  He hasn't upgrade the starting 6 D, nor has he improved the goaltending that had a nearly league worst 838 save % on the PK.

 

 

They are 9th in shot suppression and the pk will sort itself out. They want to fix 1 side of the equation, goals for, because they think they can control or account for it. 

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They seem to mostly be targeting forwards who can:

1) Score goals

2) Play the fast, hard forechecking and 2-way game they have mentioned they want.

Eakin and Hall both play fast and aggressive.

Edited by Curt
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So,… strange.

Not sure how to feel right now…

I thought we only got rid of the good players,… only to bring in lesser talent…

Something's not right…

I'm scared.

 

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5 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

So I have been pondering the Sabres moves. Eakin, Staal, Rieder, Hall. I have also been looking at what the Sabres did last year and what they had to replace. 

Johansson out (9 goals)

Vesey out (9 goals)

Sheary out (9 goals)

Larsson out ( 6 goals)

Now let's look at what they brought out to fill those 3 spots potentially. 

Staal minimum 20 goals and 25 is a possibility 

Eakin they think he will get 15 and possibly 20 goals

Hall we are talking 25 goals but he is also there to get Skinner back up to 40 by taking pressure off that line and also could increase Eichel's goals by 10. 

Rieder has a high of 23 goals and I bet they think he's a good 13th forward who can get you some or at least support goal scoring. 

What is my point? They basically traded out 33 goals for the potential of 63 goals give or take. Why? Because the math.

 

I'm not sure you can work out the mathematical argument using totals they got with the Sabres and you need to look at their entire careers and their ages. Johanson had some 20 goal seasons and I'm sure Minnesota expects that. Vesey was just under 20 before he got here. So if you can use Eakin's old numbers for the prediction you have to cut that both ways and say that's pretty much a wash (Hall is obviously an addition). Rieder's a low scoring penalty killer isn't he? 

So I'm not seeing this theory at all. 

What I do see in Eakin, Rieder and Staal, for Johanson Vesey Larsson  is a little more character, a little better defensively and a little more grit. 3 for 3 that's a trade I would make in our favour. 

I'd still like to see another PK guy on the roster, but maybe that'll be an improved Asplund.

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6 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

I'm not sure you can work out the mathematical argument using totals they got with the Sabres and you need to look at their entire careers and their ages. Johanson had some 20 goal seasons and I'm sure Minnesota expects that. Vesey was just under 20 before he got here. So if you can use Eakin's old numbers for the prediction you have to cut that both ways and say that's pretty much a wash (Hall is obviously an addition). Rieder's a low scoring penalty killer isn't he? 

So I'm not seeing this theory at all. 

What I do see in Eakin, Rieder and Staal, for Johanson Vesey Larsson  is a little more character, a little better defensively and a little more grit. 3 for 3 that's a trade I would make in our favour. 

I'd still like to see another PK guy on the roster, but maybe that'll be an improved Asplund.

I agree in that the stuff that went out vs. what's coming in is shades of gray level of improvement.  I bet we improve as a team but not sure we are going to see a meaningful influx in scoring.

 

 

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6 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

I'm not sure you can work out the mathematical argument using totals they got with the Sabres and you need to look at their entire careers and their ages. Johanson had some 20 goal seasons and I'm sure Minnesota expects that. Vesey was just under 20 before he got here. So if you can use Eakin's old numbers for the prediction you have to cut that both ways and say that's pretty much a wash (Hall is obviously an addition). Rieder's a low scoring penalty killer isn't he? 

So I'm not seeing this theory at all. 

What I do see in Eakin, Rieder and Staal, for Johanson Vesey Larsson  is a little more character, a little better defensively and a little more grit. 3 for 3 that's a trade I would make in our favour. 

I'd still like to see another PK guy on the roster, but maybe that'll be an improved Asplund.

Johansson hasn't sniffed 20 goals in 4 years and he won't. If Minnesota expects that for more than 1 lucky season,  that seems unwise.  Vesey is bad at creating goals and he'll never hit 20. He's a passenger on his line but if you want to give him 15 goals you can, that's easily offset and more by Staal. That's that the Sabres think and why those guys being gone didn't matter.

Staal has hit 20 every year for the last 4 and even hit 40 once. So he immediately accounts for the 2 players you mentioned. He also creates goals that go to teammates.

Eakin is a gamble which fits what Adams talked about in his draft video. 15-20 goals is the gamble but even if he only gets 10 that's vesey level so you're fine. 

Hall is obvious. 25 goals and he'll help his linemates get goals too. 

Rieder is a 13th forward gamble. He's not really that important. 

Cozens, he's projected for 15g and 20a. 

Thompson, they like him because they think he adds goals. 

Quinn, best goalscorer ...in the draft. 

The Sabres are buying goals or the ability to create goals because again they have to go from 35 goals from 3 guys to 60ish goals for 3 guys. Hall and Staal gets you to 50 and Eakin is the gamble for the other 10-15. 

