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How good or bad is this team really?


Who are the real Sabres?  

68 members have voted

  1. 1. Who are the real Sabres?

    • A bad team that needs core players moved and significant additions in order to compete for the playoffs next year
    • An emerging team that can compete for the playoffs next year with good goaltending, tweaks and the right coach


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This team put together an historic 18-game losing streak featuring some of the most soul-sucking hockey I’ve ever witnessed.

But our recent play has me questioning how bad we really are?

I don’t want to use Covid as an excuse, but it is hard to ignore the timing of the streak coincided exactly with the outbreak. We have been about .500 since the streak ended, and we were about .500 prior to Covid shutting us down. Losing Eichel, McCabe and Ullmark at roughly the same time Covid hit was a perfect storm.

I don’t want to dismiss the jump we are seeing now, but it is hard to ignore the fact that loose and relaxed non-playoff teams have a history of providing road bumps in the stretch for teams in the hunt who overlook them, or are wound too tight. Are we seeing the kids make a real jump? Can they maintain this -which is still only .500 hockey - or is a fallback inevitable?

How much of a difference will having not-Ralph Krueger as our leader over a full season make?

Most of us can agree that we need to fix the goaltending situation and get more physicality, but how much more of a makeover do we really need?

Do we need to move some veterans to change the identity in the locker room? By bringing in too many new veterans will we just be throwing unwanted obstacles in the way of the kids? How much of a role did Covid play in the terrible March? How much of a role did Krueger? Is Don Granato the man, or is he just benefitting from “right place, right time, low expectations?”  Is it foolish to expect a last-place team to progress without real change, or is that change already happening?

I can’t think of a time where the Sabres seemed this hard to get handle on.

Adams and Karmanos and whoever else is brought in have some difficult decisions ahead of them.

Edited by dudacek
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All I know is Colorado is really happy with the play of Jonas Johansson over the weekend. 2 wins and he was superb.Funny what happens to Sabre castoffs when they end up on other clubs. Lehner. O'Reilly. Hopefully under coach Granato, who seems to have the ears of this young group of players, that crap has stopped now and they have a coach whose system they can play under, and a coach who can tailor the style of play to his players strengths. Hopefully things are starting to turn for the better here. So overdue. But anyhow, good for Jonas Johansson. I am sure he is very happy.

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As with any individual or group of younger sports players they are going to have their maturation process ups and downs. Cozens is merely 20, Mitts is 22, Dahlin and Joker on the blue line merely 21. Bryson, R2, Asplund, Borgen and Thompson are at what I consider the "saturation maturation" age, that 23 to 25 window where the earlier years of development will show their growth toward veteran status.

Of course, when looking at Reino, Eichel, Risto and McCabe, I view them as the first wave of the "new veterans" of the team.

If the franchise can keep this group somewhat intact and address the net minder situation, I believe we may be witnessing the start of a speed and skill Era of Sabres hockey not seen since the Drury/Breire days. Just my opinion of course, but some of what is taking place post Krueger, such as passing, speed, breakouts and confidence simply cannot be ignored.

Edited by Scottysabres
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14 minutes ago, eman said:

All I know is Colorado is really happy with the play of Jonas Johansson over the weekend. 2 wins and he was superb.Funny what happens to Sabre castoffs when they end up on other clubs. Lehner. O'Reilly. Hopefully under coach Granato, who seems to have the ears of this young group of players, that crap has stopped now and they have a coach whose system they can play under, and a coach who can tailor the style of play to his players strengths. Hopefully things are starting to turn for the better here. So overdue. But anyhow, good for Jonas Johansson. I am sure he is very happy.

Let the record reflect that so far @pi2000 was right about that trade, which seems stranger and more pointless by the day.  

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4 minutes ago, inkman said:

This should be a poll 

How good or bad is this team? 1. Yes 2. NO

- - - 

Offseason macro plan in one's estimation:

1. roster tweaks, retain granato

2. roster tweaks, new coach

3. significant roster change, retain granato

4. significant roster change, new coach

5. Do nothing 

Edited by Thorny
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Before we start sending away guys like Eichel, Reino and Risto, I’d like to see what a team led by them looks like with:

- real goaltending

- real coaching

- a real #2 center

- contributions from speedy youngsters who are ready to make those contributions

It seems like the first 2 are eminently attainable and in fact all 4 might already be here (except for another good goalie, which if not brought in will be a firing offense IMHO).  

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26 minutes ago, Scottysabres said:

As with any individual or group of younger sports players they are going to have their maturation process ups and downs. Cpzens is merely 20, Mitts is 22, Daglin and Joker on the blue line merely 21. Bryson, R2, Asplund, Borgen and Thompson are at what I consider the "saturation maturation" age, that 23 to 25 window where the earlier years of development will show their growth toward veteran status.

Of course, when looking at Reino, Eichel, Risto and McCabe, I view them as the first wave of the "new veterans" of the team.

If the franchise can keep this group somewhat intact and address the net minder situation, I believe we may be witnessing the start of a speed and skill Era of Sabres hockey not seen since the Drury/Breire days. Just my opinion of course, but some of what is taking place post Krueger, such as passing, speed, breakouts and confidence simply cannot be ignored.

