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GDT 11/22/21 - Columbus Blue Jackets @ Buffalo Sabres 7:00 MSG


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2 hours ago, Weave said:

I’m repeating myself in multiple threads now, but I believe it is inevitable that the goaltending situation breaks this teams spirit, and when that happens the development of this roster will suffer.

I think it is absolutely critical to the development of this roster that a capable goaltender is acquired.

It's just amazing that it took nearly two months for it to actually manifest. Kevyn was never going to move if it wasn't costing us games. Will he now that it is?

1 hour ago, inkman said:

I enjoy watching Cozens coming into his own, Tage turning into something we never expected, Olofsson becoming a complete player, and hopefully some progress from Dahlin.  If you came into this season, with this roster sans Jack and Sam, expecting anything more than what we are seeing, your expectations were far too high.  They are playing a watchable brand of hockey. 

This pretty much nails it for me.

1 hour ago, Thorny said:

The franchise has done a masterful job resetting public expectations. Not finding enjoyment in losing 9 games out of 11 is an outlier opinion. They expectation is literally "try". As if the teams of the past did not. My opinion is that everyone's mileage mage vary on that. 

The organization telling me to not care if the crest wins isn't going to make me not care that the crest isn't winning.

I've fallen for that before. Not doing it again. 

This is probably the most understandable and justifiable viewpoint out there.

I have actively chosen to focus and judge on things like effort and development and building a foundation because the alternatives for me are anger and apathy.

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16 minutes ago, dudacek said:

It's just amazing that it took nearly two months for it to actually manifest. Kevyn was never going to move if it wasn't costing us games. Will he now that it is?

This pretty much nails it for me.

This is probably the most understandable and justifiable viewpoint out there.

I have actively chosen to focus and judge on things like effort and development and building a foundation because the alternatives for me are anger and apathy.

jedi

Edited by Thorny
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I find it absolutely impossible to believe that KA does not think ewe need real goaltending and that the names he added this past summer are anywhere near being capable NHL goaltenders.  There is no other explanation other then to acknowledge that he and they are actually tanking yet again. Can there be any other explanation? I'd love to hear it from KA. Does he really expect us to believe  he actually has faith in these goaltenders he has signed? 

  I also agree that bad goaltending weighs heavily on a team and it will really hurt their development and confidence as the season goes on. Poor management... 

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16 minutes ago, sabrefanday1 said:

I find it absolutely impossible to believe that KA does not think ewe need real goaltending and that the names he added this past summer are anywhere near being capable NHL goaltenders.  There is no other explanation other then to acknowledge that he and they are actually tanking yet again. Can there be any other explanation? I'd love to hear it from KA. Does he really expect us to believe  he actually has faith in these goaltenders he has signed? 

  I also agree that bad goaltending weighs heavily on a team and it will really hurt their development and confidence as the season goes on. Poor management... 

I've made this argument before but i believe he'd draw a distinction between "tanking" and "prioritization". There isn't going to be anything of the "future" sacrificed for right now. A great example is Ullmark. It's not that Adams was against signing Ullmark on it's face, indeed he did attempt to sign him, just that it had to be by very specific terms. Expecting any goalie to agree to the "buffalo terms" would be dicey at best considering where we are at right now, but Ullmark was at least feasible in that sense due to, team loyalty I guess. 

Adams isn't TRYING to lose, I don't think, if I had to guess, he merely accepts losing likely based on the utmost prioritizations he's set. A goalie COULD have been had, but that wasn't according to plan. 

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2 minutes ago, Thorny said:

I've made this argument before but i believe he'd draw a distinction between "tanking" and "prioritization". There isn't going to be anything of the "future" sacrificed for right now. A great example is Ullmark. It's not that Adams was against signing Ullmark on it's face, indeed he did attempt to sign him, just that it had to be by very specific terms. Expecting any goalie to agree to the "buffalo terms" would be dicey at best considering where we are at right now, but Ullmark was at least feasible in that sense due to, team loyalty I guess. 

Adams isn't TRYING to lose, I don't think, if I had to guess, he merely accepts losing likely based on the utmost prioritizations he's set. A goalie COULD have been had, but that wasn't according to plan. 

I do wonder how much better Linus would be over what we have now in terms of results? And I must admit I cannot see spending huge amounts of money on a goalie when the team is not "expected" to win (this team has far surpassed my expectations already to be honest)...

