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Who are our Centers moving forward??


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17 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Dont we have a forward thread?  

Yes but this one's much more interesting and up to date

😝😝

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1 hour ago, inkman said:

I don’t because his name is Ruotsalainen.  So the shortened version would be Routser. Call him rooty, rooter but rooster doesn’t resemble his name. 

😛

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1 hour ago, Thorny said:

Hard no

I agree with the rest of your configuration more less, excluding maybe the 4th line - can Girgs still play C? And I dunno about VO in that role. But the top three lines is pretty close to how I'd do it, maybe switch R2 and VO. And of course, KO.  

We need to supplement the forwards in a more significant way if we really want to take a shot at the playoffs. Like I said I'm looking at a winger or two and a checking vet C - KO can't come into the season as a top 6 player. 

The depth vet C add should serve us well in the playoffs. 

I don’t like VO and R2 on the same line.  Figured KO would be the one going into the corners. 
Bjork can play Center ? 

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53 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I don't care other then we are rehashing most of the discussion from the other thread.  Eichel, Reinhart, Mitts 

It seemed to me to be mainly about the wingers to add to Mitts & Cozens' lines as opposed to the possibility that Reinhart may have won the 2C spot with his recent play and the recent discussions about it. 

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1 minute ago, Crusader1969 said:

I don’t like VO and R2 on the same line.  Figured KO would be the one going into the corners. 
Bjork can play Center ? 

Sorry I meant like VO can can play there instead of R2 potentially. And R2 bumps Asplund down to L4. And if Bjork can't play C, he can. But I do think they should target a vet checking C and stick Asplund on LW in that case. One of Girgs/Bjork is the 13th man. That's ok. That's a good improvement from it being young Fogarty or even, sometimes, a d-man. There'll be lots of room for everyone and I do think the lineup has a ton of flexibility (by design?)

I think we need to aim higher than KO in a top 6 role. Whoever the C is (I want Cozens there to start if possible, too. Certainly at C) needs better insulation than that, as much of a good soldier KO has been. I could see him on line 4 with Asplund. We need to add top end talent still IMO so I'm looking for a winger if the aim is playoffs. 

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5 minutes ago, Thorny said:

Sorry I meant like VO can can play there instead of R2 potentially. And R2 bumps Asplund down to L4. And if Bjork can't play C, he can. But I do think they should target a vet checking C and stick Asplund on LW in that case. One of Girgs/Bjork is the 13th man. That's ok. That's a good improvement from it being young Fogarty or even, sometimes, a d-man. There'll be lots of room for everyone and I do think the lineup has a ton of flexibility (by design?)

I think we need to aim higher than KO in a top 6 role. Whoever the C is (I want Cozens there to start if possible, too. Certainly at C) needs better insulation than that, as much of a good soldier KO has been. I could see him on line 4 with Asplund. We need to add top end talent still IMO so I'm looking for a winger if the aim is playoffs. 

I agree. Ideally he is the 4th line winger.  But with their current roster I have him slotted higher.  Basically to balance the lines 

 I like Asplund on his current line   Think they have good chemistry 

 

 

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Eichel, Reinhart, Mittelstadt is the spine going forward if Granato is the coach. 

Honestly, I like this alignment.  It allows Cozens to add depth at RW along with Thompson and Bjork.  Skinner, Olofsson and Girgensons give us plenty of depth at LW with R2 and Asplund able to play there as well.  R2 also has given us excellent minutes at RW and both he and Asplund can also play center.

Skinner Eichel Cozens

Olofsson Reinhart Thompson

Asplund Mittelstadt R2

Girgensons ????? Bjork

Okposo Eakin (AHL?) 

I'm going to assume we lose Miller in expansion.  This means that KA doesn't have to do anything with the forwards this off-season other then retain the RFAs.  Don't think he'll sit on the forward group this off-season however, I think he tries to add a vet RW and possibly a replacement for Lazar.

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6 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Eichel, Reinhart, Mittelstadt is the spine going forward if Granato is the coach. 

Honestly, I like this alignment.  It allows Cozens to add depth at RW along with Thompson and Bjork.  Skinner, Olofsson and Girgensons give us plenty of depth at LW with R2 and Asplund able to play there as well.  R2 also has given us excellent minutes at RW and both he and Asplund can also play center.

Skinner Eichel Cozens

Olofsson Reinhart Thompson

Asplund Mittelstadt R2

Girgensons ????? Bjork

Okposo Eakin (AHL?) 

I'm going to assume we lose Miller in expansion.  This means that KA doesn't have to do anything with the forwards this off-season other then retain the RFAs.  Don't think he'll sit on the forward group this off-season however, I think he tries to add a vet RW and possibly a replacement for Lazar.

No, we don't actually know this

As for the additions, we're on the same page, I'm thinking a winger and a vet C as well.

Edited by Thorny
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I'm still not sold on Mittlestadt, although he certainly has improved, and I expect Cozens to be substantially better than Mittlestadt next season.

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14 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

I'm still not sold on Mittlestadt, although he certainly has improved, and I expect Cozens to be substantially better than Mittlestadt next season.

