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The Sabres make the playoffs in 2021-22 because:


Doohickie
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No negativity in this thread please, let this thread be a refuge for unbridled optimism.  A thread for rosy scenarios.  Check your negativity and criticisms at the door please.

The Sabres will make the playoffs in 2021-22 because our 1C, Girgensons, will be better than expected, with Skinner and Olofsson on his wings.  He'll be more of a two-way center, but the line will click and both wingers will score 20+ goals.

 

Anyone else?

 

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Ullmark is good, and so is his backup. Confidence in what lies behind them allows Dahlin and Joki to step up and replicate what a prime Campbell-Tallinder pairing would look like, if not better. The rag tag forwards with some promise band together not unlike Vegas in their first season, wanting to show every shift why everyone is foolish to write the team off. Granato has the coaching skills to win matchup and tactical battles along with the people skills to lead these kids through an 82 game schedule 

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6 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

Ullmark is good, and so is his backup. Confidence in what lies behind them allows Dahlin and Joki to step up and replicate what a prime Campbell-Tallinder pairing would look like, if not better. The rag tag forwards with some promise band together not unlike Vegas in their first season, wanting to show every shift why everyone is foolish to write the team off. Granato has the coaching skills to win matchup and tactical battles along with the people skills to lead these kids through an 82 game schedule 

I like your scenario the best so far.

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The Eichel Trade lands us a stud 1C prospect and young stay at home Dman that shine in their new opportunity here.  Zemgus locks down the heavy mimutes role and the kids shine without the pressure.  Sammuelsson blossoms into a rock in 2nd pairing role and anchors the PK.

Boston and Montreal slide back badly and Ottawa isn’t quite ready for primetime.

The Sabres start fast out of the gate and maintain a Deluca .500 pace to the trade deadline.  KA sees what we have and we are buyers at the deadline.

The team falters down the stretch but the new vets and hot start are enough to sneak them i to the last playoff spot.

They are crushed in 4 games by FLA but the learnings are valuable.

Edited by Weave
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We have forwards to score goals, perhaps lots of them. We need defensive depth and we could possibly get it in trade or free agency, and we need goaltenders. But ya, there is talent enough to move forward. 
 

Wont be easy, but I could see it come together 

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6 minutes ago, Weave said:

The Eichel Trade lands us a stud 1C prospect and young stay at home Dman that shine in their new opportunity here.  Zemgus locks down the heavy mimutes role and the kids shine without the pressure.  Sammuelsson blossoms into a rock in 2nd pairing role and anchors the PK.

Boston and Montreal slide back badly and Ottawa isn’t quite ready for primetime.

The Sabres start fast out of the gate and maintain a Deluca .500 pace to the trade deadline.  KA sees what we have and we are buyers at the deadline.

The team falters down the stretch but the new vets and hot start are enough to sneak them i to the last playoff spot.

They are crushed in 4 games by FLA but the learnings are valuable.

Please let this happen. 

Hot start thing is plausible because the schedule stars rather weakly (easy for the Sabres to say..)

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Eichel returns, having a career year centering Skinner and Peterka who surprisingly makes the team after scoring 8 goals in the preseason. 

Cozens scores 30g as 2C and Mitts prospers as the third line pivot.   

Ullmark makes the All-Star team and is runner-up for Vezina.

 Dahlin explodes in year 4 finishing behind only Cale Makar in points by defensemen. 

Granato wins the Jack Adams. 

Florida misses the playoffs as Knight flounders and Barkov misses the enitre season retiring from the sport due to a severe case of rickets.   

Boston goes winless in October and never recovers.   

Toronto plummets down the standings after a previously unknown COVID variant ravages the team.  Scientist trace the source of the mutated virus to Auston Matthews mustache.  

Kucherov, Hedman and Vasilevsky spend the entire season on LTIR due to a severe cases of acne.    They still finish first.

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I don’t see this as a “rebuild” in the traditional sense, but rather a refocus. The sell-off Darcy pulled was a rebuilt. The house was stripped down to the studs. We’re not looking at a similar situation this coming year. We have a handful of youth already on the roster that took significant steps last year. We add another 1B goalie after signing Ulmark and pray that he plays at least half the season. UPL plays the whole season in Roch. Power doesn’t go back to UM and becomes our 2LHD. He makes mistakes, but learns from them and plays with pride. I’m not going to approach the Jack situation beyond he’s playing or a young 1C star is playing in his place. Whoever this is ignites Skinner to score at least 20 goals. 

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37 minutes ago, kas23 said:

I don’t see this as a “rebuild” in the traditional sense, but rather a refocus. The sell-off Darcy pulled was a rebuilt. The house was stripped down to the studs. We’re not looking at a similar situation this coming year. We have a handful of youth already on the roster that took significant steps last year. We add another 1B goalie after signing Ulmark and pray that he plays at least half the season. UPL plays the whole season in Roch. Power doesn’t go back to UM and becomes our 2LHD. He makes mistakes, but learns from them and plays with pride. I’m not going to approach the Jack situation beyond he’s playing or a young 1C star is playing in his place. Whoever this is ignites Skinner to score at least 20 goals. 

Oh, this is a traditional rebuild.  We’re jettisoning the current core and anointing a new one.  It doesn't get any more rebuild than that.  The Darcy sell off was a tank, a very specific type of rebuild.

We won’t know if this is a tank until the season unfolds.  If winning is met with more selling, we’ll know we are tanking.

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The goaltending and veteran signings result in 2 lines like the LOG line and sage partners for the young defencemen, which initially takes a tonne of pressure off the kids. Goaltenders play at a bit above league average.  No one takes them seriously until they are firmly entrenched in a battle for 3rd as Boston and Montreal regress.  Then the youth starts taking on bigger roles and the team rides their enthusiasm and utter disbelief and relief of the home fans to squeak in.  They lose round 1 in 5, though, but learn a lot and suddenly are a respectable team.

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Ok, I'm trying to give a real answer here with something that might actually happen:

-Ulmark is signed,  has an above average year and no injuries.   Backup goalie plays at least average.

-Eichel plays and contribute 30+ goals, or if he is traded whoever takes up those minute (even if spread out among many players) gets close to that.

-Dahlin take the next step up and becomes a bona-fide all star D-man, averaging 22+ minutes per game.

-You get 40 goals and 100+ points from Mitts and Cozens combined.

-You resign McCabe and get a full season out of him, or you sign a D-man with equal talent to him.

-Skinner gives you 20+ goals, as does Olofsson.

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  • They won't be playing the same playoff teams 3 games in a row for a whole season, that has to help.
  • Assuming they only use 2 professional goaltenders, that has to be an improvement. The last 15 games they gave up 4+ goals 8 times
  • Last 15 games, 12 different players scored and 14 had assists in Granato's system.
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