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2020/21 preview and expectations thread


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14 hours ago, SwampD said:

It's rye. Don't get me wrong, I like it. But get over yourself, rye.

WTF you have against rye bread?? My memories of Kaufman's Rye Bread dipped in bacon grease, my achy breaky cholesterol filled heart. 

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2 hours ago, Cal Naughton Jr said:

I make bread for a living. It’s definitely multigrain bread. Without rye bread, what would a Reuben sandwich be? Multigrain, 12 grain, it’s all BS

Rye is the bread to use when you want to punch a sandwich up or make it unique. Reubens and patty melts are built on good ryes. The beef on weck relies on caraway seeds. Rye isn't overrated. As Bogart once said, "I got a pretty good bottle of rye in my pocket" and... well.

Agreed that any ##/multi-grain is overrated. How many "healthy" and "old-world" grains can we fit into this loaf? I don't care. A bread shouldn't crumble when used in a sandwich.

The other contender I want to mention because of its current trendiness is sourdough. Because a lot of wannabe home-baker/chef types have are exploring their quarantine time, everyone and their mother is chirping about their "starter" and making their own amazing sourdough. And while sourdough is a delicious bread, it's not the end-all/be-all of bread (no bread is; they all have their place). But people championing in it in the short-term makes it overrated.

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2 hours ago, Cal Naughton Jr said:

I make bread for a living. It’s definitely multigrain bread. Without rye bread, what would a Reuben sandwich be? Multigrain, 12 grain, it’s all BS

Love me a good Reuben !

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1 hour ago, SwampD said:

I like rye. I even said as much.

Everyone’s reaction to my post, though, has done nothing but confirm my initial statement that it is overrated.

People seem to be having difficulty understanding that you separated "worst" from "overrated," quite appropriately IMHO.

Good to see though that all agree that particle board multigrain is, in fact, the worst.

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3 hours ago, SwampD said:

I like rye. I even said as much.

Everyone’s reaction to my post, though, has done nothing but confirm my initial statement that it is overrated.

Never said you didn’t like it. Awesome. I like it too. A loaf of rye bread with dill dip is a very underrated appetizer. Also, what have we come to when we are sitting here arguing about the most overrated breads. 

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15 minutes ago, Cal Naughton Jr said:

Never said you didn’t like it. Awesome. I like it too. A loaf of rye bread with dill dip is a very underrated appetizer. Also, what have we come to when we are sitting here arguing about the most overrated breads. 

It says that this is our preview and expectation of what we will be talking about once the season is officially cancelled.

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On 11/21/2020 at 10:44 AM, dudacek said:

I'm sick of it being the offseason and fully expect Sabres to be on the ice for training camp in three or four weeks.

We need a place to talk about what's been done, what needs to be done, what's going to happen in training camp and how all that is shaping our expectations for the coming season.

 

NHL.com has its Sabres previews up and that's as good as any a place to start:

*Inside look at Buffalo Sabres: Hope additions of Hall, Staal will help end playoff drought at nine seasons

https://www.nhl.com/news/2020-21-buffalo-sabres-season-preview/c-319630064?tid=290471364

* Three questions facing Buffalo Sabres: Reaching playoffs with Hall joining Eichel, rebound by Skinner among concerns

https://www.nhl.com/news/2020-21-sabres-breakdown-key-factors/c-319630066?tid=290471364

* Buffalo Sabres key statistics: Ullmark among best goalies at even strength; Eakin should help penalty kill

https://www.nhl.com/news/2020-21-sabres-numbers-stats-analysis/c-319629642?tid=290471364

* Top prospects for Buffalo Sabres: Cozens expected in lineup this season, other young talent on cusp

https://www.nhl.com/news/buffalo-sabres-prospect-watch/c-319629630?tid=290471364

* Buffalo Sabres fantasy preview for 2020-21: Eichel has potential to score 100 points; Olofsson upside appealing

https://www.nhl.com/news/2020-21-sabres-fantasy-hockey-preview/c-319629640?tid=290471364

 

Or there is this response from veteran Athletic columnist Eric Duhatschek when asked which team will be the biggest surprise in terms of success?

"If you’re looking for a team in the bottom third that could take a quantum leap forward, I will opt for Buffalo, assuming the goaltending holds up. They’re a year older, they’ve gotten to know coach Ralph Krueger and they’ve got a motivated Taylor Hall signed to a one-year deal, coming in with something to prove. That’s a pretty solid defence corps too; it surprises me how little attention Rasmus Dahlin gets these days compared to some of the other exceptional young defencemen in the game (Cale Makar, Quinn Hughes, Miro Heiskanen). But I see Dahlin moving up the defensive ranks significantly in the next 12 months and I see Buffalo making a playoff push as a result."

 

What do people think? Are we finally going to be relevant again? Why or why not?