It's only a matter of time IMO - Cozens 200 foot game is ideally suited to C, and Mittelstadt's best asset is his shot, and he can use that as well or better from the wing. Both can play C but I agree it won't be long until Cozens is higher on the C depth chart. 

Additionally, Cozens has been at C basically the entire year, I doubt they move him over to W

Edited by Thorny
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33 minutes ago, Thorny said:

No, we don't actually know this

As for the additions, we're on the same page, I'm thinking a winger and a vet C as well.

We added a vet C... Sam Reinhart

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26 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

I'm still not sold on Mittlestadt, although he certainly has improved, and I expect Cozens to be substantially better than Mittlestadt next season.

 

23 minutes ago, Thorny said:

It's only a matter of time IMO - Cozens 200 foot game is ideally suited to C, and Mittelstadt's best asset is his shot, and he can use that as well or better from the wing. Both can play C but I agree it won't be long until Cozens is higher on the C depth chart. 

Additionally, Cozens has been at C basically the entire year, I doubt they move him over to W

Mitts' 200 game is substantially better then Cozens at this point and Cozens isn't going to catchup in one off-season.  It's Mitts who Granato is giving the tougher minutes.  It's Mitts he puts out on the ice in late game situations.  It's also Mitts on the PP and he's begun to use him some on the PK.  It's also Mitts who is scoring with 13 points in his last 16 games.

Cozens is going to be just fine, but with only 1 goal in his last 23 games the offense isn't there yet.  It will come, and he may eventually eclipse Mitts as a player, but it isn't going to be as early as the beginning of next season.  By the end of next season? Possibly, but you are also discounting any continued growth from Mitts.   

5 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

We added a vet C... Sam Reinhart

It think he is talking about upgrading Eakin.

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6 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Eichel, Reinhart, Mittelstadt is the spine going forward if Granato is the coach. 

Honestly, I like this alignment.  It allows Cozens to add depth at RW along with Thompson and Bjork.  Skinner, Olofsson and Girgensons give us plenty of depth at LW with R2 and Asplund able to play there as well.  R2 also has given us excellent minutes at RW and both he and Asplund can also play center.

Skinner Eichel Cozens

Olofsson Reinhart Thompson

Asplund Mittelstadt R2

Girgensons ????? Bjork

Okposo Eakin (AHL?) 

I'm going to assume we lose Miller in expansion.  This means that KA doesn't have to do anything with the forwards this off-season other then retain the RFAs.  Don't think he'll sit on the forward group this off-season however, I think he tries to add a vet RW and possibly a replacement for Lazar.

There are a variety of ways to slot the forwards. But I strongly believe that Cozens will ultimately earn the #2C role. I like Mitts a lot and still see him elevating his game. I have pleasantly been surprised at his leap forward this season and encouraged that he will continue with his upward trajectory. But I still believe that Cozens's more natural position is as a center. It may not happen right away but ultimately I believe he will be our #2C.  

What's heartening about these usage discussions is that it indicates that our talent based is widening to the point that it presents roster flexibility before having to discuss what we have to bring in from the outside. That's a sign of progress. 

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5 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

 

Mitts' 200 game is substantially better then Cozens at this point and Cozens isn't going to catchup in one off-season.  It's Mitts who Granato is giving the tougher minutes.  It's Mitts he puts out on the ice in late game situations.  It's also Mitts on the PP and he's begun to use him some on the PK.  It's also Mitts who is scoring with 13 points in his last 16 games.

Cozens is going to be just fine, but with only 1 goal in his last 23 games the offense isn't there yet.  It will come, and he may eventually eclipse Mitts as a player, but it isn't going to be as early as the beginning of next season.  By the end of next season? Possibly, but you are also discounting any continued growth from Mitts.   

It think he is talking about upgrading Eakin.

Ya I mean you may be right for next year - but there's still no point in saying "these who the Cs will be", which you did. It could easily be Reinhart that moves back to wing once Eichel is back. 

11 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

We added a vet C... Sam Reinhart

Well I've spoken a lot to my desire to add a checking line vet C in replacement of Eakin

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28 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

It think he is talking about upgrading Eakin.

Draft Beniers and you have upgraded Eakin. 

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For me, when you're structuring your lines, you do so vs opponent first, then sort out the minutes second. Who do you want playing against Marchand's line? For me, it's Cozens with Asplund and Thompson.

Who do you next want playing against Marchand's line? I would put Eichel, Skinner, and Pommminville. Is Pommminville in shape? Who knows? Either way, we don't want Pommminville playing the minutes that Eichel does, so we'll play him once a week, or swap him with the 4th line in minutes.  Give him a call. "Jason, 9 minutes a week, what do you say?"

Next you try to keep Reinhart's line off the ice when Marchand's on the ice.  Reinhart like Olofsson is much better away from Eichel  because they both defer to Eichel too much.

Last, you totally try to hide the Mittlestadt line, who is terrible defensively. (Watch the highlights of the first 2 goals 2 games ago) You only have Mittlestadt on the ice against the top line when you might be trying to lose games, what's that called? I forget. Development, that's what it's called.

