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The difference between losing streak Sabres & non IS Ullmark


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10 minutes ago, IKnowPhysics said:

There are many reasons why we were so, so bad and many reasons we're improving now.  Goaltending is one of those many reasons, but it is not the only reason.

Did not say it was the only reason.  (Actually state that there ARE other contributing factors in the OP.  😉 )

But it IS the necessary factor & the predominant factor.

This team looked no closer to winning a game without Krueger & without Ullmark against the B's, Rags, & Pens than they looked with Krueger and no Ullmark.

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20 minutes ago, IKnowPhysics said:

There are many reasons why we were so, so bad and many reasons we're improving now.  Goaltending is one of those many reasons, but it is not the only reason.

I agree. 

Along that lines, the coach was part of the problem but there were other reasons. Fixing the coach is a good step but not the only one. 

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1 hour ago, LGR4GM said:

A monkey with an accordion could get this team to play better than the shutdown no offense bore fest that was Krueger Style. 

You are getting carried away with your summarily dismissal of the current coach. I don't know for sure if he would be the best option at coaching this team. That's why I'm willing to wait and see how this incomplete team performs under him. If it consistently elevates its play (as it is doing now)  then he should be seriously considered as a coaching candidate. If he doesn't then you have your answer. Being impatient and jumping to a conclusion is not the right approach to take for an organization that has a wretched history of making bad decisions. 

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Despite the season being “over,” guys are still playing for something.  Admittedly the games are meaningless from a Sabres playoff point of view, but they aren’t meaningless to the guys playing or for the Sabres from an evaluation standpoint.  How many RFAs and UFAs do we have?  How many of those guys want to prove they are still NHL players like Rieder or Sheahan.  How many kids are up trying to prove they are NHLers like Mitts, Asplund, Thompson, Byron and Fogarty.  There is clearly a great deal to play for from a players point of view.  

Also KA is evaluating these guys as well.  He needs to know if Thompson could be part fo the team long term.  He needs to know if Reinhart and Mitts are his 2 and 3 centers next year or does he have to try another 2C next season.  

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13 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Did not say it was the only reason.  (Actually state that there ARE other contributing factors in the OP.  😉 )

But it IS the necessary factor & the predominant factor.

This team looked no closer to winning a game without Krueger & without Ullmark against the B's, Rags, & Pens than they looked with Krueger and no Ullmark.

Huge fan of Ullmark, don't get me wrong, but the forwards couldn't score goals. The Defensiveman couldn't defend properly and the whole team was out of sync IMO. Playing the way they are now even the Toker has a shot at a win IMO.

Edited by Figster
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2 minutes ago, Figster said:

Huge fan of Ullmark, don't get me wrong, but the forwards couldn't score goals. The Defensiveman couldn't defend properly and the whole team was out of sync IMO.

And covering for known to be substandard goaltending EVERY SINGLE GAME causes teams to concentrate on not getting caught in odd man rushes against killing any semblance of a forecheck and concentrate on taking away the 1st high quality chance in their own zone resulting in creating additional high quality chances against.  They lose focus of what they should be doing because breakdowns automatically end up with face offs atcenter ice.

It's a viscious cycle and one literally EVERY SINGLE PERSON HERE predicted when Adams was unable to get an NHL quality goalie to team with Ullmark.

Look at how bad Carolina was a couple of years back when their goaltending was atrocious.  Flagg kept posting great things Carolina would do on zone exits & entires because they had guys thatcould consistently do those things but they still lost way more than they won because they couldn't overcome it.

Minus Eichel, McCabe, Borgen, and oftentimes Cozens & Reiter there was no way this team was going to overcome their dumpster quality goaltending.

Ullmark was looking great just before getting hurt & is doing do again.  Don't know if that's real or if his bigger body of recent work indicating he's more of a Marty Biron is the real him, but either is a legit NHLer and is the ONLY one this team has at present.  (All due respect to Tokarski who has played out of his mind since Hutton broke again.  But it is very unlikely he is another Thomas or even a restyled Roloson.  The odds are, it's adrenaline and a very hot streak which will slide back to his career sieveness.  Hoping that's wrong and he caught something.  But wouldn't put any money on it.)

