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Is it too soon to think we might actually be good?


GASabresIUFAN
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Back on the bandwagon  

55 members have voted

  1. 1. When are you jumping back on the bandwagon

    • 3-0 I'm already there
      3
    • I'm jumping on if we beat the Bruins on Friday
      3
    • Lets wait and see. Love the effort so far but I need a bigger sample size. Good play 8 games in and I'm jumping on.
      2
    • Lets wait and see. Love the effort so far but I need a bigger sample size. Good play 16 games (20% of the season) in and I'm jumping on.
      11
    • Lets wait and see. Love the effort so far but I need a bigger sample size. Good play 20/21 games (25%) in and I'm jumping on.
      25
    • Nope - they have fooled me so many times during this rebuild that I'm on the sidelines this season.
      11
    • I never stopped taking Hopium - Stanley Cup here we come.
      0


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Let me begin by saying I love what I have seen so far from this team.  I like how DG has utilized his players and the excellent effort so far.  Admittedly 3 games isn't much to go on, but when coupled with how the guys played for DG last season, I don't think it's going to far on a limb to say we'll see this kind of effort all season.  

I am still very worried about the goaltending but so far so good.  Hopefully Joki and Mitts return will on the Western road trip. 

I also went and looked at our schedule going forward and there is reason to hope that sustaining the effort from the first 3 games will continue to yield positive results.  Here is the breakdown:

Assumed playoff caliber Teams (7) - Bos (2), TB, Tor, Wash, Edm, and Pit - hopeful record? 2-3-2

Teams with more talent on paper (2) - Mon and NYR  - hopeful record? 1-1-0

Teams allegedly at or near our level (10)  - NJ, Ana, SJS, LA, Sea (2), Det (2), Cgy, and CBJ - hopeful record? 6-3-1

If the Sabres are 12-7-3 after 22 games, can we then say we are actually good or at least very competitive.  

I actually think games 12-15 will really test this team and give us the best indication where they are at.  They play @ Wash, Edm, Tor and then @ Pit.  If we can get at least 4 points in those 4 games, I think it would prove that this team has taken a huge step forward.

 

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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Just now, z-man said:

NHL.com already has us 14 in their power rankings 👀

Yep, I posted that in the Granato thread.

I'm thinking we have something going here, but I want to see how they handle Boston before I get too excited.  Actually I want to see a lot more games before I get too excited, but every win makes me a little more excited. 

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As with most things, it depends on what you define "good" as.

Playoffs?  I'd need to see them in a playoff position/contention well into the second half of the season.

An 90 point team that misses the playoffs?  Lets see them keep up a good pace for 20-25 games to get me there.

A 75-80 point team (basically a team that finishes better than the expectations of the pundits and most fans before the season started)...well get 3 points in the next 3 games and I'm just about there at that point.

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Of course we need a bigger sample to say we are - anything.   What is true is we've played good for the 3 games and they weren't some crazy games that went our way.  They are doing repeatable things.  

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Too soon to tell with the competition we've faced. I do believe, however, that we were/are better than some of the NHL teams that had better records than us last year. We just never got to play them, and they didn't have the same level of competition as us

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I think two things are unfortunately likely to happen: KO and/or Anderson wear down and teams start to figure out a game plan[0]. I voted 20 games, but really that might not be long enough.

Right now, the team is a mostly unknown quantity; a bunch guys no one has seen playing a relatively new system for them. Sure, last year, but there's so much turnover. Once there's more tape good coaches will pick it apart. I don't know this team has another level to combat that. But it's fun living vicariously through the GDTs while the good times are here again.

[0] if there's a way to game plan around hard work

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8 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Let me begin by saying I love what I have seen so far from this team. 

This is actually nice to hear.  You've been one of the team's harshest critics for a long time.  If you feel they're turning a corner, my own optimism can't be too far off, can it?

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4 hours ago, MattPie said:

I think two things are unfortunately likely to happen: KO and/or Anderson wear down and teams start to figure out a game plan[0]. I voted 20 games, but really that might not be long enough.

I think about the time KO starts to feel the load, Tage will have grown into his center role a bit, and Mittsy will be back from injury.  This will be an ensemble cast and when KO can't carry the load, Girgs will, or Tage, or Asplund, or Mittelstadt, or... there will always be the next man up with this group.  This is a different kind of Sabres team.  Granato will figure out ways to win with the team he has.

Anderson will be fine.  He's not a young kid learning his body, overdoing it, etc.  He'll need rest now and again, but he'll be fine.  Tokarski will be an able partner, and I think by mid season UPL and Dell will be able to help lift the load in net too.

I think also by the time teams figure out how to defeat the Sabres' pressure game, Granato will start to introduce wrinkles, perhaps leaning more toward 5-man units instead of offense and defense.  Our defensmen, led by Dahlin, will be pressing the attack, covered by the speed of our forwards.  The offensive zone attack will look like a weave of players shuttling back and forth.

I have been to the mountain.  I have seen it.

 

Thus endeth the vision.

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Looks like I picked the most popular option. 

I'm enjoying the wins regardless, but I won't "believe" in the team until around 30/35/40 games in, I think we had played around 25 when we were in first last time, right? So I went with the 20 game option as it was closest. Just been burned too many times, and regardless, even in the best of times we need a significantly bigger sample size. 

Some of the signs we are seeing indeed look like I'd imagine them to once things truly are "fixed", but that was the case 2 seasons ago, too, early on. Feel like patience here makes sense, personally. 

Edited by Thorny
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  • nfreeman changed the title to Is it too soon to think we might actually be good?

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