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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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1 hour ago, JoeSchmoe said:

I feel like the big difference between Skinner now and when he was scoring is his shot. He's got a little pea shooter going right now. I find he still gets the puck to the dangerous areas, but can't finish because his shot sucks.

That's why he feasted so much playing with Jack - it's identifiable, not random - he gets to the right areas, and he doesn't need to "beat" goalies with his mediocre shot when the goalies are out of position from rebounds. 

Jack generates in close rebounds

Jack generates in close rebounds

Edited by Thorny
Jack generates in close rebounds
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Well I'm still optimistic that we're really not that far off from being a playoff contender even with this disastrous season still staring us in the face. 

  1. The team was 9-6-3 when Ullmark started. The magical Deluca line. It's imperative he stay healthy and they get a GOOD GK to start or back him up
  2. The team this year never had a healthy Eichel even though he played 20 games and McCabe their best defensive D-man gave them 13. Including Okposo's recent injury, they lost all of their lettered leaders (C-A-A) for basically 2/3rds of this season. An under the radar loss is Girgensons who if nothing else would have been our most physical forward by far this year
  3. They are 7-5-3 in their last 15 games playing all the young guys and supposed busts and they're all exceeding past performances
  4. They fired RK
  5. The young D averaging under 23 years of age actually look pretty dang competent and if they can move Risto for some forward addition, I don't think they'll miss him much on the back end and hopefully they will improve the top 9, I would have said 6 but unless they move on from someone there, I'm not sure there's an opening there besides Bjork and Olofsson may move into that spot if needed. 
  6. If Mitts and Tage keep improving and I'm more and more optimistic on these guys heading in the right direction, that's a pretty good start of a line 3 because if needed Asplund becomes the line 4 Center.
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58 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

I still have a limp from falling off the bandwagon after the 10 game win streak................ Never again 🙂

 

Did one of the loyalists run you over and speed away when you fell off the wagon? Being targeted I'm sure you are well aware that hit and run drivers have no compassion. ☠️

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5 hours ago, JoeSchmoe said:

I feel like the big difference between Skinner now and when he was scoring is his shot. He's got a little pea shooter going right now. I find he still gets the puck to the dangerous areas, but can't finish because his shot sucks.

Totally agree that especially lately he is in on a lot of chances and has just lost his finish.  The year he scored 40 it seemed like he buried every one and was able to get around the opposing goalie in tight with ease. 

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4 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

I still have a limp from falling off the bandwagon after the 10 game win streak................ Never again 🙂

Rehab and disgust at GMJB fixes my limp, but I still have a nasty twinge.

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5 hours ago, jsb said:

Well I'm still optimistic that we're really not that far off from being a playoff contender even with this disastrous season still staring us in the face. 

  1. The team was 9-6-3 when Ullmark started. The magical Deluca line. It's imperative he stay healthy and they get a GOOD GK to start or back him up
  2. The team this year never had a healthy Eichel even though he played 20 games and McCabe their best defensive D-man gave them 13. Including Okposo's recent injury, they lost all of their lettered leaders (C-A-A) for basically 2/3rds of this season. An under the radar loss is Girgensons who if nothing else would have been our most physical forward by far this year
  3. They are 7-5-3 in their last 15 games playing all the young guys and supposed busts and they're all exceeding past performances
  4. They fired RK
  5. The young D averaging under 23 years of age actually look pretty dang competent and if they can move Risto for some forward addition, I don't think they'll miss him much on the back end and hopefully they will improve the top 9, I would have said 6 but unless they move on from someone there, I'm not sure there's an opening there besides Bjork and Olofsson may move into that spot if needed. 
  6. If Mitts and Tage keep improving and I'm more and more optimistic on these guys heading in the right direction, that's a pretty good start of a line 3 because if needed Asplund becomes the line 4 Center.

Started drinking early today?

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5 hours ago, JohnC said:

Did one of the loyalists run you over and speed away when you fell off the wagon? Being targeted I'm sure you are well aware that hit and run drivers have no compassion. ☠️

I think it happened at a Tim's. 🙂

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Without an NHL netminder, this team seems to be able to beat teams that underestimate them (the Caps on a tear, the B's after 6 consecutive wins, etc.) but really isn't good enough to beat an opponent that does respect them.