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6 minutes ago, sabrefanday1 said:

I do wonder how much better Linus would be over what we have now in terms of results? And I must admit I cannot see spending huge amounts of money on a goalie when the team is not "expected" to win (this team has far surpassed my expectations already to be honest)...

I just hope his plan took account for (what, potentially) a lot of losing over the course of a season might mean for the wattage of the blinding lights already here present. 

Edited by Thorny
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1 hour ago, Thwomp! said:

The most galling move to me is that Kevyn traded for the corpse of Boychuk instead of potentially bringing in some salary to help the team.  That tells you all you need to know.  Well that, and the fact that we're flirting with the cap floor, and yet we can't improve the current roster.

What it tells me is they are building from Rochester, but Rochester players are not yet ready for the big time.  The goal is not at the end of this season, it's in 2023, 24, 25...

I understand not wanting to wait but the last time the opposite path was chosen and we wasted our 23, 24, 25... on vets who couldn't turn the ship around and ended up with a bare cupboard.  We would trade a few futures on some vets who may or may not be part of that 23, 24, 25, and bring up JJ and Krebs and Quinn and Weissbach now, but all of that will diminish the team in 23, 24, 25 and beyond.

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1 hour ago, sabrefanday1 said:

I find it absolutely impossible to believe that KA does not think ewe need real goaltending and that the names he added this past summer are anywhere near being capable NHL goaltenders.  There is no other explanation other then to acknowledge that he and they are actually tanking yet again. Can there be any other explanation? I'd love to hear it from KA. Does he really expect us to believe  he actually has faith in these goaltenders he has signed? 

  I also agree that bad goaltending weighs heavily on a team and it will really hurt their development and confidence as the season goes on. Poor management... 

I wouldn’t be surprised if the owners told him to keep the salaries low and with short term commitments because of the recent financial losses, given they expected this to be a rebuild year anyways. That’s why they signed so many $750k one year contracts.

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15 hours ago, Brawndo said:

JFC

Really wondering if Tokarski was injured on that collision in the Pens game?  He still played extremely well the rest of that game but was very ordinary (for the 1st time all season) against Calgary & was downright bad last night.

If he is playing through an injury, this will be a very long stretch waiting for Anderson to get healthy enough to play.  (And if it's just the magic has drained out, it'll be an even longer stretch waiting for a serviceable or better replacement.  So, really hoping it's injury related.)

How about giving fans a nice early Christmas present Mr. Adams and bring us something from Dallas' goaltending surplus store?  Please?  We've been nice.

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15 hours ago, Sabel79 said:

Why is KO Trying to fight?  

NO!!!! BAD KYLE!!!!

Agreed.  There are 19 other guys dressed any given night to stand up for the Sabres; just because you're one of the biggest doesn't make that your job.  That concussion/ neurological ICU stay inducing injury gives you a pass until you retire.

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14 hours ago, DarthEbriate said:

The Jackets completely outworked the Sabres on that 5-on-3 and ensuing 5-on-4.

Have liked most of Granato's decisions this season (especially not putting Dahlin & Jokiharju back together) but REALLY wanted him to either keep the 2nd PP unit out to start the 5v3, or, better yet burn his timeout to get the 1st PP unit rested.  Most (all?) of them had been out for the full 1st minute of the 5v4 and hadn't gotten their legs back.  Realize that lets the BJ's D rest too, but it was the right move there.  They were too tired to move to the puck on the faceoff win & then all kept skating over top of each other on the entry.  They completely neutralized themselves and that was the game. 

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15 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Have liked most of Granato's decisions this season (especially not putting Dahlin & Jokiharju back together) but REALLY wanted him to either keep the 2nd PP unit out to start the 5v3, or, better yet burn his timeout to get the 1st PP unit rested.  Most (all?) of them had been out for the full 1st minute of the 5v4 and hadn't gotten their legs back.  Realize that lets the BJ's D rest too, but it was the right move there.  They were too tired to move to the puck on the faceoff win & then all kept skating over top of each other on the entry.  They completely neutralized themselves and that was the game. 

Yep.  That was really rough on the eyes

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6 hours ago, Thorny said:

Something’s happenin’ here...something just like last time! More losses. 

