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LGR4GM

Theory: The Sabres are Buying Goals

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6 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

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. 

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. 

I'm not going to dissect or nitpick your analysis, I simply don't agree with the premise, and that is that the focus is on more goals or players who score more goals. Maybe if we'd signed Hoffman or someone like that I'd buy your theory but I don't think these changes are because of goal scoring. The team has shifted slightly in the direction of grit and character and I think that was Adams plan more than goal scoring.

As for your last sentence that I bolded, I have no doubt that'll happen but mostly because of Hall being added to the roster so that we now have 2 top lines (however Kreuger plays them) and should have a much better PP. It won't be because of Thompson, Eakin or even Cozens (yet). 

The question marks that remain for me are 1.) How much does Staal have left in the tank and how motivated will he be? He's going to stop producing at some point, I hope it's not for another year or two. 2.) Will our goaltending be good enough or at least consistent enough that we don't lose close games with dumb easy gifts from goalie gaffs which we've seen all too often from both of them. 3.) Are we deep enough to endure injuries and how will the bottom half of the roster hold up? To me we're still a little weak at center and could be a bit bigger on the 4th line. Girgensens is overvalued imo but Girgs-Eakin-Okposo isn't terrible, but I'm not sure what we do with Lazar and Thompson and if we play Cozens up with Staal, what becomes of Olofsson? Olofsson-Thompson-? (Eakin?) what exactly is that line? 

So I still think we need one more solid 2-way forward. I'm hopeful a young guy steps up. 

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20 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. 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. 

 

Rieder hasn't come close to 23 goals in even his best season.   This is a very optimistic goal output scenario, i hope you're right.

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4 hours ago, New Scotland (NS) said:

The *concept of* ...

Outscoring your opponent. Who would have thought? 

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1 hour ago, PerreaultForever said:

I'm not going to dissect or nitpick your analysis, I simply don't agree with the premise, and that is that the focus is on more goals or players who score more goals. Maybe if we'd signed Hoffman or someone like that I'd buy your theory but I don't think these changes are because of goal scoring. The team has shifted slightly in the direction of grit and character and I think that was Adams plan more than goal scoring.

As for your last sentence that I bolded, I have no doubt that'll happen but mostly because of Hall being added to the roster so that we now have 2 top lines (however Kreuger plays them) and should have a much better PP. It won't be because of Thompson, Eakin or even Cozens (yet)

The question marks that remain for me are 1.) How much does Staal have left in the tank and how motivated will he be? He's going to stop producing at some point, I hope it's not for another year or two. 2.) Will our goaltending be good enough or at least consistent enough that we don't lose close games with dumb easy gifts from goalie gaffs which we've seen all too often from both of them. 3.) Are we deep enough to endure injuries and how will the bottom half of the roster hold up? To me we're still a little weak at center and could be a bit bigger on the 4th line. Girgensens is overvalued imo but Girgs-Eakin-Okposo isn't terrible, but I'm not sure what we do with Lazar and Thompson and if we play Cozens up with Staal, what becomes of Olofsson? Olofsson-Thompson-? (Eakin?) what exactly is that line? 

So I still think we need one more solid 2-way forward. I'm hopeful a young guy steps up. 

Well, I think KA and RK identified secondary scoring as a major issue in the roster and tried to address it with Staal and Eakin, and of course Hall was a huge addition that will help secondary scoring by pushing a top-liner down in the rotation.  I think they also think they will get additional secondary scoring from at least one of Cozens or TT, and that whoever takes Larsson's minutes will contribute more scoring than Larsson did.

I agree that they've emphasized grit and character, and that Staal and goaltending are major question marks that will be impactful however they turn out.

I think they are planning for Eakin to be the 3rd-line center, for his line to contribute a decent amount of offense between him and one or both of Cozens and TT and for that line to play a bigger role than Zemgus-Lazar-KO, which I think will be the 4th line.

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9 hours ago, New Scotland (NS) said:

The *concept of* ...

++ You don't believe in the Concept Of, do you?

--- Kid, I've skated from one side of this Conference to the other. I've seen a lot of strange goals. But I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful Concept Of fixing this team. There's no mystical Kassian or Kahun that controls my destiny. It's all a lot of simple grit and "compete".

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The league seems like it's shifting to high scoring teams being successful (TB). Still, it feels weird not having a solid #1 goalie. 

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8 hours ago, nfreeman said:

Well, I think KA and RK identified secondary scoring as a major issue in the roster and tried to address it with Staal and Eakin, and of course Hall was a huge addition that will help secondary scoring by pushing a top-liner down in the rotation.  I think they also think they will get additional secondary scoring from at least one of Cozens or TT, and that whoever takes Larsson's minutes will contribute more scoring than Larsson did.

I agree that they've emphasized grit and character, and that Staal and goaltending are major question marks that will be impactful however they turn out.

I think they are planning for Eakin to be the 3rd-line center, for his line to contribute a decent amount of offense between him and one or both of Cozens and TT and for that line to play a bigger role than Zemgus-Lazar-KO, which I think will be the 4th line.