Would really liked to have seen them with either Ullmark or the Tokarski that didn't realize he was Dustin Tokarski because they could probably beat the Rags with goaltending (even w/out Eichel & McCabe). 

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34 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Without an NHL netminder, this team seems to be able to beat teams that underestimate them (the Caps on a tear, the B's after 6 consecutive wins, etc.) but really isn't good enough to beat an opponent that does respect them.

Would really liked to have seen them with either Ullmark or the Tokarski that didn't realize he was Dustin Tokarski because they could probably beat the Rags with goaltending (even w/out Eichel & McCabe). 

If the front office stands pat with the roster with the exception of addressing the critical goaltending need I will consider it a successful offseason. It would be a mistake to rush UPL. He needs extensive playing time in Rochester to continue with his development. And if Skinner can regain his scoring form to a degree I would consider it comparable to adding a quality free agent. There are a lot of "ifs" in my comments but most of the pieces are already here. 

Granato is doing his best to put Skinner in a position to succeed and get production out of him. In comparison, Krueger did his best to bury the player and make him vanish. Krueger created a mess while Granato is doing his best to clean it up. 

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5 minutes ago, JohnC said:

If the front office stands pat with the roster with the exception of addressing the critical goaltending need I will consider it a successful offseason. It would be a mistake to rush UPL. He needs extensive playing time in Rochester to continue with his development. And if Skinner can regain his scoring form to a degree I would consider it comparable to adding a quality free agent. There are a lot of "ifs" in my comments but most of the pieces are already here. 

Granato is doing his best to put Skinner in a position to succeed and get production out of him. In comparison, Krueger did his best to bury the player and make him vanish. Krueger created a mess while Granato is doing his best to clean it up. 

I’m not convinced RK even had a plan going into this season. For such a cerebral guy, he sure came across idiotic. 

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Just now, Andrew Amerk said:

I’m not convinced RK even had a plan going into this season. For such a cerebral guy, he sure came across idiotic. 

Krueger did have a plan but it was an outdated plan for today's NHL. In a sense he was an ideologue who was too stubborn to deviate from his hockey world view. Not being able to adapt and adjust to a situation is not a sign of strength----it is a display of weakness. 

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9 hours ago, JohnC said:

If the front office stands pat with the roster with the exception of addressing the critical goaltending need I will consider it a successful offseason. It would be a mistake to rush UPL. He needs extensive playing time in Rochester to continue with his development. And if Skinner can regain his scoring form to a degree I would consider it comparable to adding a quality free agent. There are a lot of "ifs" in my comments but most of the pieces are already here. 

Granato is doing his best to put Skinner in a position to succeed and get production out of him. In comparison, Krueger did his best to bury the player and make him vanish. Krueger created a mess while Granato is doing his best to clean it up. 

Whether the offseason was successful or not can only be determined by the results in the season that follows 

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Just now, Thorny said:

Whether the offseason was successful or not can only be determined by the results in the season that follows 

Usually yes but not necessarily always depending on the situation. All you can do is look at your roster and assess it. Then address your needs as best as you can. Sometimes the fix is a temporary fix and sometimes it is a more substantive long-term fix. The challenge and balancing act is what do you have to give up to remedy a deficiency. For a team like the Sabres that is rebuilding and have a lot of young players I would rather go through the trials and tribulations of playing youngsters who have the potential to get better than bring in players with little upside. In the short term a steady veteran brought in will be more effective than an inconsistent young player. But in the long run you are better off playing the younger player. A case in point is the defensive unit that played last night. That group probably was the youngest unit in the league. In their play you can intermittently see very good play and then glaring  mistakes that end up with the puck in the net. My point is there are considerations associated with where you are in your rebuilding process that determine how you address your needs. 

Sorry for the long winded response but other than bringing in help to buttress the goalie position I would rather mostly stay within our system for players and ride with them. 

 

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^ even if the goal is development, that too can be measured in the following season. 