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3 hours ago, New Scotland (NS) said:

Yes.

*Taro says* ... so, yes.

It's a good way to put all the discussion about the good recent play in one place.

Echoing this - good to see @Taro Tback. 

If it’s not the biggest individual reason we are bad (just considering roster/staff based things, here) it’s one of the 3 biggest reasons along with coach, and Jack Eichel  

 

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1 hour ago, Taro T said:

Minus Eichel, McCabe, Borgen, and oftentimes Cozens & Reiter there was no way this team was going to overcome their dumpster quality goaltending.

Funny how we forget Zemgus since he's been out since the scrimmages. 

A physical player that can score as well. 

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5 minutes ago, PromoTheRobot said:

Let's have a discussion on who the coach will be AFTER we fire Boudreau, Julien or Gallant. Because these guys all end up fired in a couple seasons.

Have at it.  But this seems the wrong thread for that.

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2 hours ago, Taro T said:

And covering for known to be substandard goaltending EVERY SINGLE GAME causes teams to concentrate on not getting caught in odd man rushes against killing any semblance of a forecheck and concentrate on taking away the 1st high quality chance in their own zone resulting in creating additional high quality chances against.  They lose focus of what they should be doing because breakdowns automatically end up with face offs atcenter ice.

It's a viscious cycle and one literally EVERY SINGLE PERSON HERE predicted when Adams was unable to get an NHL quality goalie to team with Ullmark.

Look at how bad Carolina was a couple of years back when their goaltending was atrocious.  Flagg kept posting great things Carolina would do on zone exits & entires because they had guys thatcould consistently do those things but they still lost way more than they won because they couldn't overcome it.

Minus Eichel, McCabe, Borgen, and oftentimes Cozens & Reiter there was no way this team was going to overcome their dumpster quality goaltending.

Ullmark was looking great just before getting hurt & is doing do again.  Don't know if that's real or if his bigger body of recent work indicating he's more of a Marty Biron is the real him, but either is a legit NHLer and is the ONLY one this team has at present.  (All due respect to Tokarski who has played out of his mind since Hutton broke again.  But it is very unlikely he is another Thomas or even a restyled Roloson.  The odds are, it's adrenaline and a very hot streak which will slide back to his career sieveness.  Hoping that's wrong and he caught something.  But wouldn't put any money on it.)

Its a good argument you make for Ullmark and why I view Linus as the Buffalo Sabres MVP. Hockey is a game of confidence in so many ways. It starts with goaltending.

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For anyone who has played hockey, you know that the best cure for a slumping team, is scoring goals and playing offense. It’s fun. It feels good. 

Playing constant D only AND losing while doing it is a recipe for disaster, and a morale killer. It would’ve been different if the team was pulling off some 1-0 or 2-1 wins doing it. That would’ve let the players know that Ralph’s way worked. 

Ullmark has made a difference, yes, but so has Granato - but in the same vein, almost any coach could’ve stepped in and told the horses to start running, and play would’ve improved because hockey players naturally love offense and scoring. Even Tokarski is a threat to steal a game with the improved morale.

Now imagine what things could look like with a quality backup G and a veteran coach with proven NHL experience that knows how to allow a Dahlin, Joki, and Bryson to run while being paired with a Borgen and a couple veteran Tallinder types...

Edited by Andrew Amerk
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7 hours ago, JohnC said:

You are getting carried away with your summarily dismissal of the current coach. I don't know for sure if he would be the best option at coaching this team. That's why I'm willing to wait and see how this incomplete team performs under him. If it consistently elevates its play (as it is doing now)  then he should be seriously considered as a coaching candidate. If he doesn't then you have your answer. Being impatient and jumping to a conclusion is not the right approach to take for an organization that has a wretched history of making bad decisions. 

It's not really elevating their play. Again, that's a mirage because Krueger brought them to the depths of hockey hell. 

What you're witnessing is the natural regression to the mean. 

Edited by LGR4GM
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Remember that if Granato significantly bumped things up in practice, the results from increased fitness and skill development wouldn't show overnight. 

Advanced stats wise though, their FTW/60 (fun to watch per 60 minutes played) has gone up a whopping 93%! 