Their moves make sense. Buy goals and primary assists, add more goals at the draft, and as Adams said in the draft video dream a little and gamble a little. 

1 minute ago, Kruppstahl said:

I agree in that the stuff that went out vs. what's coming in is shades of gray level of improvement.  I bet we improve as a team but not sure we are going to see a meaningful influx in scoring.

We're going to see a startling increase in scoring, a half goal a game roughly. This is how the Sabres manager is viewing this. 

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I’m not sure the characterization of “buying goals” is the right way to look at it.  Makes it sound like they are just searching stat sheets sorted by goals.

The Sabres certainly have filled holes in the top 6 and seem to be prioritizing improving the offense of a team that struggled to score.

The forwards certainly look to be more dangerous offensively than last season.  I’m not sure it’s necessary to scour much deeper than that for a strategy.

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12 hours ago, Curt said:

They seem to mostly be targeting forwards who can:

1) Score goals

2) Play the fast, hard forechecking and 2-way game they have mentioned they want.

Eakin and Hall both play fast and aggressive.

Improving goal scoring is an obvious need that doesn't take much analysis. But your second point is more incisive because it goes to the central issue of the preferred style of play and players needed to execute the change. As you point out this offseason there is theme to the players that are being brought in. This roster is being reshaped with players who play a harder brand of hockey and replacing less physical players. Trading Johansson for Staal embodies that change in philosophy.  

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It is not so much buying goals as it is increasing the talent level. The talents added are more offensive minded so the obvious jump will be goals for.

Do not overlook a bump in production from Dahlin, who will create more offense and benefit from being surrounded by more talent.

I see Skinner returning to 30 goal range which will boost overall totals and make other teams have to counter multiple threats.

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13 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

If you look at the discussion in the off-season thread we have discussed that this team needed to improve their offense and their PK to turn their negative goal differential positive. History shows that teams with a positive goal differential almost always make the playoffs.  Get the differential to +20 or so and you are talk about a true championship contender.

The Sabres were 21st in goals scored (195) last season and 21st in GA (217) last season for a - 22 differential (25th in the NHL). a plus 20 would have put us 9th in differential last season.

Our PK was 30th in the NHL at only 74.6%.  We allowed the 7th most PP GA.  Our 5 on 5 GA was pretty good at only 136; 10th best in the NHL.  We also allowed the 2nd most SHG against at 11.  

The bottom line is that we need to cut down of PP goals against, cut SHGs and find a way to score more goals. KA so far has mostly attacked the goal scoring part of the equation with Hall and Staal, but he really hasn't done anything substantive to upgrade the PK (Eakin seems like a defensive downgrade from Larsson and Rieder a defensive upgrade from Vesey).  He hasn't upgraded the starting 6 D, nor has he improved the goaltending that had a nearly league worst 838 save % on the PK.

 

 

You make great points.  On the bolded, I would just say that 5v5 defensive play is different than PK.  Eakin/Rieder might not be defensive improvements on Larsson/Vesey at 5v5, but still be upgrades at PK.

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14 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

If you look at the discussion in the off-season thread we have discussed that this team needed to improve their offense and their PK to turn their negative goal differential positive. History shows that teams with a positive goal differential almost always make the playoffs.  Get the differential to +20 or so and you are talk about a true championship contender.

The Sabres were 21st in goals scored (195) last season and 21st in GA (217) last season for a - 22 differential (25th in the NHL). a plus 20 would have put us 9th in differential last season.

Our PK was 30th in the NHL at only 74.6%.  We allowed the 7th most PP GA.  Our 5 on 5 GA was pretty good at only 136; 10th best in the NHL.  We also allowed the 2nd most SHG against at 11.  

The bottom line is that we need to cut down of PP goals against, cut SHGs and find a way to score more goals. KA so far has mostly attacked the goal scoring part of the equation with Hall and Staal, but he really hasn't done anything substantive to upgrade the PK (Eakin seems like a defensive downgrade from Larsson and Rieder a defensive upgrade from Vesey).  He hasn't upgraded the starting 6 D, nor has he improved the goaltending that had a nearly league worst 838 save % on the PK.

 

 

For the sake of argument if the defensive unit stays in tact (I believe there will be some changes) and the goaltending plays at a little above last year's level ( reasonable expectation) and you figure in more potency on offense then even without a significant upgrade in PK performance the effect on the record should be positive. As others have alluded to there are two sides to the offensive/defensive equation. If your offense is better and the defense plays at the same level you are better off and if your offense stays the same (don't expect that) and your defense is better (Dahlin and Joki upward trajectory) than you are at an a minimum offsetting or better status. 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Gatorman0519 said:

Skinner needs 25 plus goals to justify that contract.  He should get back there playing with better skill players. 

He'll likely be playing w/ Staal & Reinhart.  He started the year w/ Johansson & Sobotka.  Mission accomplished. 😉

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