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Buffalo Sabres Training Camp (2020/21)


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1 hour ago, Taro T said:

Did the coaches choose or the players.  Would be rude for Okposo to say no if his teammates decided he should have the letter.  (Tweet didn't say who made the decisions.)

I thought last year was coaches and I assumed the same but could easily be wrong.

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3 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Culture is BS.  The Patriots have a winning culture and it didn't do them much good this season without a decent QB and guys who can catch the football.  What happened to the winning culture in Edm and Det when the great players got old or left town?

 

3 hours ago, Thorny said:

Agree. Winning begets culture, not the other way around. 

Appealing to these players' competitive nature is about the only thing that has a long-term sustainable pull to rival that of $ (even then, it's secondary)

I disagree.

I believe that culture is definitely a thing.  Having an environment where everyone feels that their contributions are valued and everyone is working hard, with team goals in mind.  It raises the ceiling of what a group can achieve together.

Of course I won’t be so foolish as to suggest that a good culture can magically turn a group of scrubs into a championship team.  Culture is not magic dust that you sprinkle in the locker room.  It’s generally instilled by team members who have a gift for, or have learned how to inspire a positive, team focused attitude in those around them.  If those players are stripped away, the culture can disappear with them.

What happened to the Oilers after they traded Wayne Gretzky?  They won another Stanley Cup.

What did the Bulls do the season that Jordan was playing baseball?  They still won 55 games.

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1 hour ago, Curt said:

 

I disagree.

I believe that culture is definitely a thing.  Having an environment where everyone feels that their contributions are valued and everyone is working hard, with team goals in mind.  It raises the ceiling of what a group can achieve together.

Of course I won’t be so foolish as to suggest that a good culture can magically turn a group of scrubs into a championship team.  Culture is not magic dust that you sprinkle in the locker room.  It’s generally instilled by team members who have a gift for, or have learned how to inspire a positive, team focused attitude in those around them.  If those players are stripped away, the culture can disappear with them.

What happened to the Oilers after they traded Wayne Gretzky?  They won another Stanley Cup.

What did the Bulls do the season that Jordan was playing baseball?  They still won 55 games.

Cause they were still ridiculously stacked. Like how the Avs won the cup in 01 without a player as good as Forsberg. 

And the Raptors won 50+ without Kawhi then got steamrolled when the games mattered. 

The environment where people feel their contributions are valued arises when the goals being set by the collective are being met. Then, people will be buying into the small individual things they are being asked to do, because seeing is believing - and they can see the net output is a success. 

That's culture. It's a talent tipping point, followed buy full-scale buy-in. Talent first, culture second. 

When one begets the other, you go for the one that's easiest to achieve, first. If you get enough talent, you WILL eventually achieve a semblance of winning, at which point you can start harnessing the culture. There isn't some achievable amount of "culture" that guarantees success. 

Edited by Thorny
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1 hour ago, Curt said:

This is bizarre.  They can’t and won’t?  

Some of those guys absolutely can and have produced at a rate of over 20 points per season.  Here are their 82 game scoring rates over the past two seasons.

Eakin- 25, 43  
Sheahan- 19, 19  
Okposo- 30, 30  
Lazar- 22, 15  
Reider- 15, 13

So, Okposo and Eakin consistently produce over that rate.  Sheahan is right there, just below.  Lazar, maybe/maybe not, personally I think he has a little upside (just a little) but that’s just me.  Reider has simply not produced offense the past coupe seasons.

Also, I personally don’t think all 5 of those guys will be in the lineup very often.  However, I think a big part of our disagreement on this is based in our degrees of certainty about what the lineup will be.  You seem to be assuming that Skinner will be stuck with Sheahan and Lazar the majority of the time and that all 5 of those guys will be in the lineup most of the time.  I think Cozens is going to play.  I’ll also be upset if Skinner-Sheahan-Lazar is a thing that happens more than a few games.

Those bolded guys aren't right there, those totals are over 82 games, and I believe he was talking 20 points, THIS year. But I could be wrong on that. 

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There is no doubt that eventually talent trumps everything, but when building a foundation, how you treat people and getting the right people is important. I was attacked before for saying this but KO is a guy that is beloved in the locker room and plqyers in the room and players around the league notice how you take care of guys like him.

I liken him to Phil Villapiano. The Bills got crushed in that trade. Bobby Chandler was awesome. But guys like Vilapiano, Isaiah Robertson and Conrad Dobler were vital to the franchise turnaround even though they were all backups by the time the team was a contender.

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6 minutes ago, Thorny said:

Those bolded guys aren't right there, those totals are over 82 games, and I believe he was talking 20 points, THIS year. But I could be wrong on that. 

Oh, well if we are looking for players to get 20 points in 56 games, then yeah, none of them are doing that except Eakin maybe.

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3 minutes ago, Curt said:

Oh, well if we are looking for players to get 20 points in 56 games, then yeah, none of them are doing that except Eakin maybe.