It’s always about results, and only results. Passing judgment on the quality of an offseason is merely speculation and opinion 

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Not that we agree on anything other than "thank god Ralph was fired," but I would say this described the board's general opinion on the following developing players in February:

  • Olofsson: good on the PP but not a top 6 player
  • Mittelstadt: he still might turn into an offensive 3rd-liner, but he could just as easily be a complete bust
  • Thompson: probably not going to be a useful NHL player
  • Asplund: barely talked about and largely overlooked
  • Cozens: going to be a stud, play him with better players
  • Ruotsalainen: why haven't they called this guy up?
  • Dahlin: what is wrong with Rasmus? He's supposed to be turning into a stud, he looks bad.
  • Jokiharju: struggling
  • Borgen: love this guy, he needs to play
  • Bryson: what about the little guy in Roch? Sounded like he was pretty good last year, does he have a chance?
  • Samuelsson: Meh. Big and slow and a few years away

How much has the past month changed your views?

 

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13 hours ago, Taro T said:

Without an NHL netminder, this team seems to be able to beat teams that underestimate them (the Caps on a tear, the B's after 6 consecutive wins, etc.) but really isn't good enough to beat an opponent that does respect them.

Would really liked to have seen them with either Ullmark or the Tokarski that didn't realize he was Dustin Tokarski because they could probably beat the Rags with goaltending (even w/out Eichel & McCabe). 

They basically need Tokarski to play better than he is.  He'll never consistently be a solid netminder, and you're going to have games like this one against the rangers where he didn't really help you out back there.  

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2 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Not that we agree on anything other than "thank god Ralph was fired," but I would say this described the board's general opinion on the following developing players in February:

  • Olofsson: good on the PP but not a top 6 player
  • Mittelstadt: he still might turn into an offensive 3rd-liner, but he could just as easily be a complete bust
  • Thompson: probably not going to be a useful NHL player
  • Asplund: barely talked about and largely overlooked
  • Cozens: going to be a stud, play him with better players
  • Ruotsalainen: why haven't they called this guy up?
  • Dahlin: what is wrong with Rasmus? He's supposed to be turning into a stud, he looks bad.
  • Jokiharju: struggling
  • Borgen: love this guy, he needs to play
  • Bryson: what about the little guy in Roch? Sounded like he was pretty good last year, does he have a chance?
  • Samuelsson: Meh. Big and slow and a few years away

How much has the past month changed your views?

 

Olofsson- Moving his feet a bit more, but still just a bit off on passes and a bit too easily knocked off the puck.  Not sure my opinion of him has changed too considerably.

Mitts - Playing with more effort, seeing the ice better, more jam than he had in his first however many games

Thompson - Same with Mitts on effort, there are glimpses of some really good shooting and stick handling, but he needs to play bigger

Asplund - Better shooter than i thought, gets to good areas and makes plays

Cozens - He already sees the ice well, pretty solid skater, makes some heady plays every game.  Easy pick for a building block

Ruotsalainen - Haven't seen enough to say 1 way or another, but his shots pretty sick and he has position flexibility.  

Dahlin - He looks straight up good right now.  Not much to say.

Joker - He's more confident stepping into plays, him and dahlin are forming some nice chemistry on the back end.

Borgen - Loved his first stretch with rasmus, but with bryson I haven't noticed him as much

Bryson - Gets involved in offensive play, always looking to push puck up ice.  Gets caught out of position and size isn't the greatest attribute.

Samuelsson - I already like him.  Moves well for a guy his size, isn't afraid to mix it up, and doesn't hesitate to shoot

 

All in all i've been impressed with the young kids - but that doesn't mean every one should be given a spot on the roster next year.  I'd say I'm willing to move every guy here except probably cozens and dahlin.  

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9 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Not that we agree on anything other than "thank god Ralph was fired," but I would say this described the board's general opinion on the following developing players in February:

  • Olofsson: good on the PP but not a top 6 player
  • Mittelstadt: he still might turn into an offensive 3rd-liner, but he could just as easily be a complete bust
  • Thompson: probably not going to be a useful NHL player
  • Asplund: barely talked about and largely overlooked
  • Cozens: going to be a stud, play him with better players
  • Ruotsalainen: why haven't they called this guy up?
  • Dahlin: what is wrong with Rasmus? He's supposed to be turning into a stud, he looks bad.
  • Jokiharju: struggling
  • Borgen: love this guy, he needs to play
  • Bryson: what about the little guy in Roch? Sounded like he was pretty good last year, does he have a chance?
  • Samuelsson: Meh. Big and slow and a few years away

How much has the past month changed your views?

