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Forwards This Season 2021-22


GASabresIUFAN
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5 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Look I'm not exactly a cheerleader for the squad KA created, but I'm hopeful they'll play hard each night with DG as coach and they'll out play their preseason ranking.  

Hope is all we have. Faith is long gone.

Regardless, patting yourself on the back for predicting a lineup with so little to offer isn’t exactly genius.  

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4 minutes ago, Weave said:

Hope is all we have. Faith is long gone.

Regardless, patting yourself on the back for predicting a lineup with so little to offer isn’t exactly genius.  

Especially when not 1 single line will be deployed in the form predicted.

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Lines from the practice report today:

image.thumb.png.26d1560acacb5992b960e6f34d5a10de.png

My thoughts (and that's all they are, don't make too much of them... just spitballing here):

  • Mitts line:  I think Mittelstadt inherited 1C rather than earning it, however I'm hopeful that with his wings he'll be up for the task.  Which Skinner will show up?  The 40-goal scorer or the WTF is that guy doing guy?  Either way, Hinostroza is a sound choice to stabilize what will be a very dynamic line.  You never know, it could work.
  • Thompson line:  Is Tage ready to be a 2C in the NHL?  Hell no, but he seems more engaged as a center than he did as a wing so I hope he surprises.  If he can get some scoring chemistry with Olofsson this might be a good line.  I think on this line, the role of Hinostroza will be played by Asplund:  The guy who cleans up the messes and plays responsible hockey
  • Eakin.  Eak.  What's he doing on this roster?  I hope Ruotsalainen bumps him out of this spot.  I think R2 and Girgs/Okie would be a good shutdown line.
  • Cozens line:  looks more like spare parts than a line.  At least all three are high energy players.  They say speed kills.  I hope the speed of these guys will kill any advantage that opposing line has.
  • Spare parts:  I like to think that Hayden will rotate in a lot of nights; we will likely needs his physical presence.  And as I said my hope is that R2 relegates Eakin to the bench most nights.

And since they're there.... the D pairings:

  • Dahlin/Joki:  I hope they balance each other out but I fear they won't.  This pairing needs more defense.
  • Hagg/Pysyk:  My impression of Hagg is that he's a poor man's Risto.  Maybe if he's not asked to put in 1st line mintues like Risto was, he'll be alright.  I expecte Pysyk will be not flashy but steady.
  • Bryson/Miller:  I like that it shows Butcher as the extra and Bryson on the third pairing.  I hope Bryson gets minutes and is up to them.  If it were me I might switch up the pairings but when I think of what that looks like, none of the pairings are ideal.  I'm sure will see all combinations from Granato at some point because I doubt these three pairs will provide the defensive foundation this team will need.

Goalies:

  • Anderson might not be awful if he isn't overworked.  But if Toker sucks and they don't want to bring in UPL, Anderson may be overworked.
  • Tokarski will be hit or miss I think.  Hopefully when he's on he can win a few for us (instead of losing by a goal).
  • One last G comment:  I think Dell was assigned to Rochester.  It will be interesting to see if they try to work on his flaws and bring him back to his early career form.  Just because he didn't make the opening night roster doesn't mean he won't play any games for the Sabres.
Edited by Doohickie
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2 hours ago, Doohickie said:

Lines from the practice report today:

image.thumb.png.26d1560acacb5992b960e6f34d5a10de.png

My thoughts (and that's all they are, don't make too much of them... just spitballing here):

  • Mitts line:  I think Mittelstadt inherited 1C rather than earning it, however I'm hopeful that with his wings he'll be up for the task.  Which Skinner will show up?  The 40-goal scorer or the WTF is that guy doing guy?  Either way, Hinostroza is a sound choice to stabilize what will be a very dynamic line.  You never know, it could work.
  • Thompson line:  Is Tage ready to be a 2C in the NHL?  Hell no, but he seems more engaged as a center than he did as a wing so I hope he surprises.  If he can get some scoring chemistry with Olofsson this might be a good line.  I think on this line, the role of Hinostroza will be played by Asplund:  The guy who cleans up the messes and plays responsible hockey
  • Eakin.  Eak.  What's he doing on this roster?  I hope Ruotsalainen bumps him out of this spot.  I think R2 and Girgs/Okie would be a good shutdown line.
  • Cozens line:  looks more like spare parts than a line.  At least all three are high energy players.  They say speed kills.  I hope the speed of these guys will kill any advantage that opposing line has.
  • Spare parts:  I like to think that Hayden will rotate in a lot of nights; we will likely needs his physical presence.  And as I said my hope is that R2 relegates Eakin to the bench most nights.