Definitely could be. I'm just not sure what that 3rd/4th line will be. Have they fully relegated KO to the role of a 4th line checker or do they think maybe he can still do close to 20 goals with a decent center? Not that Larsson was awful, but that line despite their chances had trouble scoring. Similarly, if they don't make any further trades and the RFAs are all here where is Olofsson going to end up if the idea is to play Cozens with Staal? Olofsson-Eakins-? Thompson? I have little faith in that. Could be KO, could be Zemgus. have to wait and see I guess. 

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18 hours ago, klos1963 said:

Rieder hasn't come close to 23 goals in even his best season.   This is a very optimistic goal output scenario, i hope you're right.

He won't ever score 23 again. You're missing the tree through the forest. Rieder is almost irrelevant, but the Sabres view him as someone with goal scoring potential if say Okposo or Zemgus break. I think it's unlikely Rieder gets much playing time or scores much. They brought him though because he's a gamble, like calling the big blind with pocket 2s.

Edited by LGR4GM

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2 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

He won't ever score 23 again. You're missing the tree through the forest. Rieder is almost irrelevant, but the Sabres view him as someone with goal scoring potential if say Okposo or Zemgus break. I think it's unlikely Rieder gets much playing time or scores much. They brought him though because he's a gamble, like calling the big blind with pocket 2s.

My point was he never scored 23 in the first place, let alone again.

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14 hours ago, I-90 W said:

The league seems like it's shifting to high scoring teams being successful (TB). Still, it feels weird not having a solid #1 goalie. 

Except this years Western conference champions, Dallas.  Only two teams in the entire league scored less, and one was Detroit.  And they played almost the entire playoffs with a backup goalie.  Better than most teams # 2, but average nonetheless.  The point is there are many ways to achieve success.  Not just scoring, not just a dominant goaltender, not just speed, Not just strength, etc. 

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22 minutes ago, Broken Ankles said:

Except this years Western conference champions, Dallas.  Only two teams in the entire league scored less, and one was Detroit.  And they played almost the entire playoffs with a backup goalie.  Better than most teams # 2, but average nonetheless.  The point is there are many ways to achieve success.  Not just scoring, not just a dominant goaltender, not just speed, Not just strength, etc. 

Dallas's backup goalie played as well as if not better than our #1 goalie, Ullmark. I'm not arguing who is better but I am making the point that if your goalie plays at a high enough level of play that it will be one of the primary reasons for success. Ben Bishop is a good #1 goalie. But he got hurt. Khudobin the backup filled in for him and played well enough to get his team into the finals. The obvious moral of the story is that you need two dependable goalies,  and even more so if there is a compressed schedule as seems likely. 

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Didn’t Jbot buy goals as well?  Sheary (23 goal career high) Vesey (3 seasons 16+ goals), Johansson (24 goal career high and a career .55 p/gp player) and Skinner.  It didn’t work for the reasons that we have discussed, but no guarantees this time either. After all Eakin is in a similar position Sheary and Johansson were when we acquired them (coming off down years), Staal is 36 and Hall is now on his 4th team and left Edm after not finding chemistry with McDavid. 

I like what KA has done so far, but we need improvement in goal if this is going to work.  

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8 hours ago, Broken Ankles said:

Except this years Western conference champions, Dallas.  Only two teams in the entire league scored less, and one was Detroit.  And they played almost the entire playoffs with a backup goalie.  Better than most teams # 2, but average nonetheless.  The point is there are many ways to achieve success.  Not just scoring, not just a dominant goaltender, not just speed, Not just strength, etc. 

I agree with that, good points. 

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4 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Didn’t Jbot buy goals as well?  Sheary (23 goal career high) Vesey (3 seasons 16+ goals), Johansson (24 goal career high and a career .55 p/gp player) and Skinner.  It didn’t work for the reasons that we have discussed, but no guarantees this time either. After all Eakin is in a similar position Sheary and Johansson were when we acquired them (coming off down years), Staal is 36 and Hall is now on his 4th team and left Edm after not finding chemistry with McDavid. 

I like what KA has done so far, but we need improvement in goal if this is going to work.  

I'm glad you mentioned career highs, cause that's exactly what Botterill continuously banked on. A problem compounded by the fact he asked it of players in combination with them being required to succeed in a role beyond what they've shown themselves capable. 

He banked on Johansson to match his career high, and did so while asking him to play a position he hadn't consistently in years. In this way what we are asking of Eakin is different. We are asking Staal to be what he was last year, rather than what he did at his best. 

And that reasonable ask fulfills a big need. 

No excuse to not upgrade in net, I agree. Or risk torpedoing the season. 

Edited by Thorny

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18 minutes ago, Thorny said:

I'm glad you mentioned career highs, cause that's exactly what Botterill continuously banked on. A problem compounded by the fact he asked it of players in combination with them being required to succeed in a role beyond what they've shown themselves capable. 

He banked on Johansson to match his career high, and did so while asking him to play a position he hadn't consistently in years. In this way what we are asking of Eakin is different. We are asking Staal to be what he was last year, rather than what he did at his best. 

And that reasonable ask fulfills a big need. 

No excuse to not upgrade in net, I agree. Or risk torpedoing the season. 

