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On 12/8/2020 at 11:08 AM, LGR4GM said:

Cozens will be with Staal so he can learn how to be a really good 2way center. 

How does playing RW teach someone how to play center?  The best way to learn to play center in the NHL is to actually play center.  He’d learn more from doing film sessions with the coaches and other centers and from talking with them about his mistakes while playing center.  

Also I’m concerned that putting him in top 6 spot as a first year pro is the same mistake we made with Mitts and Grigorenko.  

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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8 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Has does playing RW teach someone how to play center?  The best way to learn to play center in the NHL is to actually play center.  He’d learn more from doing film sessions with the coaches and other centers and from talking with them about his mistakes while playing center.  

Also I’m concerned that putting him in top 6 spot as a first year pro is the same mistake we made with Mitts and Grigorenko.  

Because Staal and Cozens can switch on shifts and Staal can then cover Cozens if he screws up. Being on the ice with someone like Staal will teach Cozens a lot. 

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8 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Because Staal and Cozens can switch on shifts and Staal can then cover Cozens if he screws up. Being on the ice with someone like Staal will teach Cozens a lot. 

The more important issue isn't pairing Cozens on the second line with Staal to accelerate his learning curve as it is assembling players who make up the best second line. I don't see Cozens right from the start fitting that criterion. Maybe as the seasons progresses and he demonstrates that he is a better option on the second line he will earn a move up from a lower line. But to start him off there doesn't best help the line or help him. 

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24 minutes ago, JohnC said:

The more important issue isn't pairing Cozens on the second line with Staal to accelerate his learning curve as it is assembling players who make up the best second line. I don't see Cozens right from the start fitting that criterion. Maybe as the seasons progresses and he demonstrates that he is a better option on the second line he will earn a move up from a lower line. But to start him off there doesn't best help the line or help him. 

Part of the fascination with Dylan Cozens is that it might.

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8 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Part of the fascination with Dylan Cozens is that it might.

I'm open to all options. Training camp is going to be abbreviated so he will have even less time to acclimate to the NHL. If he demonstrates right from the start that he can handle a second line role then more power to him. He will then have earned his role. However, it makes little sense to me to automatically put him on the second line for the purpose of accelerating his development. It not only could retard his development but also make this team less competitive.  

I have high hopes for Cozens. What I foresee for him is the Kirby Dach track i.e. his role increasing as he plays more. Cozens is a player I'm really excited about. Hopefully, as the season moves forward he will advance as a player and earn a more prominent role. 

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4 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Has does playing RW teach someone how to play center?  The best way to learn to play center in the NHL is to actually play center.  He’d learn more from doing film sessions with the coaches and other centers and from talking with them about his mistakes while playing center.  

Also I’m concerned that putting him in top 6 spot as a first year pro is the same mistake we made with Mitts and Grigorenko.  

I, too am not convinced there's data to support the idea that a player would learn another position while playing another. 

It IS about maximizing the lineup, though, so there's a chance Cozens gets his start at RW in the top 6, if that's where things fit best for the team. My personal guess is it doesn't shake out that way - I could see Skinner being on line 3 (Krueger) but likely Hall/Skinner are the top 2 LWs. Personally I think VO needs to be in the top 6, I think he'd be utilized well there and a bit of a liability on a lower line. So I have him switching to the right side, and we have Reinhart, so I think that leaves Cozens on line 3. But that's just my guess.

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My low expectation level for Cozens is that he makes the team. Stays healthy. That he isn’t a liability on the Ice too often. That he shows improvement in all aspects over the course of 56 games or whatever the season is. I don’t need him to be in the top six. I don’t need him to get 35-40 points in the shortened regular season. As a rookie, I don’t need him to “wow me” with sick mitts and highlight reel goals or plays. If he does ... well, that’s a bonus. As a sophomore, I’ll hope he builds on a good solid rookie campaign.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm downgrading Cozens based on his play tonight.  He was challenged for the first time this tourney and disappeared.  That doesn't bode well for being NHL ready.

Obviously that opinion can change when we see him and camp, but as of right now, I'd say he isn't ready.  Also I don't want to force him into the lineup.  We harmed Mitts and Grigorenko by doing that.  I'd hate to make that mistake again.

With Mitts, Thompson and Routsalainen making favorable first impressions in camp, maybe the better plan is to go with them.

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Posted (edited)

So with Z out for the season, who are the candidates to replace him?

Part of the answer has to come what KA and RK envisioned his role this season.  He skated about 13:30 minutes per game for about the last 4 years.  However, he scored double figures In goals last season for the first time in 5 years.  
Did KA envision a bigger role for Z this season with 3rd line minutes with Eakin as his center to try to improve secondary scoring or was it back to the 4th line minutes with Lazar or Sheahan as his center?

Candidates (I’m assuming that VO is now the 2nd line RW)

1. Mittelstadt - This could be the opportunity he  needs to earn his way back into the lineup.  Playmaking ability could help Eakin regain his scoring touch.

