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Forwards This Season 2021-22


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1 hour ago, LGR4GM said:

14-16 and 12-14 assists because he'll get pp time. 

Or Granato is a better coach than I thought. 

I'm just saying that pace over 56 games would have put Tage in the top 50 for NHL RWs this past season.

Not terrible by any means.

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I know this is a forwards discussion, but let's not forget the power play as well.  Not having Jack on the PP was noticeable to me last year and now minus Sam creates an even bigger hole.  I do not see anybody from this list of forwards being able to take up the slack and I wasn't convinced it looked much better under Granato than it did with Ralph.  Could be a rough season for the powerplay.

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Tage is a big tall guy who plays hockey pretty well. Not expecting him to be Mario Lemiexu but if he is putting up 15-20 goals on the third line that’s great. His long reach make him a good back checker, IMO. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him someday hit 25 goals 

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44 minutes ago, bob_sauve28 said:

 

Tage is a big tall guy who plays hockey pretty well. Not expecting him to be Mario Lemiexu but if he is putting up 15-20 goals on the third line that’s great. His long reach make him a good back checker, IMO. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him someday hit 25 goals 

His problem is he's still learning how to play hockey.  He does a lot of the right things but he is just sooooo tentative without the puck, especially on defense.  There's just too much panic in his game, like he doesn't know what he's doing and doesn't want the puck.  On offense he's confident with a puck on his stick, but he needs to put some LBs on his butt and park in front of the net.  Its not glamourous but he'll end up with more points, and help the PP units.  

He also has that Robert Woods thing where he just seems to be constantly falling down for some reason.  

I'm also curious what the PP groups will be - Seems like skinner-mitts-oloff-dahlin and maybe bjork?  And 2nd group would be cozens-thompson-miller? and 2 others that are completely up in the air.  Ruots if he makes it probably, maybe asplund, maybe mix in some okposo depending on where you need a player.  Also depends who comes over in an eichel deal.

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1 hour ago, bob_sauve28 said:

Tage is a big tall guy who plays hockey pretty well. Not expecting him to be Mario Lemiexu but if he is putting up 15-20 goals on the third line that’s great. His long reach make him a good back checker, IMO. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him someday hit 25 goals 

This is pie in the sky fantasy stuff.  He hasn't shown the hockey IQ to remain here and his main qualification is that the Pegula's were embarrassed by the ROR trade.

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10 hours ago, dudacek said:

I'm just saying that pace over 56 games would have put Tage in the top 50 for NHL RWs this past season.

Not terrible by any means.

That's over 82 games. Tage is very streaky so I don't trust his Granato boost. 

1 hour ago, bob_sauve28 said:

 

Tage is a big tall guy who plays hockey pretty well. Not expecting him to be Mario Lemiexu but if he is putting up 15-20 goals on the third line that’s great. His long reach make him a good back checker, IMO. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him someday hit 25 goals 

He has half of Reinhart's shot%. I would be very surprised if he hit 25 goals. 

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1 hour ago, Drag0nDan said:

His problem is he's still learning how to play hockey.  He does a lot of the right things but he is just sooooo tentative without the puck, especially on defense.  There's just too much panic in his game, like he doesn't know what he's doing and doesn't want the puck.  On offense he's confident with a puck on his stick, but he needs to put some LBs on his butt and park in front of the net.  Its not glamourous but he'll end up with more points, and help the PP units.  

He also has that Robert Woods thing where he just seems to be constantly falling down for some reason.  

I'm also curious what the PP groups will be - Seems like skinner-mitts-oloff-dahlin and maybe bjork?  And 2nd group would be cozens-thompson-miller? and 2 others that are completely up in the air.  Ruots if he makes it probably, maybe asplund, maybe mix in some okposo depending on where you need a player.  Also depends who comes over in an eichel deal.

Yes, I think Tage will be better. His tall body standing in front of net, (Like Andreychuck?) would be interesting. 
 

The PP is a going to be interesting, too. Maybe Butcher makes the cut for his ability to generate points there? 

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1 hour ago, LGR4GM said:

That's over 82 games. Tage is very streaky so I don't trust his Granato boost. 

He has half of Reinhart's shot%. I would be very surprised if he hit 25 goals. 

If Tage hits the 20 goal mark I will call that a success. If he plays in most of the games (injuries are an issue for him) it is doable. I'm just hoping there will be a better spread along the lines in goal scoring, and that includes the lower lines that have usually been barren. 

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3 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

That's over 82 games. Tage is very streaky so I don't trust his Granato boost. 