Maybe I’m grumpy because I have to stay up so late (re my work schedule) to watch the games, but I don’t have the ability to pretend that past Sabres teams wouldn’t also sometimes score 2 goals once already 3 down, and claim “excitement” and “moral victories”. 

They aren’t better yet. Maybe it’ll come. 

The Sabres were the better team in the 1st minus the goal rolling up Tokarski's shoulder & then Domi & Rostlovic making 2 kids that otherwise had great games look very young.

They outplayed them in the 2nd once Dell realized stopping the puck was still legal, though there could be a "we've got a 3 goal lead, we can coast" vibe from the BJ's so maybe there isn't much to hang one's hat on for that one.

And, except for the 5v3 & following 5v4, they were charging hard all the 3rd.

Even with that horrible start to the 2nd, it was a fun game to be at.  Have been entertained in every game have seen in person this season.  That's more than can be said in any year under the current ownership.  And sadly, after the decision to reload a 3rd time was made, that was the best that was left to hope for.  (Some could say it's the growth the young guys seem to be displaying, but that's a big part of what's making it fun.  Poe-tay-toe, pah-tah-toe.)

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14 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

The sad part is Buffalo wins the last two games if it had NHL caliber goaltending. 

It's time for someone (TP?) to put pressure on KA to fix the damn goaltending.

As much as the bolded would go a long way towards making the road games watchable (all the home ones, bar the Calgary game have been), until Cozens, Thompson, or Dahlin show signs of getting beaten down by the losing, can't see the goaltending getting fixed this season.  Even then, doubt it'd happen. 

Development & losing are the 2 contradictory (& seemingly mutually exclusive) goals for this year.

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3 hours ago, Thorny said:

Also, the connotation of "number 1 c" isn't casey Mittelstadt. Relative to the rest of the Cs on the roster he's pretty close. And that's not because the rest are pushing 1C. Same goes for Jokiharju and #2. Counting Anderson as a 1 as if it was logical to expect he wouldn't burn out/get injured at his age is absurd. 

I forgot that all the teams we've been playing have been totally healthy. 

Tuch is fair game. 

True.  But they've abandoned the hope/expectation of having a TRUE 1 C running the 1st line (& maybe even the 2nd line) unless they luck into Wright & he winds up at the very high end of expectations.  We're back to hoping for what they had in the Golisano glory years; a couple of borderline 1/2C's w/ 2/3 C's supporting (both at W & the bottom 6 lines) & having an ability to score from any line & cover for an injury to that top scoring C.

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3 hours ago, JohnC said:

From a future perspective I have the same positive outlook that you have. That is to say that a foundation is being built with its young players. My biggest worry that has happened before with our core players is that systemic losing becomes corrosive and dispiriting. That is exemplified by ROR, Jack, Reinhart and Risto all becoming emotionally and psychologically fatigued by the constant losing resulting in each of them desperately wanting out. Each player had somewhat different situations but at its core the issue was losing and the inability to envision a change in that dynamic in the near future. 

As you point out the expected shaky goaltending (after some quality goaltending) is starting to manifest itself. The fear of contaminating the rest of the roster which you allude to is a big worry. What is the short-term answer? I don't know. This is an issue that is usually addressed in the offseason. The GM didn't have an adequate fallback position with regards to Ullmark. That oversight is a costly mistake that can reverberate throughout the rest of the roster.  

The bolded is a huge concern & why not having real proven goaltending is so troubling.

The one shred of hope to hang onto is IF Adams is right about the character of these players, they will be able to fight through the adversity.  (Keep mentally cycling back to the scene in Miracle where Brooks is talking with the Dr. & the doc says he's pushing them too hard and Brooks reply back that that's why he gave them all the psyche test - to know that he could push them that hard & they could take it.)

But, giving up 5+ each night wears on players quickly & not having faith in the keepers causes guys to play differently in their own zone & stuff starts to snowball.

They've fought back & played hard to the end every night but 1.  But, how long can it continue w/ "goaltending dreck?"

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15 minutes ago, Taro T said:

True.  But they've abandoned the hope/expectation of having a TRUE 1 C running the 1st line (& maybe even the 2nd line) unless they luck into Wright & he winds up at the very high end of expectations.  We're back to hoping for what they had in the Golisano glory years; a couple of borderline 1/2C's w/ 2/3 C's supporting (both at W & the bottom 6 lines) & having an ability to score from any line & cover for an injury to that top scoring C.