So by minutes, if you need to number them, they are Eichel, Reinhart, Cozens, Mittlestadt.

So by opponent, it's Cozens, Eichel, Reinhart, Mittlestadt.

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5 hours ago, nfreeman said:

 

Forgive me for using pace, which I know can frequently be misleading, but I think this discussion needs some context. I think the first numbers are generally an indication of what we could reasonably expect next year. The 2nd show what each player has accomplished in their current role under the current system.

Over 82, based on this season's pace:

  • Mittelstadt 21/21/42/-20
  • Cozens 9/21/30/-17

Over 82, based on this month's pace:

  • Mittelstadt 40/26/66/+31
  • Cozens 0/56/56/-7 (*Edited from original post for math)

Given the upheaval this season and the youth of each player I don't think we can use this season to effectively predict next, but Cozens has shown nothing to indicate he is capable of being a 2nd-line centre next season. Mittelstadt maybe but the sample size is very small.

Edited by dudacek
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You guys are thinking too hard based on an outdated set of premises.

The obvious 2C solution is right there in front of you.

https://buffalonews.com/sports/sabres/sam-reinharts-successful-transition-to-center-strengthens-sabres-depth/article_4adf77ba-a82c-11eb-8f1f-2bf1703a4b5e.html

Moving Reinhart off the right wing equates to taking the restrictor plate off a sports car. Playing down the middle has given him more room to distribute the puck to his teammates.

“What I really like about him, Sam is not only a great goal scorer, he has more room to find different pockets because he’s not wedged against the wall half the game,” Granato said. “He can move east-west, left-right, and he has a creative side to him as well, very deceptive and creative player. He has more opportunity offensively in that position. I feel we’ve seen that and we’ve been able to take advantage of that. As he’s re-acclimated to that position, he shows signs of continuing to get better and more dangerous.”

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14 minutes ago, dudacek said:

You guys are thinking too hard based on an outdated set of premises.

The obvious 2C solution is right there in front of you.

https://buffalonews.com/sports/sabres/sam-reinharts-successful-transition-to-center-strengthens-sabres-depth/article_4adf77ba-a82c-11eb-8f1f-2bf1703a4b5e.html

Moving Reinhart off the right wing equates to taking the restrictor plate off a sports car. Playing down the middle has given him more room to distribute the puck to his teammates.

“What I really like about him, Sam is not only a great goal scorer, he has more room to find different pockets because he’s not wedged against the wall half the game,” Granato said. “He can move east-west, left-right, and he has a creative side to him as well, very deceptive and creative player. He has more opportunity offensively in that position. I feel we’ve seen that and we’ve been able to take advantage of that. As he’s re-acclimated to that position, he shows signs of continuing to get better and more dangerous.”

I agree with you that Reinhart is our best 2C right now, and that he's best maximized at 2C. But it's like the old conversation about maximizing Skinner, or maximizing the team - only this time with someone who's actually at this time playing really well. 

All else being equal I agree Sam at 2C for next year makes the most sense - but while we may be thinking too hard or whatever you meant by that, I'd submit that you might be undervaluing the degree to which Reinhart helps maximize our top line and specifically Eichel. Eichel is great, but Sam makes him way better. Our 2nd line undoubtedly will be at it's best with Sam there, to me that's no question. But there's a non-negligible chance that the amount the top line "suffers" without Reinhart there is a greater differential than the 2nd line with or w/o Sam. 

A lot depends on the progress of Cozens and Mittelstadt. If either makes up enough gap on Sam, there will be a point where, even as inferior to him overall, the team benefits more with either or one of them at 2C and Reinhart back with Jack. 

Granato doesn't need to have them adhere strictly to their positions in the offensive zone, anyways., if he doesn't want. Positional alignment will be much more important in the D and neutral zones. 

In the neutral zone, for example, Reinhart has a fantastic affect on Eichel's transition numbers from the wing. 

Edited by Thorny
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41 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Forgive me for using pace, which I know can frequently be misleading, but I think this discussion needs some context. I think the first numbers are generally an indication of what we could reasonably expect next year. The 2nd show what each player has accomplished in their current role under the current system.

Over 82, based on this season's pace:

  • Mittelstadt 21/21/42/-20
  • Cozens 9/21/30/-17

Over 82, based on this month's pace:

  • Mittelstadt 40/26/66/+31
  • Cozens 0/71/71/-7

Given the upheaval this season and the youth of each player I don't think we can use this season to effectively predict next, but Cozens has shown nothing to indicate he is capable of being a 2nd-line centre next season. Mittelstadt maybe but the sample size is very small.

Did Mitts last year play well enough to indicate that he could be a second or third line center? Based on his previous sketchy play there were discussions whether he would even be on the roster. Am I projecting that Cozens could be one of our centers next year? Yes. Although it seems that this youngster has hit the wall (not surprising) I still strongly believe that he has the potential to be one of our centers next year. And in the not too distant future I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up as our #2C.

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