He has half of Reinhart's shot%. I would be very surprised if he hit 25 goals. 

Need to word that better: if Tage scores about 15/15/30 over 82 games, as you posted, chances are pretty good that will put him in, or flirting with the top 50 RWs in the NHL.

In other words, those are borderline 2nd line numbers, and great numbers for a 3rd liner in today's NHL.

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5 hours ago, Carmel Corn said:

I know this is a forwards discussion, but let's not forget the power play as well.  Not having Jack on the PP was noticeable to me last year and now minus Sam creates an even bigger hole.  I do not see anybody from this list of forwards being able to take up the slack and I wasn't convinced it looked much better under Granato than it did with Ralph.  Could be a rough season for the powerplay.

Yes it could be.  We also had the option of using Risto in front to screen hot goalies so that they could not see the puck.  He was another option that's gone to give the powerplay a different look.

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21 minutes ago, Digger said:

Yes it could be.  We also had the option of using Risto in front to screen hot goalies so that they could not see the puck.  He was another option that's gone to give the powerplay a different look.

The PP could benefit from being less predictable.  I can see Tage on the screen in front.  Mitts and VO as the other forwards with Dahlin and Butcher on the blueline. 

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5 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

The PP could benefit from being less predictable.  I can see Tage on the screen in front.  Mitts and VO as the other forwards with Dahlin and Butcher on the blueline. 

There will be alot of loss of possession with that lineup.  

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The PP might have to to be completely different because of the pieces.

We're so used to everything going through Jack at the left wall, but we won't have a Jack any more, or a Sam to play catch with him, or a Risto to be a big body down low. I even question if VO and Dahlin should stay in the same spots since we've lost the RH passers opposite them.

I think Dylan can play the PP, but I don't see him QBing it. The other guys I see getting increased touches are R2 and Casey and they're both lefties.

What we know is everything needs to go through Dahlin. The rest of it is completely up in the air.

 

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40 minutes ago, dudacek said:

The PP might have to to be completely different because of the pieces.

We're so used to everything going through Jack at the left wall, but we won't have a Jack any more, or a Sam to play catch with him, or a Risto to be a big body down low. I even question if VO and Dahlin should stay in the same spots since we've lost the RH passers opposite them.

I think Dylan can play the PP, but I don't see him QBing it. The other guys I see getting increased touches are R2 and Casey and they're both lefties.

What we know is everything needs to go through Dahlin. The rest of it is completely up in the air.

 

I agree that Dahlin is the one player in the lineup that can run a PP.  BUt he is going to be a distributor and the guys he will be distributing to do not have the possession ability that Jack especially had.  I see a lot of frustrating zone clears in our future.

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39 minutes ago, French Collection said:

A few years ago the PP had 4 Righthanded players, Jack, Sam. Risto and Okposo. Having 4 lefties shouldn’t be much of an issue, the talent level could be.

But it does mean our PP will likely not be QBed from the left half-wall.

And if it's not from the left half-wall, will that take away VO's bomb from the right half-wall?

I wonder if maybe Ras moves to Jack's spot; he can distribute either way very well.

That would leave Victor where he is, Cozens or Thompson to Reino's spot, and Mitts or Skinner in the other low spot? Miller at the top of the umbrella would add a dead on shooting option we don't have now and maybe create more deflections and rebound opportunities low.

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6 minutes ago, dudacek said:

But it does mean our PP will likely not be QBed from the left half-wall.

And if it's not from the left half-wall, will that take away VO's bomb from the right half-wall?

I wonder if maybe Ras moves to Jack's spot; he can distribute either way very well.

That would leave Victor where he is, Cozens or Thompson to Reino's spot, and Mitts or Skinner in the other low spot? Miller at the top of the umbrella would add a dead on shooting option we don't have now and maybe create more deflections and rebound opportunities low.

I didn’t consider Miller as a shooting option with Skinner cleaning up some garbage.

I think Dahlin needs to be the hub and letting his creativity flow.

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This thread is depressing me.  Granato did a great job with the team last year and I was impressed by the improvement 5 on 5.  I don't think the PP was all that great and with Jack (and Sam) gone, it has the potential to be pretty bad.  Jack has been known to float (or sulk, as the case may be) 5 on 5, but he, like all offensive-minded players, had plenty of jump on the PP.  That jump, along with his high level of skill and ability to attract defenders, is going to really be missed on the PP.  But hey, other than goaltending and the power play, they'll be fine.