It surprises Eric Doohickie-stick that Dahlin doesn’t get the pub that his more successful peers are getting?

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On 11/21/2020 at 12:46 PM, Zamboni said:

Simply put,, I expect the team as a whole to have an uptick in goals scored. A downtick in goals against. I expect the goalies to “look better” but only because the team in front of them is better, not because they magically became better. I still feel that is the Sabres weakest position. 

Once the roster is pretty solidified after camp, or by the time any preseason games are played, maybe doing a points prediction thread is in order.

Generally speaking, if your +/- differential on team goals is even or slightly positive, you are in the playoffs (or at least fighting for that last spot in the conference.)

Last year the Sabres were minus 22 for the (shortened) season. Can they make that up?

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Roster looks pretty much set. 

I expect an improved team, my guess puts them ~ 90 points in what would be a regular season, and short of the playoffs. 

Our offseason resembles a really good movie that seemingly wasn't able to stick the landing - it presents a good picture overall but the ending failed to do enough justice to what came before. Our forwards looks quite good to me,  and I'm thinking they'll be somewhat submarined by a run-back of the back 8 (D and G). 

There's only so much you can ask in a single offseason, D upgrades to me weren't really ever a likely possibility. But I do think not bringing in a capable goalie is what represents the potential fatal flaw of Jack and the Sabres' playoff hopes for the coming season, particularly in a condensed season when we will likely rely on the backup more. A backup who, if he returns to his level of play from pre-last season, still wouldn't be good enough. 

Botterill didn't add the 2C when it was necessary. I suspect Adams didn't add the G when it was necessary. A smaller omission to be SURE, but one still fairly disappointing considering the apparent avenues and ability (and to me, necessity) in getting something done on that front, especially considering the "go for it this year" nature of the forwards.

If Dahlin takes a big jump, and he's paired with someone not named Ristolainen in a top pair role, I think it's at least possible the team could surprise my projection if Ullmark is lights out, and our forwards remain relatively healthy. If Krueger intends to rely on Ristolainen, again, in a top pair role, again, playoffs are DOA IMO. 

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I think there is a good chance that this is how we start the season, but not how Adams wants to start the season.

I think he's the same as most of us: he wants to upgrade the goaltending and would like to balance the defence corps, he just has to find the right deals.

There is a large contingent of teams that will be making changes before the start of the season for financial reasons — either to get under the cap, or to get under an internal budget. There are a number of useful free agents still out there to be signed. The affected parties probably don't want to make these deals and are waiting until they have to before they do to see if something better shakes loose. There will be a wave once training camps are real.

I will be surprised if the Coyotes, for example, don't move a goalie prior to the season starting. The question is to who, and for what?

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Not that I want anyone gifted a spot in the lineup, but my biggest fear with Arttu Ruotsalainen is that if he doesn't make the team and is assigned to Rochester for seasoning, he goes running back to Finland.  Hopefully he either blows them away with a great training camp, or the NHL teams are allowed to have an expanded roster due to Covid circumstances.

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38 minutes ago, LabattBlue said:

Not that I want anyone gifted a spot in the lineup, but my biggest fear with Arttu Ruotsalainen is that if he doesn't make the team and is assigned to Rochester for seasoning, he goes running back to Finland.  Hopefully he either blows them away with a great training camp, or the NHL teams are allowed to have an expanded roster due to Covid circumstances.

 

Pretty sure that the Sabres deal with R2 was that if he didn't make the Sabres last year, he goes back to Finland and if he doesn't make it this year he goes to Rochester.

Also would love to know whether Pilut has an out in his KHL country and if Adams has tried to coerce him into using it.

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3 hours ago, LabattBlue said:

Not that I want anyone gifted a spot in the lineup, but my biggest fear with Arttu Ruotsalainen is that if he doesn't make the team and is assigned to Rochester for seasoning, he goes running back to Finland.  Hopefully he either blows them away with a great training camp, or the NHL teams are allowed to have an expanded roster due to Covid circumstances.

 

Whether there are expanded rosters or not will likely depend on whether the AHL opens for business or not.

It'll be real interesting to see how they handle the contracts of those players 24-26? 30? other? as the owners will want them earning their AHL salaries & the NHLPA won't want them counting towards the players' share of revenues.  My guess is those players would get their AHL salaries & expect they would be considered outside the "actual" rostered players for inclusion in total nominal player contracts leaguewide but not positive about the latter & also not sure whether those salaries would count against the NHL team's costs or the AHL squad's costs.  It doesn't matter for the teams that both the NHL club & the farm team are owned by the same group, but don't know how many franchises follow the Pegula ownership model.

It also would be interesting to know what, if anything, the NHL clubs end up doing to keep their farm clubs viable with few, if any, fans allowed to watch assuming they even play.

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