2.  Lazar - With Sheahan ability to play center Lazar could easily be moved to LW.  Effort guy who has the talent to give at least what Z gave us last season.

3. Rieder - Maybe the most likely candidate.  KA signed him to help the PK.  This is a way to insure he is in the lineup every night.

4. Sheahan -Z’s injury likely means he gets signed to an NHL deal for added depth. LW/C could easily be moved to LW with Lazar at center.  Has posted similar numbers to Z.

5. Asplund - Another LW/C looking for an opportunity.

6. Thompson - looked good in scrimmage.  If management wants Cozens at RW in the lineup, do they move Thompson to LW?

7. Routsalainen - see Mitts

Others CJ Smith?

3rd line -  ????? Eakin Cozens/Okposo

4th line - ?????  Lazar/Sheahan Okposo/Cozens

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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1 hour ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

That answers the 4th line question.  So who are Eakin’s wingers?

Initially Rieder and Okposo

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Initially Rieder and Okposo

Are you sure?  I'm thinking Rieder and Okposo will be the 4th line and centered by Lazar.  They may want Eakin to be more of a offensive line.  Something like Mitts Eakin Thompson

Edit:  I looked at the training camp lines am very disappointed with Rieder Eakin KO.  Having Rieder in anything but a 4th line role is a mistake.  Having Rieder and KO with Eakin wastes Eakin's offensive upside.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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Lines never stay the same, and Ralph dos t number them, so....?

I’m just going from these Tweets from today:

Krueger said Rieder will get the first shot to take 28's place on the line
 
 
Ralph Krueger said Tobias Rieder will be asked to fill Girgensons’ spot at 5 on 5. Wants to see Rieder and Okposo develop “synergy” in the coming practices
Edited by dudacek
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1 hour ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Are you sure?  I'm thinking Rieder and Okposo will be the 4th line and centered by Lazar.  They may want Eakin to be more of a offensive line.  Something like Mitts Eakin Thompson

Edit:  I looked at the training camp lines am very disappointed with Rieder Eakin KO.  Having Rieder in anything but a 4th line role is a mistake.  Having Rieder and KO with Eakin wastes Eakin's offensive upside.

I don’t get this hard distinction you are trying draw between a 3rd and 4th line.  Ralph has not deployed his players like that.  It seems like the two bottom 6 lines will get similar ice time this season.

Last season the top line got heavy mins, and the other 3 lines got almost the same ice time for most of the season.

This season, it looks like the top 2 lines will get a lot of mind, and the bottom 2 lines will get less, but similar mins.

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9 minutes ago, Curt said:

 

I don’t get this hard distinction you are trying draw between a 3rd and 4th line.  Ralph has not deployed his players like that.  It seems like the two bottom 6 lines will get similar ice time this season.

Last season the top line got heavy mins, and the other 3 lines got almost the same ice time for most of the season.

This season, it looks like the top 2 lines will get a lot of mind, and the bottom 2 lines will get less, but similar mins.

I thought the goal of this off-season was to improve the offense and roll 3 lines that can score.  That leaves a 4th line that serves as a shutdown line.

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9 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I thought the goal of this off-season was to improve the offense and roll 3 lines that can score.  That leaves a 4th line that serves as a shutdown line.

That may be possible, to create 3 real scoring lines, but that’s not what’s been happening.  Looks like they are going to stack the top 2 lines instead, and just kind of figure out the bottom 2.

So I expect to see the top 6 get heavy mins, and the bottom 6 get significantly less. Probably with lines 1/2 and 3/4 getting similar ice time to each other.

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19 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I thought the goal of this off-season was to improve the offense and roll 3 lines that can score.  That leaves a 4th line that serves as a shutdown line.

I haven’t seen Adams or Krueger say anything like this.

They said the wanted to add more scoring, but that’s not the same thing.

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27 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I thought the goal of this off-season was to improve the offense and roll 3 lines that can score.  That leaves a 4th line that serves as a shutdown line.

Umm, that would be a stretch goal beyond fixing the GTing at a minimum.  The goals were to:

get a real 2C - check

add a top 6 winger - check

reorient the forwards in a way that the checking line is no longer the 2nd line in both talent & ice time - (top 2 lines are true top 2 lines, and now 3rd best line is checking line (or it was prior to the scrimmage and likely still is) - check

improve the PK - presumably between Reider, Eakin, Hall, & Sheahan (now that Z is out) that will be checked off as well

Rebalance the D - not accomplished per se, but if the pairings can be consistent & Dahlin continues his maturation - possible check

Fix the GT - Do you believe in miracles?  If, yes, check.  If not, hopefully something happens in the next week.

Get useful play from line 4 - likely, but even if they're overmatched at times, better your worst line getting overmatched rather than your 2nd scoring line.

Improve the depth. - check, but maybe/probably not well enough to handle an injury plague.