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14 minutes ago, JoeSchmoe said:

Remember that if Granato significantly bumped things up in practice, the results from increased fitness and skill development wouldn't show overnight. 

Advanced stats wise though, their FTW/60 (fun to watch per 60 minutes played) has gone up a whopping 93%! 

(Totally getting that your post isn't actually about practice, so the post isn't fully a response to yours, but this seems as good as anywhere to put it.)  Remember that between returning to play after their COVID shutdown and Krueger getting kanned, they played 18 games & had 12 days off with exactly 0 btb days off.  (AKA no standard  opportunities for true off-day full, hard practices.

Since bringing in the new coach, they've played 9 games w/ 10 days off including 1 (previously unscheduled, courtesy of the Bruins little COVID oopsie) 3 day break and the current 2 day break.

So, the new coach has actually been able to hold practice, which is something.

But having an NHL 'tender is a bigger factor than coaching; just sayin'.  😉

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Ullmark and better practices both have helped.   Getting Cozens and Borgen back will help again, as will Eichel at some point down the road.    

I hope they don't panic and blow up the entire thing.   That losing streak was a product of many unfortunate events along with garbage coaching.    

A healthy Ullmark, Eichel, McCabe, Borgen, Cozens, a real coach, with a real training camp and pratice time... I dont think they're that far off. 

 

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1 minute ago, pi2000 said:

Ullmark and better practices both have helped.   Getting Cozens and Borgen back will help again, as will Eichel at some point down the road.    

I hope they don't panic and blow up the entire thing.   That losing streak was a product of many unfortunate events along with garbage coaching.    

A healthy Ullmark, Eichel, McCabe, Borgen, Cozens, a real coach, with a real training camp and pratice time... I dont think they're that far off. 

 

To the bolded, if they do blow it all up, pretty sure my interest might finally be irreparably extinguished.  Really can't believe they'd go that route.

Heading into this off-season they need what they needed last time: a goalie & a 2C.  Well, those & a coach & a scouting staff; though many here will claim they needed both of those last year too.  😉 (They might also need a D-man or 2 depending on how FA and the expansion draft go.)  And this time, the 2C could legitimately come from within, though my preference is one get brought in from outside (can't have too many top 6 C's) and Adams will be smart enough to not count on internal candidates to supply the 2nd 1/2 of the GT platoon.

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32 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Heading into this off-season they need what they needed last time: a goalie & a 2C

Reinhart is a viable 2C. If top 6 wingers are available that are better/cheaper options than the C's available, I'd for sure go that option.

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I'm not sure I totally agree with the premise of the thread.

The hockey we endured under Krueger was some of the worst I've ever seen in my life,… and I witnessed the tank. It's almost indescribable. I think that if Ullmark was back with RK still around, we would still be frustrated with the hockey we were forced to watch.

The amount of overpassing in the neutral zone, limp wristed back hand passes, waiting until the other team completely re-set before trying to go through them, basically, every normal hockey play that should have happened but didn't, is happening again.

It's obvious Granato knows hockey and really wants this to work. And unlike Calgary that got the new coach boost, then trailed off, the Sabres took time to play well again as they unlearned all the garbage.

It's no more than 50/50 Granato/Ullmark for me, and if push came to shove, I'm leaning Granato.

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7 hours ago, Taro T said:

To the bolded, if they do blow it all up, pretty sure my interest might finally be irreparably extinguished.  Really can't believe they'd go that route.

Heading into this off-season they need what they needed last time: a goalie & a 2C.  Well, those & a coach & a scouting staff; though many here will claim they needed both of those last year too.  😉 (They might also need a D-man or 2 depending on how FA and the expansion draft go.)  And this time, the 2C could legitimately come from within, though my preference is one get brought in from outside (can't have too many top 6 C's) and Adams will be smart enough to not count on internal candidates to supply the 2nd 1/2 of the GT platoon.

Probably have to bring it at least 1 top 6 forward even if the 2C candidate is internal

We came into the season with Hall and Staal. Staal could be internal considering the level we were expecting of him, but regardless of Hall’s performance the concept of what he was going to add to the top 6 from the wing is still something we need. 

