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Fixing the Sabres Long-Term - Can it be done?


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How does Dahlin have the best rookie season ever in the history of time for an 18 yr old Dman and not actually win the Calder?  He had a helluva rookie season.  Anything above that is arguable.

He's got a serious flaw in his game for a generational talent.  I'm not sure what it is.  Maybe its between his ears.  Hopefully he can work past it. 

I still think it is a lack of someone to mentor him.  I'm not sure if there is an adequate alternative.

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15 minutes ago, Weave said:

How does Dahlin have the best rookie season ever in the history of time for an 18 yr old Dman and not actually win the Calder?  He had a helluva rookie season.  Anything above that is arguable.

He's got a serious flaw in his game for a generational talent.  I'm not sure what it is.  Maybe its between his ears.  Hopefully he can work past it. 

I still think it is a lack of someone to mentor him.  I'm not sure if there is an adequate alternative.

I think the system has stifled his creativity.  I believe he is over thinking every play instead of letting his great instincts takeover.  

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1 minute ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I think the system has stifled his creativity.  I believe he is over thinking every play instead of letting his great instincts takeover.  

And he’ll get past it. It’s no different then Modano’s first season and a half with Hitchcock. 

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Just now, GASabresIUFAN said:

I think the system has stifled his creativity.  I believe he is over thinking every play instead of letting his great instincts takeover.  

If this is true, then it’s something that he needs to work through.  If he is going to be a great player, he needs to be able to play a strong game in his own zone.

You can’t blame Krueger for Dahlin’s execution mistakes.

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37 minutes ago, Weave said:

How does Dahlin have the best rookie season ever in the history of time for an 18 yr old Dman and not actually win the Calder?  He had a helluva rookie season.  Anything above that is arguable.

He's got a serious flaw in his game for a generational talent.  I'm not sure what it is.  Maybe its between his ears.  Hopefully he can work past it. 

I still think it is a lack of someone to mentor him.  I'm not sure if there is an adequate alternative.

Great, ignore the substance of my post, that he did indeed have an indisputably good season (isn't that how this conversation started?) and nitpick the terminology I used to describe it. 

Anyways, he didn't win it cause they give to it the guy who scores the most Pointzzzzzz

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42 minutes ago, Weave said:

How does Dahlin have the best rookie season ever in the history of time for an 18 yr old Dman and not actually win the Calder?  He had a helluva rookie season.  Anything above that is arguable.

He's got a serious flaw in his game for a generational talent.  I'm not sure what it is.  Maybe its between his ears.  Hopefully he can work past it. 

I still think it is a lack of someone to mentor him.  I'm not sure if there is an adequate alternative.

Also, I said "perhaps". His 18 year old season is certainly in that convo 

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21 minutes ago, Thorny said:

Great, ignore the substance of my post, that he did indeed have an indisputably good season (isn't that how this conversation started?) and nitpick the terminology I used to describe it. 

Anyways, he didn't win it cause they give to it the guy who scores the most Pointzzzzzz

 

16 minutes ago, Thorny said:

Also, I said "perhaps". His 18 year old season is certainly in that convo 

why so serious joker GIF

Yes, point 1 was focused on one sentence.  The rest was my continuing rant that we still haven't addressed badly needed mentoring over the last 5+ seasons.

Just you wait until my razor sharp daggers are pointed at GA and his ridiculous notion that we should be playing more prospects.  😈

 

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My 2 cents:

- a teardown and rebuild at this point would be insane IMHO.

- the first priority needs to be ensuring that the Sabres have good to very good goaltending.  If it’s Ullmark, fine, but we can’t keep just hoping for the best on this.

- as others have noted, the Sabres need a couple of vets who can provide leadership, toughness and quality play.  I’m thinking of guys like Grier and Teppo on the 2005-06 team.  They may or may not be able to get some of that this year from Staal.

- I think Cozens is going to become a guy they can count on for leadership and intensity pretty soon.

- As others have noted, the lack of an immediate, punishing response to the Dahlin sucker punch was disappointing.  Ideally they would have a guy like Tom Wilson to respond in those situations, but guys like that who can both play and intimidate are rare.

- I like RK and the improvements in their defensive zone play are significant and to his credit IMHO, but the jury is still out.  He needs to get more out of Skinner, he needs to deliver better PP and PK play and if Dahlin regresses on his watch that will be a major black mark.  I also think there is too much dump and chase in their offensive system and not enough controlled entries.

- just so everyone is clear:  this is why you don’t tank — because this awful, endless period of living in the smelly, moldy, boring, lifeless NHL basement and being unable to get out is usually what happens.  

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14 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

My 2 cents:

- a teardown and rebuild at this point would be insane IMHO.

- the first priority needs to be ensuring that the Sabres have good to very good goaltending.  If it’s Ullmark, fine, but we can’t keep just hoping for the best on this.

- as others have noted, the Sabres need a couple of vets who can provide leadership, toughness and quality play.  I’m thinking of guys like Grier and Teppo on the 2005-06 team.  They may or may not be able to get some of that this year from Staal.

- I think Cozens is going to become a guy they can count on for leadership and intensity pretty soon.