 

As you starkly demonstrated with your list perceptions can quickly change.  Putting players into a position that accentuates their assets instead of pigeonholing players into an archaic system that suffocates their talents has a liberating effect. Coaching matters!

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23 hours ago, dudacek said:

Not that we agree on anything other than "thank god Ralph was fired," but I would say this described the board's general opinion on the following developing players in February:

  • Olofsson: good on the PP but not a top 6 player - more less still think this
  • Mittelstadt: he still might turn into an offensive 3rd-liner, but he could just as easily be a complete bust - I was confident in him being a third liner, but he's proven I was selling him short - has 2C potential. 
  • Thompson: probably not going to be a useful NHL player - Was in agreement with this and therefore look quite wrong
  • Asplund: barely talked about and largely overlooked - don't really have a firm opinion on him yet. love his @Doohickie goal meme, though
  • Cozens: going to be a stud, play him with better players - Yep
  • Ruotsalainen: why haven't they called this guy up? - Yep
  • Dahlin: what is wrong with Rasmus? He's supposed to be turning into a stud, he looks badNope. Have not shifted my view and, of course - the detailed was not my view
  • Jokiharju: struggling - looks useful
  • Borgen: love this guy, he needs to play - Undecided (promising)
  • Bryson: what about the little guy in Roch? Sounded like he was pretty good last year, does he have a chance? - Undecided (promising)
  • Samuelsson: Meh. Big and slow and a few years away - Looks big, looks slow. I still think he'll be a mid pair guy though. 

How much has the past month changed your views?

 

 

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Do we lead the league in ITBA? Inability to break away. Last night it was Asplund. Even Jack is usually caught from behind. Odd man breaks are disappointing. Just not a dynamic bunch.

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I think we are seeing a team with promising youth which needs to grow up a bit more.  We have clear flaws which I think we agree on:

1. Inconsistent goaltending.

2. Inconsistent defencive awareness.

3. Lack of forward depth into the top end of Rochester.

The next few are more debatable:

A. Inability to handle extended physical play by the forwards.

B. Leadership on defence, in part because we are playing 5 guys under 22.

C. Too many players who play the same kind of game.

This is the kind of line-up I thought we should have had 5 years ago.  If it were, I would advocate staying the course with minimal changes aside from adding goaltenders.  But it is year 10 of The Tank.  Instead, we need to make some hockey trades to fill some holes.  This means useful pieces for useful pieces.

I personally believe in the cliche that, all other things being equal, a little more will beats a little more skill.  We have a lot of higher skill guys, but we need to move them for slightly more rugged ones or they need to learn how to deal with more physical teams.  So we might see players whom we like moved.

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On 4/26/2021 at 9:14 AM, dudacek said:

Not that we agree on anything other than "thank god Ralph was fired," but I would say this described the board's general opinion on the following developing players in February:

  • Olofsson: good on the PP but not a top 6 player
  • Mittelstadt: he still might turn into an offensive 3rd-liner, but he could just as easily be a complete bust
  • Thompson: probably not going to be a useful NHL player
  • Asplund: barely talked about and largely overlooked
  • Cozens: going to be a stud, play him with better players
  • Ruotsalainen: why haven't they called this guy up?
  • Dahlin: what is wrong with Rasmus? He's supposed to be turning into a stud, he looks bad.
  • Jokiharju: struggling
  • Borgen: love this guy, he needs to play
  • Bryson: what about the little guy in Roch? Sounded like he was pretty good last year, does he have a chance?
  • Samuelsson: Meh. Big and slow and a few years away

How much has the past month changed your views?

 

  • Same. PP specialist.
  • I thought people would be surprised by Mittlestadt once the game slowed down for him. You don’t lose that offensive creativity
  • Cement head. Makes the zig play when everyone on his line is counting on him to make the correct zag play.
  • The Swedish National coach said he was the closest style wise to Zetterburg since Z. I see it.
  • More than admirably stepped in a weird year. Still think a stint at 1 rw for a year or two would help further develop his o game.
  • yeah Why?
  • Never worried about a 20 yo d man
  • Borgen is fibre to quiche we have all been forced to eat
  • Bryson still needs to be sheltered, but acceptable again under the circumstances.
  • Perhaps the biggest shock. 
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