Perhaps Cozens goes to 2C (or Reinhart does for now and Cozens replaces him at W) but if we are serious about playoffs we’ll need to add a good t6 forward at least. 

6 hours ago, JoeSchmoe said:

Reinhart is a viable 2C. If top 6 wingers are available that are better/cheaper options than the C's available, I'd for sure go that option.

Agree. People had varying configurations but generally last offseason we had the top 6 populated by these players:

Hall - Eichel - Olofsson

Skinner - Staal - Reinhart

For the sake of argument let’s say Cozens replaces Staal. We could add a LW to replace Hall and play VO on the right where he’s played plenty before, we could add a RW and play VO on the left, or we could add a C and play Cozens on the right.

Lots of options and the ability to shift around during our necessary pursuit of at least 1 top 6 F addition 

Edited by Thorny
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8 hours ago, JoeSchmoe said:

Reinhart is a viable 2C. If top 6 wingers are available that are better/cheaper options than the C's available, I'd for sure go that option.

Should they decide to make him the 2C, wouldn't he then fit into the category of "(a)nd this time, the 2C could legitimately come from within?"  😉

And that very likely doesn't optimize Eichel's play which likely doesn't optimize the team's play overall as he has the highest ceiling of anybody on the team.

They know they need somebody currently not ideally pencilled in at 2C to step into that role.  Whether the spot is filled by somebody not in the organization or the current (when all are healthy) 1R, 2R, or 4C/R (considering Mittelstadt that 4C but he was playing 4R prior to all the shuffling & he stepped up and has adequately filled the 2C slot; but why not get greedy and want that slot filled well & not just adequately?  And if Eakin isn't back somebody internal will be filling the 3C slot, possibly Mitts.) they will need that slot filled.

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2 hours ago, Thorny said:

Probably have to bring it at least 1 top 6 forward even if the 2C candidate is internal

We came into the season with Hall and Staal. Staal could be internal considering the level we were expecting of him, but regardless of Hall’s performance the concept of what he was going to add to the top 6 from the wing is still something we need. 

Perhaps Cozens goes to 2C (or Reinhart does for now and Cozens replaces him at W) but if we are serious about playoffs we’ll need to add a good t6 forward at least. 

Agree. People had varying configurations but generally last offseason we had the top 6 populated by these players:

Hall - Eichel - Olofsson

Skinner - Staal - Reinhart

For the sake of argument let’s say Cozens replaces Staal. We could add a LW to replace Hall and play VO on the right where he’s played plenty before, we could add a RW and play VO on the left, or we could add a C and play Cozens on the right.

Lots of options and the ability to shift around during our necessary pursuit of at least 1 top 6 F addition 

The 2C absolutely might get filled internally.  (Truthfully, it probably will.)  But in an ideal world it is filled externally and then when Eichel or 2C inevitably miss a game or 2 they have at least 3 potentially viable candidates to fill in (Mittelstadt, Cozens, & Reinhart) for the interim.

You also have a stronger top 6/ top 9 drawing from outside as now all 3 of those guys are available as top 6 W's / 3rd scoring line C.

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8 hours ago, SwampD said:

I'm not sure I totally agree with the premise of the thread.

The hockey we endured under Krueger was some of the worst I've ever seen in my life,… and I witnessed the tank. It's almost indescribable. I think that if Ullmark was back with RK still around, we would still be frustrated with the hockey we were forced to watch.

The amount of overpassing in the neutral zone, limp wristed back hand passes, waiting until the other team completely re-set before trying to go through them, basically, every normal hockey play that should have happened but didn't, is happening again.

It's obvious Granato knows hockey and really wants this to work. And unlike Calgary that got the new coach boost, then trailed off, the Sabres took time to play well again as they unlearned all the garbage.

It's no more than 50/50 Granato/Ullmark for me, and if push came to shove, I'm leaning Granato.

With all due respect, really hoping (and expecting) Adams doesn't agree as that's how teams end up w/ Ron Rolstons starting the year calling the shots.  😉

When the STs start actually working on a regular basis, then coaching gets more of a nod.  Until then, IMHO, bringing back NHL caliber goaltending gets the lion's share of the credit.  (And getting rid of Smith can't be overlooked on the coaching moves side of the ledger.)

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