And since they're there.... the D pairings:

  • Dahlin/Joki:  I hope they balance each other out but I fear they won't.  This pairing needs more defense.
  • Hagg/Pysyk:  My impression of Hagg is that he's a poor man's Risto.  Maybe if he's not asked to put in 1st line mintues like Risto was, he'll be alright.  I expecte Pysyk will be not flashy but steady.
  • Bryson/Miller:  I like that it shows Butcher as the extra and Bryson on the third pairing.  I hope Bryson gets minutes and is up to them.  If it were me I might switch up the pairings but when I think of what that looks like, none of the pairings are ideal.  I'm sure will see all combinations from Granato at some point because I doubt these three pairs will provide the defensive foundation this team will need.

Goalies:

  • Anderson might not be awful if he isn't overworked.  But if Toker sucks and they don't want to bring in UPL, Anderson may be overworked.
  • Tokarski will be hit or miss I think.  Hopefully when he's on he can win a few for us (instead of losing by a goal).
  • One last G comment:  I think Dell was assigned to Rochester.  It will be interesting to see if they try to work on his flaws and bring him back to his early career form.  Just because he didn't make the opening night roster doesn't mean he won't play any games for the Sabres.

Won't comment on Eakin; have said it all repeatedly.

Am glad that Hagg - Miller was separated.

Interesting that Bryson gets the ice time over Butcher.

Am fine w/ Cozens getting 4C duty.  When he's ready, he can bump higher.

Will be interesting to see how long the Thompson at 2C experiment lasts.

Adams sure didn't do Granato any favors this off-season, did he?

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4 hours ago, LabattBlue said:

Putting Eakin, Caggiula, or Bjork in the lineup over R2, is a complete joke. Take a skill guy and make him your spare forward…sounds like another solid coaching hire. 

Yes I can't figure out why Ruotsalainen is not in the lineup unless he's got some sort of minor injury (okay enough to practice but not for games).  Then again maybe Granato plans on rotating the spares into the next game.  I guess wait and see if more info comes out tomorrow.

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12 minutes ago, Digger said:

Yes I can't figure out why Ruotsalainen is not in the lineup unless he's got some sort of minor injury (okay enough to practice but not for games).  Then again maybe Granato plans on rotating the spares into the next game.  I guess wait and see if more info comes out tomorrow.

Caggiula was injured during practice today so we'll see what develops there.

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/12/2021 at 1:41 AM, GASabresIUFAN said:

I'm pretty sure who is making the team out of camp, but what the line combos are and who plays where is anyone's guess.

I'm 100% sure the following will be in the lineup opening night (if healthy) - Skinner, KO, VO, Girgensons, Mitts, Cozens, Asplund, Thompson, Bjork and Hinostroza.  That 10 jobs down.

I also think R2 did enough last spring to secure his spot.  He also is one our more current dynamic forwards.  

That leaves a bunch of guys fighting for 2 jobs.  Eakin, Caggiula, Hayden and MacInnis.  Eakins "big" contract and proven faceoff skills probably wins the 4th center job, but I can see both MacInnis and Hayden giving him a run for his money.  I'm not a big Caggiula fan, but KA seems to be.  He also probably makes the team.

Other then Quinn, I don't see any other prospect who could push for a job in Buffalo this season.  I can JJP, Murray, and Weissbach getting look see at some point this season.  Murray maybe longer if we need more physical play.  

The last question is Jack.  IMHO he starts the season on IR (unless traded earlier).  A trade likely includes a contract or two back.  It will be interesting to see how this swould effect this group.

Based on who is here today I'd project a lineup like this

Asplund Mitts Olofsson

Skinner R2 Thompson

Bjork Cozens Okposo

Girgensons Eakin Hinostroza

Caggiula

Cozens is the 3C right now because of his inexperience and falloff late last year.  However, I can see this line developing into our physical shutdown line that adds more and more O as the season progresses.  I also don't think Cozen's offense is as developed as R2 and Mitts.  I've "loaded up" the top 2 lines with the 6 biggest offensive threats our youth roster has.  I trust Mitts and Asplund defensively which is why they are on my top line.  Hopefully Thompson uses his size more this coming season giving the 2nd a more physical presence.

Overall not a horrible group and if Mitts, Cozens, Thompson, Asplund and R2 can build on last last season, then we might have something at least on offense.

 

On 8/12/2021 at 5:52 AM, Weave said:

No.  It’s a horrible group.  Has 32nd place written all over it.

Still think it’s a horrible group?

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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59 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

Anyone still think this is true? I don't. I was wrong. He is in fact slowly improving game in game out despite often having crap linemates. Kid is driven! 

No, I doubt anyone thinks he needs to go down.  He has been excellent in recent weeks and has improved all season. 

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Man, is it too early to start the 2022-23 forwards thread?

Mitts, Cozens, Thompson, Aspland, Olofsson, Tuch, Murray

Skinner and Okposo who both look really rejuvenated.

Plus Quinn, Krebs, and Peterka!!!

If Levi can take his .953 save percentage from college and translate that to the .910 ballpark in the NHL, they might be playoff bound! Hell, I haven't even mentioned Power.

They might even be good... Scary good?