- As others have noted, the lack of an immediate, punishing response to the Dahlin sucker punch was disappointing.  Ideally they would have a guy like Tom Wilson to respond in those situations, but guys like that who can both play and intimidate are rare.

- I like RK and the improvements in their defensive zone play are significant and to his credit IMHO, but the jury is still out.  He needs to get more out of Skinner, he needs to deliver better PP and PK play and if Dahlin regresses on his watch that will be a major black mark.  I also think there is too much dump and chase in their offensive system and not enough controlled entries.

- just so everyone is clear:  this is why you don’t tank — because this awful, endless period of living in the smelly, moldy, boring, lifeless NHL basement and being unable to get out is usually what happens.  

While I admit I was 100% for tearing it down, I do fully concede my timeline was the 2019/2020 season to be back in playoff contention with a fully stocked roster of success. That has failed here, and failed spectacularly to be honest. With that said and full confessional price of "I will not support a tear down again" written 1,000,000 times on the chalk board, I to believe as you that there is hope. Unfortunately, until management and coaching staff grab buckets and jump in the bailing line with the rest of us, that hope will have to be left in the collection plate.

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3 hours ago, Pimlach said:

Dahlin may indeed work hard in practice and in off season training.   The frustration I sense from fans is that he does not always play hard.   Like with an intensity to excel on every shift. 

There are too many shifts that do not generate offense, his forte, and the recent lackluster play in front of our net where intensity to clear rebounds and move people out is needed.  Some suggest that RK‘s system is limiting him. t - we are looking for a “generational talent” that comes in and make us better.  Perhaps unrealistic and unreasonable expectations.  Fair or not----

I think you last paragraph is spot on.  We do not need another tear down rebuild.  We need a great goalie and a few players that hate to lose and will do something about it.  

Of course the fans are frustrated with the play of Dahlin. So am I. But even for a player who was ordained to be a generational player playing a challenging position that doesn't mean that the unrealistic expectations of exasperated fans is going to make the youthful player an instant success. That's not how it works. Chara is going to enter the HOF when his career ends. How many years did it take for this tall and gangly player to develop into a premier defensive player? It took years!

The problem with Dahlin isn't that he doesn't play hard; the problem is he doesn't always play smart in the defensive side of the zone. He's a fluid skater and player who excels playing end to end hockey but when he has to play in his defensive zone his weaknesses in coverage are exposed. That's a part of his game that he has to work on. 

There are frustrated fans who are talking about trading Eichel and Dahlin. They are freaking crazy.

 

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5 minutes ago, JohnC said:

There are frustrated fans who are talking about trading Eichel and Dahlin. They are freaking crazy.

 

Show me the return first.  I'm not wedded to any of them.

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1 minute ago, Weave said:

Show me the return first.  I'm not wedded to any of them.

Eichel is currently one of the recognized premier players in the league. Dahlin entered the league when he was 18 yrs old and is now 20 yrs old. You don't have to be wedded to any player. They are going to be long-term anchor players for us who would gladly be divorced from your lack of affection. 

side note: Who is the union soldier in your profile? Is that you or a genuine civil war soldier? If you are a reenactor those sunglasses are too modern and make you out to be less authentic. Just curious??? Gettysburg is one of my favorite historical locations. 

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9 minutes ago, JohnC said:

Eichel is currently one of the recognized premier players in the league. Dahlin entered the league when he was 18 yrs old and is now 20 yrs old. You don't have to be wedded to any player. They are going to be long-term anchor players for us who would gladly be divorced from your lack of affection. 

side note: Who is the union soldier in your profile? Is that you or a genuine civil war soldier? If you are a reenactor those sunglasses are too modern and make you out to be less authentic. Just curious??? Gettysburg is one of my favorite historical locations. 

Gretz was traded and Edm won a cup not too long after.  Sometimes you take a step down in individual talent but increase team talent overall.

The pic is Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead fame.  \m/

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2 hours ago, Weave said:

Gretz was traded and Edm won a cup not too long after.  Sometimes you take a step down in individual talent but increase team talent overall.

The pic is Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead fame.  \m/

Sort of, they still had HOFers Fuhr, Messier, Anderson, Kurri, and Coffey.

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2 hours ago, Weave said:

Gretz was traded and Edm won a cup not too long after.  Sometimes you take a step down in individual talent but increase team talent overall.

The pic is Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead fame.  \m/

If you want to go backwards in order to eventually go forward that is your prerogative. I'm not taking that bumpy and rutted road. 

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1 minute ago, JohnC said:

If you want to go backwards in order to eventually go forward that is your prerogative. I'm not taking that bumpy and rutted road. 

I'm not talking about a backwards move.  That's why I said I want to see the deal first.  Return me a 1C, 1G, some scoring depth with playoff tested veteran grit and I'm gonna look real hard at it.

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9 hours ago, mjd1001 said:

I don't agree with all your points, but if things don't turn around this year I'm heading toward your side. 

1.  I don't want to see this team go 100% physical and try to play 1990's or early 2000's hockey, but a move toward players who are known for having that 100% motor (even if it means slightly less talent) I can get behind. 