I'm a believer that we should keep this team intact for the most part. Bottom six could be tweaked and goaltending upgraded. I like what I'm seeing so far from our young guys getting a chance to play. Injuries in the long run may have allowed us to better evaluate this teams overall talent. The rest of the season should show us a lot hopefully.

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1 hour ago, nfreeman said:

Let the record reflect that so far @pi2000 was right about that trade, which seems stranger and more pointless by the day.  

Ullmark doesn't want to sign an extension now, it made no sense considering our lack of NHL ready goaltending, and for a 6th round pick?  Senseless trade.

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Probably still a bad team, but if the team had strong coaching from the beginning of the season and a healthy Eichel, wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that Hall and Montour would have made this team at least a .500 team this year if not better?  I know that Hall was ineffective during his time here and Montour never seemed to live up to his perceived potential, but I do believe that with a better system and coaching, we could have had a different result.  I think I would be optimistic for next season if we had Hall and Montour (understanding that both players would be free agents and would need to be re-signed).

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7 minutes ago, Buffalonill said:

Is it sad that I don't trust this "new team" ?  Have always gone on a run After everything's all over with Then they do the same ***** the next year.

Eh wot?  The last 2 times the Sabres were over NHL 0.500 after the TDL were 2012-3 and 2015-6.  We have been worse every other year.

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I don’t think either option is right.

I don’t think they’re a bad team, but they’re not a good team either.

They are however a very young team, and right now it appears Granato is teaching them some basic, good hockey habits.

I like that.

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2 hours ago, eman said:

All I know is Colorado is really happy with the play of Jonas Johansson over the weekend. 2 wins and he was superb.Funny what happens to Sabre castoffs when they end up on other clubs. Lehner. O'Reilly. Hopefully under coach Granato, who seems to have the ears of this young group of players, that crap has stopped now and they have a coach whose system they can play under, and a coach who can tailor the style of play to his players strengths. Hopefully things are starting to turn for the better here. So overdue. But anyhow, good for Jonas Johansson. I am sure he is very happy.

Didn't they also acquire another goalie after they got him? I bet he just doesn't see a lot of shots for them. They are a very good team. 

If Pittsburgh had him in net yesterday instead of Jarry, we would of won 

 

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I really like Don Granato as Buffalo Sabres HC going into the future. The positive energy and intensity by which he coaches is written all over his face. I think the players respond very well to the plan that Don Granato gives them and the results have been easy to see. Different sport albeit. Granato comes off as a process kind of guy. Is Granato the McDermott of hockey the Pegulas have been searching for you might ask.

Time will tell...

( Voted emerging, needing some tweaks)

  

Edited by Figster
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29 minutes ago, Marvin, Sabres Fan said:

Eh wot?  The last 2 times the Sabres were over NHL 0.500 after the TDL were 2012-3 and 2015-6.  We have been worse every other year.

Ok I mean they look different and start winning  Rinse and repeat

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This team needs more than a backup goalie upgrade and bottom of the roster tweaks.  The core needs to be shook up.  My recommendation....Jack stays(unless he taps out), Risto and Reinhart go.

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3 hours ago, eman said:

All I know is Colorado is really happy with the play of Jonas Johansson over the weekend. 2 wins and he was superb.Funny what happens to Sabre castoffs when they end up on other clubs. Lehner. O'Reilly. Hopefully under coach Granato, who seems to have the ears of this young group of players, that crap has stopped now and they have a coach whose system they can play under, and a coach who can tailor the style of play to his players strengths. Hopefully things are starting to turn for the better here. So overdue. But anyhow, good for Jonas Johansson. I am sure he is very happy.

O'Reilly played well here

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Coaching can make all of the difference. Barry Trotz proved that in Long Island.  Hopefully the current coaching regime is the proper one to bring their game out.  

I think this team is a 1B goalie, with Tokarski the number three and a winger from being a good team. They should resign Sheehan, mostly for Rochester and Toby Reiter for the fourth line because he’s wicked fast. Get rid of Cody eakin because he is useless

Seems they are trying to build an identity on speed which is fine to me. 

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31 minutes ago, LabattBlue said:

This team needs more than a backup goalie upgrade and bottom of the roster tweaks.  The core needs to be shook up.  My recommendation....Jack stays(unless he taps out), Risto and Reinhart go.

keep your good players, improve on others.  The only reason to trade Risto and Reinhart is if they told you there's no f-ing way they are signing another contract with Buffalo. Which is very likely.

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1 hour ago, CallawaySabres said:

Bring in a vet coach with proven track record who has similar offensive philosophy to what we are seeing now.

 

Not against that but if we're going with a younger developing team Granato has experience in that area. My thinking now is let's sit tight and see what the next games show. If they keep up with the play they've shown so far under Granato that makes a pretty strong argument for retaining him. Maybe a two year deal. 

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1 hour ago, LabattBlue said:

This team needs more than a backup goalie upgrade and bottom of the roster tweaks.  The core needs to be shook up.  My recommendation....Jack stays(unless he taps out), Risto and Reinhart go.

Disagree but respect your opinion.

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