Adams addressed a lot of issues and, if he can make a GT trade, arguably he addressed them all without selling the future.

But really can't envision a scenario where the defensively responsible preaching coach is rolling 3 lines without at least 1 of them being a checking line.  That's what Adams assembled & it appears Krueger is deploying.

Edited by Taro T
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My ideal realistic lines are something like:

Hall-Eichel-Olofsson, 17 ES mins, neutral usage, 1st scoring line

Skinner-Staal-Reinhart, 17 ES mins, neutral usage, 2nd scoring line

Reider/Lazar-Eakin-Okposo, 11 ES mins, slight defensive usage, responsible bottom 6 line

3 of (Cozens, Thompson, Mittelstadt, Routsalainen, maybe with a guy like Reider/Lazar/Okposo mixed in), 11 ES mins, slight sheltered usage, young offensive bottom 6 line

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Posted (edited)

Why sign Eakin over Larsson if your goal wasn't to build a reasonable 3rd scoring line?  He is not the defensive player Larsson is but he is a much better offensive player (a 40 pt player annually before last season) while being decent defensively.  Creating a shutdown with Eakin centering Z (before the injury) and KO over Larsson honestly makes no sense.  Z and KO won't help Eakin recover his offense (KO's production in his 4 years in Buffalo is decreasing annually from .69 pts/gp down to .36 pts/gp last year) and since Eakin isn't as good defensively as Larsson it also compromises their shutdown effectiveness.  

Considering most of our near ready prospects, like Mitts, Thompson, Cozens, and Routsalainen, are skilled forwards, I assumed (maybe incorrectly) KA signed a smart two way vet center like Eakin to shepherd a couple of these kids and create a 3rd scoring line.  

Now having Eakin center ham handed Rieder with the diminishing KO makes even less sense.  

Having a bottom six of 

Rieder Eakin KO

Sheahan Lazar Thompson  

is garbage but this is where we seem to be heading

On the other hand we could do the following

Hall Eichel Reinhart

Skinner Staal Thompson

Olofsson Eakin Cozens

Rieder Lazar KO

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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15 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Why sign Eakin over Larsson if your goal wasn't to build a reasonable 3rd scoring line?  He is not the defensive player Larsson is but he is a much better offensive player (a 40 pt player annually before last season) while being decent defensively.  Creating a shutdown with Eakin centering Z (before the injury) and KO over Larsson honestly makes no sense.  Z and KO won't help Eakin recover his offense (KO's production in his 4 years in Buffalo is decreasing annually from .69 pts/gp down to .36 pts/gp last year) and since Eakin isn't as good defensively as Larsson it also compromises their shutdown effectiveness.  

Considering most of our near ready prospects, like Mitts, Thompson, Cozens, and Routsalainen, are skilled forwards, I assumed (maybe incorrectly) KA signed a smart two way vet center like Eakin to shepherd a couple of these kids and create a 3rd scoring line.  

Now having Eakin center ham handed Rieder with the diminishing KO makes even less sense.  

Having a bottom six of 

Rieder Eakin KO

Sheahan Lazar Thompson  

is garbage but this is where we seem to be heading

On the other hand we could do the following

Hall Eichel Reinhart

Skinner Staal Thompson

Olofsson Eakin Cozens

Rieder Lazar KO

I don’t think it was the Sabres choice.  It seemed like Larson wanted out.

Maybe they don’t want to use a line as much defensively as they did last season.  That was extreme.  There isn’t anything wrong with a line that can still be pretty good defensively, and produce a little more offense too.

I really don’t think we will see that much of Sheahan.  I have a hard time projecting that when he doesn’t even have a contract.

I don’t know.  Ralph switched around lines quite a bit last season.  At least 2 of them.

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6 minutes ago, Curt said:

I don’t think it was the Sabres choice.  It seemed like Larson wanted out.

Maybe they don’t want to use a line as much defensively as they did last season.  That was extreme.  There isn’t anything wrong with a line that can still be pretty good defensively, and produce a little more offense too.

I really don’t think we will see that much of Sheahan.  I have a hard time projecting that when he doesn’t even have a contract.

I don’t know.  Ralph switched around lines quite a bit last season.  At least 2 of them.

It’s possible Larsson wanted out.  He and his agent probably read @LGR4GM posts and over valued his worth in the open market and priced himself out of Buffalo as well.

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1 minute ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

It’s possible Larsson wanted out.  He and his agent probably read @LGR4GM posts and over valued his worth in the open market and priced himself out of Buffalo as well.

Seems like there was never any real discussion between him and the Sabres.  I think he was just over it.

Didn’t someone here say that Larsson hated his extremely heavy defensive useage?  I don’t remember who.  Maybe he didn’t want to come back for another go round of that.

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5 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

It’s possible Larsson wanted out.  He and his agent probably read @LGR4GM posts and over valued his worth in the open market and priced himself out of Buffalo as well.

Idk what i said, but maybe. 

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