Edited by JoeSchmoe
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41 minutes ago, JoeSchmoe said:

Man, is it too early to start the 2021-22 forwards thread?

Mitts, Cozens, Thompson, Aspland, Olofsson, Tuch, Murray

Skinner and Okposo who both look really rejuvenated.

Plus Quinn, Krebs, and Peterka!!!

If Levi take his .953 save percentage from college and translate that to the .910 ballpark in the NHL, they might be playoff bound! Hell, I haven't even mentioned Power.

They might even be good... Scary good?

you mean 22/23 thread?

Levi? Next year? Not a chance. At least you'd hope not. 

Scary good in one season because of 3 rookies? You are smoking some good stuff 🙂

 

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5 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

Scary good in one season because of 3 rookies? You are smoking some good stuff 🙂

The difference would be the 3 rookies... plus Tuch... plus Power... plus Murray... plus Mitts and Olofsson not being hurt.

Add in the potential for median level goaltending instead of the train wreck we have now...

And last but not least, NOT trotting out the likes of Bjork, Eakin, Cagiula, and Hayden every night.

Did I mention Samuelsson?

Keep in mind they're already 16th in the league in GF.

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6 hours ago, JoeSchmoe said:

The difference would be the 3 rookies... plus Tuch... plus Power... plus Murray... plus Mitts and Olofsson not being hurt.

Add in the potential for median level goaltending instead of the train wreck we have now...

And last but not least, NOT trotting out the likes of Bjork, Eakin, Cagiula, and Hayden every night.

Did I mention Samuelsson?

Keep in mind they're already 16th in the league in GF.

There's definitely the potential for improvement and hence some optimism but a lot of things have to go right. Injuries can't be blamed, they always happen and we haven't been hit particularly hard. I certainly hope they don't plan to dump Power into a big role right away. We've ruined enough D men already. Hoping KA recognizes this and brings Power along slowly. Don't expect him to be a savior. In 3 years I think he will be dominant but only IF we take our time and bring him along properly. 

Tuch should impact right away, Samuelsson maybe. Maybe a rookie or two off and on. With some sort of goaltending we should be BETTER but "Scary good" is not going to happen for a long time, if ever. 

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52 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

There's definitely the potential for improvement and hence some optimism but a lot of things have to go right. Injuries can't be blamed, they always happen and we haven't been hit particularly hard. I certainly hope they don't plan to dump Power into a big role right away. We've ruined enough D men already. Hoping KA recognizes this and brings Power along slowly. Don't expect him to be a savior. In 3 years I think he will be dominant but only IF we take our time and bring him along properly. 

Tuch should impact right away, Samuelsson maybe. Maybe a rookie or two off and on. With some sort of goaltending we should be BETTER but "Scary good" is not going to happen for a long time, if ever. 

I would like Power to spend a little time in Rochester...maybe 1/4 of the season..just to get a taste of that and prove/dominate at a lower level.  Of course, that may not be possible.  I'm sure as the first overall pick when it comes time for the Sabres to sign him this coming spring...his camp might make it a condition that he is with the big club all the time.

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3 hours ago, mjd1001 said:

I would like Power to spend a little time in Rochester...maybe 1/4 of the season..just to get a taste of that and prove/dominate at a lower level.  Of course, that may not be possible.  I'm sure as the first overall pick when it comes time for the Sabres to sign him this coming spring...his camp might make it a condition that he is with the big club all the time.

I thought Power looked good enough at the WC at the end of the 20-21 season to slot into the NHL back then. By the beginning of 22-23 he'll be fine. Of course he's not your number 1 shut down guy, but he will be good enough to learn every day and not be overwhelmed. I think sending him to Rochester might just delay his development. 

Edited by JoeSchmoe
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18 hours ago, JoeSchmoe said:

Man, is it too early to start the 2022-23 forwards thread?

Mitts, Cozens, Thompson, Aspland, Olofsson, Tuch, Murray

Skinner and Okposo who both look really rejuvenated.

Plus Quinn, Krebs, and Peterka!!!

If Levi can take his .953 save percentage from college and translate that to the .910 ballpark in the NHL, they might be playoff bound! Hell, I haven't even mentioned Power.

They might even be good... Scary good?

I love your enthusiasm.  It's easy to look at the future roster and be excited about where the Sabres are headed but we may not be able to improve that much with adding so many rookies next season.  A good comparison for us might be the LA Kings who were touted as having the best prospect pool going into this season.  Many of us had interest in some of their prospects in a theoretical Eichel trade.  Kopitar having a good year, signed hot FA in Danault, top prospects (Kaliyev, Kupari, and Bjornfot) on the team full time this season.  Although Doughty is out with injury.  But look at the standings this season and we see them just slightly better than the Sabres. 

Sabres (23GP 8W 12L 3OTL 19PTS)

Kings (22GP 9W 9L 4OTL 22PTS)

I hope I'm wrong and they turn the corner next season but I think we are 2 seasons away from turning into a good team.

 

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