Isn't there kind of a middle ground though? Briere was a point a game guy. That's a true 1C. Doesn't have to be a #1 overall type franchise guy, just a bonafide #1 centre. There's a chance the offensive ceiling ISN'T high enough on Cozens, Krebs, and Mittelstadt to be that guy. If the two guys we had were only borderline 1Cs, we need two of these guys to develop into PRETTY GREAT 2Cs haha

Just don't think it necessarily needs to be Wright.

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2 hours ago, sabrefanday1 said:

I do wonder how much better Linus would be over what we have now in terms of results? And I must admit I cannot see spending huge amounts of money on a goalie when the team is not "expected" to win (this team has far surpassed my expectations already to be honest)...

After having lived through the Hasek years, can't see ANY course of action except doing whatever it takes to get a real goalie when the team isn't expected to win.  Unless of course, losing in the ST is at minimum acceptable if not a stealth goal.

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3 minutes ago, Thorny said:

Isn't there kind of a middle ground though? Briere was a point a game guy. That's a true 1C. Doesn't have to be a #1 overall type franchise guy, just a bonafide #1 centre. There's a chance the offensive ceiling ISN'T high enough on Cozens, Krebs, and Mittelstadt to be that guy. If the two guys we had were only borderline 1Cs, we need two of these guys to develop into PRETTY GREAT 2Cs haha

Just don't think it necessarily needs to be Wright.

It absolutely doesn't need to be Wright, and w/ any luck at least 1 & maybe even 2 of the 4 young C they have w/ offensive upside can be a Briere.  It would make the odds of becoming an actual contender much higher now that they've traded in their 2 lottery tickets to end up w/ that elite F most all SC winners have for more chances to rebuild the '05-'07 Sabres.  (Hopefully w/ no intentions of not paying the key guys when the time comes, should that plan actually bear fruit.)

But unless they luck into Wright, they probably don't have that truly elite guy in the forward ranks.  Particularly at C (still very interested in what Quinn & Peterka's ceilings really are).

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2 hours ago, Thorny said:

I just hope his plan took account for (what, potentially) a lot of losing over the course of a season might mean for the wattage of the blinding lights already here present. 

And this is my biggest concern -- that the stink of losing pervades the new generation just like it suffused Eichel, Risto and Reino and they give up on it getting better here and start wanting out too.

It's at least as likely to happen as a major turnaround and it's a huge failure by KA IMHO.

 

1 hour ago, Taro T said:

How about giving fans a nice early Christmas present Mr. Adams and bring us something from Dallas' goaltending surplus store?  Please?  We've been nice.

I'm not expecting it, but this would be great.  And it would be nice for KA to show the fans that he cares about them by doing something like this (at the right price of course).

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1 hour ago, Taro T said:

The bolded is a huge concern & why not having real proven goaltending is so troubling.

The one shred of hope to hang onto is IF Adams is right about the character of these players, they will be able to fight through the adversity.  (Keep mentally cycling back to the scene in Miracle where Brooks is talking with the Dr. & the doc says he's pushing them too hard and Brooks reply back that that's why he gave them all the psyche test - to know that he could push them that hard & they could take it.)

But, giving up 5+ each night wears on players quickly & not having faith in the keepers causes guys to play differently in their own zone & stuff starts to snowball.

They've fought back & played hard to the end every night but 1.  But, how long can it continue w/ "goaltending dreck?"

Your observation about the overall effort is spot on. No problem with that. But as you point out when the goaltending is so substandard (acknowledging that up to recently it has been solid) it does affect how your team plays, especially in your own zone (as you noted). In the games that the backstopping is good this team is competitive even when it is apparent that there is an imbalance in talent with the opposition. 

My worry is that the psychology of losing becomes more damaging on the younger players that you are counting on for the future when they haven't had any experience with the psychology of winning. The Sabres are clearly in the rebuilding mode with some good young pieces already on the roster. What bothers me, as it does most others, is I don't see what short term options there are to at least for the present stem the tide.

What also bothers me is when the Sabres play at home they are playing in front of 3/4 empty arena. However, when the Sabres are on the road they are usually playing in front of a near capacity crowd. The Ranger game was an example of that. (I'm not telling you anything you don't already know because you regularly attend the games.) I'm not blaming the fans because they are expressing their dissatisfaction with their wallets. But it has to be deflating for the players when they take the ice. 

 

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