He wasn't asking moJo to match career highs, he was asking MoJo to play out of position.  Had he got 40 pts out of MoJo he'd have been happy.  He was asking both Sheary and Vesey to produce similar to their seasons prior 15-20 goals and 35 pts.  None of it happened and that is why he's gone.  KA is asking Hall to rebound like Skinner did his first season here and asking a 36 year old center to have one more 40+ pt season in the tank.  He is also asking Eakin to rebound to being a 30-35 pt guy.  Honestly he is asking alot.  The good news here is that Eakin and Staal are being asked to play their natural positions and the ask isn't unreasonable.   He is also asking Staal to re-ignite Skinner.  

Honestly this could all go up in flames just as it did to Jbot.  That said, I'm more optimistic then I've been in a while.  I'd like to see 4 more moves.  An upgrade to Hutton, the move of one of Risto, Montour or Miller, an upgrade of Davidson as the 3rd LHD and a flyer on a young versatile forward like Galchenyuk, Kahun or some other bargain out there.

I'd start by trading Hutton for Raanta straight up (cap cost 1.75).  I'd then trade Risto to Philly for Robert Hagg and other assets (Cap savings - 3.8) and then I'd sign Kahun for 1.5.  

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17 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

He wasn't asking moJo to match career highs, he was asking MoJo to play out of position.  Had he got 40 pts out of MoJo he'd have been happy.  He was asking both Sheary and Vesey to produce similar to their seasons prior 15-20 goals and 35 pts.  None of it happened and that is why he's gone.  KA is asking Hall to rebound like Skinner did his first season here and asking a 36 year old center to have one more 40+ pt season in the tank.  He is also asking Eakin to rebound to being a 30-35 pt guy.  Honestly he is asking alot.  The good news here is that Eakin and Staal are being asked to play their natural positions and the ask isn't unreasonable.   He is also asking Staal to re-ignite Skinner.  

Honestly this could all go up in flames just as it did to Jbot.  That said, I'm more optimistic then I've been in a while.  I'd like to see 4 more moves.  An upgrade to Hutton, the move of one of Risto, Montour or Miller, an upgrade of Davidson as the 3rd LHD and a flyer on a young versatile forward like Galchenyuk, Kahun or some other bargain out there.

I'd start by trading Hutton for Raanta straight up (cap cost 1.75).  I'd then trade Risto to Philly for Robert Hagg and other assets (Cap savings - 3.8) and then I'd sign Kahun for 1.5.  

But Johansson was on pace for 40 points over a full season and Sheary did produce similar to the year before he arrived, in 18-19 at least.  Also, isn’t Irwin the 3LD, not Davidson?

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1 hour ago, Curt said:

But Johansson was on pace for 40 points over a full season and Sheary did produce similar to the year before he arrived, in 18-19 at least.  Also, isn’t Irwin the 3LD, not Davidson?

No.  Davidson is the LHD according to capfriendly

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24 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

No.  Davidson is the LHD according to capfriendly

Interesting. Irwin is the guy our management team has referred to in post free agency interviews. Looks like they will be in competition, along with Borgen for the 7D slot.

Davidson is 29 and has played 174 NHL games, 12 last year and never more than 51 in a season. Last year was the first time he's played in the minors since 2015.

Irwin is 32 and has played 359 NHL games, 36 last year and hasn't played in the minors since 2016.

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Watched the "Embedded" doc on Youtube a bit ago; Adams and staff repeatedly discussed amongst each other what a "Sabre is". They definitely have a preconceived notion of what our players are going to be like going forward. What that is exactly I'm not sure of yet. Seems like they have a vision though. 

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4 hours ago, I-90 W said:

Watched the "Embedded" doc on Youtube a bit ago; Adams and staff repeatedly discussed amongst each other what a "Sabre is". They definitely have a preconceived notion of what our players are going to be like going forward. What that is exactly I'm not sure of yet. Seems like they have a vision though. 

Actually, we have a pretty solid idea of “What is a Sabre”.

 

F607EDED-A83A-41D0-AC49-E7F535C25551.png

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5 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

No.  Davidson is the LHD according to capfriendly

Capfriendly isn’t a depth chart.  It just lists the players under contract in order of AAV.

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2 minutes ago, Curt said:

Actually, we have a pretty solid idea of “What is a Sabre”.

 

F607EDED-A83A-41D0-AC49-E7F535C25551.png

Lol.
 

Like all of us, the last nine years has built in a “I’ll believe it when I see it” attitude. Though I am feeling optimistic the last week or so!

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1 minute ago, I-90 W said:

Lol.
 

Like all of us, the last nine years has built in a “I’ll believe it when I see it” attitude. Though I am feeling optimistic the last week or so!

Well, when they speak internally about what a Sabre is, this is what they are referring to.  They defined it and post it in the offices.

Whether that will in practice lead to success, I’ve no clue.

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3 minutes ago, Curt said:

Well, when they speak internally about what a Sabre is, this is what they are referring to.  They defined it and post it in the offices.

Whether that will in practice lead to success, I’ve no clue.

Sorry I wasn’t trying to be snarky to you I thought you were joking/ poking fun of that sheet. 

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