2. I would NEVER want to trade Eichel, but if this team continues to flounder, and you can get a major epic haul for him, I'd consider it.

3. If they are not making the playoffs, agreed.  I know here we had a big argument about Reinhart being better than Olofsson (that may be true) but my 'eye test' early this year says Olofsson is playing harder, and Reinhart has hit his ceiling.

6.  I'm not there yet.  You don't want crap goalies, but someone like Ullmark WITH a better prospect coming up behind him is good for me...I think the Sabres may be there.

Just to clarify I'm not talking about going 1990's physical, I'm talking about team play and hard work. That comes with some physicality but I'm thinking more like what Torts does with Columbus. Did you see them go against Tampa with Dubois taken out of the line up? Emotion, effort, and true leadership from Foligno. That's what I want to see. 

and I am of course assuming you get a big haul for all of the top guns you trade. An Eichel trade has to be a Lindros type deal. 

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3 minutes ago, Weave said:

I'm not talking about a backwards move.  That's why I said I want to see the deal first.  Return me a 1C, 1G, some scoring depth with playoff tested veteran grit and I'm gonna look real hard at it.

Your scenario is not going to happen. Your fanciful thinking induced by frustration is not reality based. Hang in there and you will be pleasantly surprised. 

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8 hours ago, Curt said:

Nolan or Ruff?

If you are looking at a team from 25 years ago, I think you’ve missed the league changing around you.

See my other reply. Not talking about going backwards that way, talking about team unity and hard work. Think Columbus. Teams that do more with less because they play hard and have good leadership. 

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1 minute ago, JohnC said:

Your scenario is not going to happen. Your fanciful thinking induced by frustration is not reality based. Hang in there and you will be pleasantly surprised. 

Yeah, you're right.  Bonafide superstars never get traded for 3-4 good players.

It sure will be a surprise I'll give you that.

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7 hours ago, JohnC said:

In any major teardown for the purpose of rebuilding the goal would be to add players with the potential to be elite. We already have two top of the draft type talents in the fold in Eichel and Dahlin who would be very difficult to replace. So what is your solution? Get rid of them so you can hope to get similar talents. That approach makes no sense. It's like running on a treadmill. A lot of exertion that gets you nowhere.  

No, I think the model we used built us backwards. You give me a team filled with hard working 20 goal scorers and I will beat your team of 2 or 3 (potential) 40-50 goal scorers almost every time. This is why Toronto falters in the playoffs, Edmonton sucks, we suck. Tampa got lucky with Point and thy have a good goalie, or they'd be in that group too. imo you build from the goalie and defense out not from the top down in a cap league. otherwise you end up with too much money spent on the top scorers and not enough left for the rest of the team. Only way you win with that method is if the refs give you tons of power plays every night. 

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1 minute ago, PerreaultForever said:

No, I think the model we used built us backwards. You give me a team filled with hard working 20 goal scorers and I will beat your team of 2 or 3 (potential) 40-50 goal scorers almost every time. This is why Toronto falters in the playoffs, Edmonton sucks, we suck. Tampa got lucky with Point and thy have a good goalie, or they'd be in that group too. imo you build from the goalie and defense out not from the top down in a cap league. otherwise you end up with too much money spent on the top scorers and not enough left for the rest of the team. Only way you win with that method is if the refs give you tons of power plays every night. 

I mean this in a friendly way: I'm not buying what you are selling. If you have an opportunity to draft Jack you do so with no hesitation. If you have an opportunity to draft Dahlin you do so with no hesitation. 

In your response you cited Tampa. They built their team mostly with draft picks. When Chicago had its run their team was built mostly with draft picks. I understand what you are saying but I'm not subscribing to it. It's obvious that the Sabres don't have top tier goaltending. If the opportunity arises the organization should pursue it.  Who would argue otherwise? If you look at our defensive corps it is constructed mostly with first round picks. Overall, this is a good unit. The Sabres are not a complete team. On the other hand they are not as depleted or as misaligned as you are making it out to be. 

 

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1 hour ago, JohnC said:

I mean this in a friendly way: I'm not buying what you are selling. If you have an opportunity to draft Jack you do so with no hesitation. If you have an opportunity to draft Dahlin you do so with no hesitation. 

In your response you cited Tampa. They built their team mostly with draft picks. When Chicago had its run their team was built mostly with draft picks. I understand what you are saying but I'm not subscribing to it. It's obvious that the Sabres don't have top tier goaltending. If the opportunity arises the organization should pursue it.  Who would argue otherwise? If you look at our defensive corps it is constructed mostly with first round picks. Overall, this is a good unit. The Sabres are not a complete team. On the other hand they are not as depleted or as misaligned as you are making it out to be. 

 

Dahlin may need time.  Chara, Hedmund, Erik Karlsson all took 3-5 years to develop into Norris Trophy candidates.

Jack is very good, actually great.  He is NOT generational though, too many people expected him to be McDavid (or Lemieux or Lindros) version 1a.

The middle of the Roster has been mismanaged.  

Is that impossible to fix?  No. Will it be very hard to fix (or have patience to fix)?  Yes.

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