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7 hours ago, dudacek said:

Need to word that better: if Tage scores about 15/15/30 over 82 games, as you posted, chances are pretty good that will put him in, or flirting with the top 50 RWs in the NHL.

In other words, those are borderline 2nd line numbers, and great numbers for a 3rd liner in today's NHL.

He's going to be 2nd line based on minutes. Getting 30 points will be a great year from him. The issue is his defensive game negates all his offense. 

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On 8/13/2021 at 8:06 PM, LGR4GM said:

He's going to be 2nd line based on minutes. Getting 30 points will be a great year from him. The issue is his defensive game negates all his offense. 

He just looks like confused and panicked in the d-zone all of the time.  Never knows where to go with the puck, doesn't know how to use his length there to make a difference, doesn't know where to go once we do have the puck to create offense.  He's just there.

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On 8/13/2021 at 5:07 PM, msw2112 said:

This thread is depressing me.  Granato did a great job with the team last year and I was impressed by the improvement 5 on 5.  I don't think the PP was all that great and with Jack (and Sam) gone, it has the potential to be pretty bad.  Jack has been known to float (or sulk, as the case may be) 5 on 5, but he, like all offensive-minded players, had plenty of jump on the PP.  That jump, along with his high level of skill and ability to attract defenders, is going to really be missed on the PP.  But hey, other than goaltending and the power play, they'll be fine.

Dahlins solid up top, and oloffson boasts a pretty nasty shot.  The key is opening up the shot since teams will be looking to prevent that.  Dahlin will probably need to shoot more, as will whoever lines up in jacks spot - be it cozens or mitts.  I don't think skinner will be much different than Hall, and honestly thompson seems like he could be a fit in the middle there.  He has a decent shot, and a big body to occupy space - it's just learning how to more effectively deflect the puck.

As for PP2, I'm not sure who goes where but i'd imagine bjork in the skinner spot, cozens or mitts, ruots, miller, and someone to play in the middle - maybe Okposo or Asplund.  Not a strong group, but that unit was constantly shuffling a year ago and might benefit from some continuity.  

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On 8/12/2021 at 7:13 AM, GASabresIUFAN said:

Yes and no.  Hinostroza is the only new player but Girgensons was also gone last year.  However, this is the group minus Reinhart (Jack was out injured) that played significantly better hockey for this team down the stretch.  The roster turnover occurred last season when the kids went from Taxi Squad/limited roles/AHL to contributors once the toxic RK was sent packing.  Gone from last year so far are Sam, Hall, Staal, Sheehan, Reider and Lazar.  That’s 50% of the opening night roster and the only one we’ll miss is Reinhart.  

So we downgrade Larsson to Lazar, then when we lose Lazar say we'll miss nothing

Also Eichel had 18 points in 21 games, if you are talking opening night roster, yes we miss Eichel as he was never adequately replaced in the turnover, regardless of when it happened

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On 8/12/2021 at 8:52 AM, dudacek said:

12 players who will be in the lineup ahead of Eakin, guaranteed:

Mitts, Cozens, Olofsson, Bjork, Thompson, R2, Asplund, Okposo, Girgensons, Skinner, Hinostroza, Caggiula

Right now, he's battling with Hayden and maybe McInnes for 13th forward.

The Sabres, minus Eichel, have $38 million in cap space. That's $17 million under the floor. Even if they don't get an NHL forward back in an Eichel trade, it almost guarantees they will be adding one either in a cap dump trade, or a Sheahan-style signing. Or both.

Barring a run of injuries, or a miraculous off-season, Cody Eakin will not be in the starting lineup.

So maybe not the starting lineup, but he's going to get in there sooner than later and play a lot, considering the bold. He's first in line right now probably already, even if we add another body or two, it's all but guaranteed he sees significant action 

On 8/12/2021 at 9:09 AM, dudacek said:

To the OP, it's too early to project lineups, but there are two things in there that I think are worth chewing on:

Ruotsalanien to centre makes a lot of sense right now. He's been a wing in the NHL so far, but he's a natural centre and all his success in the minors and in Liiga came there.

Kyle Okposo with Cozens is something watch for. The team has a lot invested in Dylan's success. Kyle has evolved into the old pro mentor. Plus Granato showed a predilection to use Kyle in a more offensive role again after Krueger typecasting him solely as a grinder. If not with Dylan, it will be R2 or Casey (or Krebs 😜). Unless we add a Reilly Smith or two, he won't be on the 4th line.

We'd do well to keep expectations for Kyle Okposo for next season in check 

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