I could be wrong, he could have meant prorated.

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11 minutes ago, Thorny said:

Those bolded guys aren't right there, those totals are over 82 games, and I believe he was talking 20 points, THIS year. But I could be wrong on that. 

You are correct, although for some of these plumbers 20 points over a full season would be extremely difficult.  In addition how many of these guys will suit up every night?  Remember these guys are at the bottom of the roster for a reason.  

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I believe our philosophy and talent on the middle/bottom 6 for the last few years being off has been a huge part of the problem, but the philosophy being first.

When they have no puck possession, don't forecheck hard, and don't forecheck quickly, then defenders can rest.  It doesn't matter if Lazar is a sub-par NHL player, if he is getting out there every shift and forcing defenders to get dog tired, he is softening them up lategame for the top lines to take advantage.  If their strategy is to fail to carry the puck into the zone and barely move the puck around, then we are playing into the other team's comfort zone and simultaneously making it harder on our top lines.

 

Get me some speedy grinders and who cares if they don't score.  It'll boost the production out of the other lines.  Put Skinner on a 4th line and defenders will never have an easy shift since they'll always have to be looking behind their back for his such awkward playstyle.

 

I wouldn't get hung up on how many points some veteran bottom-6 NHL player made.  The question I want to know is do other team's defenders groan if they have to play against them.  Now you can argue whether they need to be physical or fast, but we've had neither in our middle-6 for years (if you call the GLO line a 2nd line like they were honestly deployed).

 

Now I see serious offensive threats on three lines and the third line with speedy Rieder and Okposo who has a real shot to worry about and the body to be in dangerous positions.

If you just rely on talent to have an effective bottom-6, you'll never have an effective bottom-6.  That's where you need culture to get the most out of those guys.  It's a team game.  When players don't trust each other then every player plays 30% worse than they are capable of, at least.  That's what bad culture gets you.  Yes, you can still try to 'out talent' that gap, but how did no Bills team of the 90s reinforce to you that excessive talent still didn't matter when push comes to shove?  And hockey playoffs are 7-game series.  Teams don't fluke their way through.  Talent first teams always drop out of the second round.

 

We paid top dollar for talent.  We sucked for a decade to draft the rest.  We have the talent where it's needed.  The game changer now will be culture, to ensure we get the most out of the other 40% of icetime, which will translate into helping the other 60% when they're working hard.

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41 minutes ago, triumph_communes said:

I believe our philosophy and talent on the middle/bottom 6 for the last few years being off has been a huge part of the problem, but the philosophy being first.

When they have no puck possession, don't forecheck hard, and don't forecheck quickly, then defenders can rest.  It doesn't matter if Lazar is a sub-par NHL player, if he is getting out there every shift and forcing defenders to get dog tired, he is softening them up lategame for the top lines to take advantage.  If their strategy is to fail to carry the puck into the zone and barely move the puck around, then we are playing into the other team's comfort zone and simultaneously making it harder on our top lines.

 

Get me some speedy grinders and who cares if they don't score.  It'll boost the production out of the other lines.  Put Skinner on a 4th line and defenders will never have an easy shift since they'll always have to be looking behind their back for his such awkward playstyle.

 

I wouldn't get hung up on how many points some veteran bottom-6 NHL player made.  The question I want to know is do other team's defenders groan if they have to play against them.  Now you can argue whether they need to be physical or fast, but we've had neither in our middle-6 for years (if you call the GLO line a 2nd line like they were honestly deployed).

 

Now I see serious offensive threats on three lines and the third line with speedy Rieder and Okposo who has a real shot to worry about and the body to be in dangerous positions.

If you just rely on talent to have an effective bottom-6, you'll never have an effective bottom-6.  That's where you need culture to get the most out of those guys.  It's a team game.  When players don't trust each other then every player plays 30% worse than they are capable of, at least.  That's what bad culture gets you.  Yes, you can still try to 'out talent' that gap, but how did no Bills team of the 90s reinforce to you that excessive talent still didn't matter when push comes to shove?  And hockey playoffs are 7-game series.  Teams don't fluke their way through.  Talent first teams always drop out of the second round.

 

We paid top dollar for talent.  We sucked for a decade to draft the rest.  We have the talent where it's needed.  The game changer now will be culture, to ensure we get the most out of the other 40% of icetime, which will translate into helping the other 60% when they're working hard.

You overlook the goalie question, but other than that I think you’ve captured very well what Ralph and Kevyn believe and are trying to implement.

Edited by dudacek
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On 1/13/2021 at 8:08 PM, dudacek said:

He's starting on the taxi squad

Ah might not be bad, give him personal work out to bulk up, junior season still in limbo I take it ?   And keep him training at a high level.

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On 1/13/2021 at 8:08 PM, dudacek said:

He's starting on the taxi squad

Ah might not be bad, give him personal work out to bulk up, junior season still in limbo I take it ?   And keep him training at a high level.

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