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Currently, I'm not sure defense is a strength


LGR4GM
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Even with Owen Power coming up and Samuelsson finally here and looking good, and Dahlin hopefully finding his way...

I think the defense has major issues. That right side is bad. Jokiharju is not a top pair defender. Pysyk is a #3. That's really only the options on the right so how do we fix that this offseason? 

I don't think there actually is enough depth and talent specifically on the right side for this defense to flourish. 

Thoughts?

Edited by LGR4GM
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Don't let Cale Makar fool you. Defencemen take longer.

Jokiharju 22, Dahlin 21, Samuelsson 21, Johnson 20, Power 19 might evolve into an excellent corps. Talk to me in 3 years.

I can't wait another 3 years.

Sabres need to target a top-4 defensively strong veteran RD this off-season.

One of their LDs needs to add RD to their repertoire.

 

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5 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Even with Owen Power coming up and Samuelsson finally here and looking good, and Dahlin hopefully finding his way...

I think the defense has major issues. That right side is bad. Jokiharju is not a top pair defender. Pysyk is a #3. That's really only the options on the right so how do we fix that this offseason? 

I don't think there actually is enough depth and talent specifically on the right side for this defense to flourish. 

Thoughts?

Agreed that we need a player or two for the right side.  I know that there's some options that you're identifying in the 2022 draft but it would be so nice to get some sort of veteran presence (or two) that could help Power and Dahlin.  I know it may not be easy to find that player but I hope it's a priority.

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7 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Even with Owen Power coming up and Samuelsson finally here and looking good, and Dahlin hopefully finding his way...

I think the defense has major issues. That right side is bad. Jokiharju is not a top pair defender. Pysyk is a #3. That's really only the options on the right so how do we fix that this offseason? 

I don't think there actually is enough depth and talent specifically on the right side for this defense to flourish. 

Thoughts?

I agree but I think they will be able to tweak that, either by moving Dahlin to right or bringing in another player. I don’t expect them to go crazy in free agency but I do expect once they are comfortable with the team’s trajectory that they will use some of the cap space. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the new front office explore an offer sheet either.

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9 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Even with Owen Power coming up and Samuelsson finally here and looking good, and Dahlin hopefully finding his way...

I think the defense has major issues. That right side is bad. Jokiharju is not a top pair defender. Pysyk is a #3. That's really only the options on the right so how do we fix that this offseason? 

I don't think there actually is enough depth and talent specifically on the right side for this defense to flourish. 

Thoughts?

Why is this a surprise.  It's why I have been begging KA to get 2 veteran stay at home D to anchor a very young group since last off-season.  Pysyk isn't good enough. 

Back in the day DR brought in Lydman and Numminen to supplement a young core of Kalinin, Campbell, and Tallinder.  The team also had defensive slatwart in McKee.

We have none of those type of players right now.   

As I wrote in your other D thread, only Dahlin (1 pair) and Jokiharju (3rd pair) belong on a good NHL team.  We have no idea yet what Power, Samuelsson or Johnson will ultimately bring next season or when they'll reach their potential.  Bring in two veteran and capable D will make all the difference in mentoring the kids and shoring up the D zone play.  Until that's taken care of the goaltending will continue to suffer and we'll continue to lose the possession battle.

 

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It's not a strength.  We need at least 1 player above Jokiharu on the right.  We need a better blend of types of defencemen -- both more physical and more defencively aware.  IMHO, we will need to move at least one of our young LHD for a similar, but more boring RHD.

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9 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Why is this a surprise.  It's why I have been begging KA to get 2 veteran stay at home D to anchor a very young group since last off-season.  Pysyk isn't good enough. 

Back in the day DR brought in Lydman and Numminen to supplement a young core of Kalinin, Campbell, and Tallinder.  The team also had defensive slatwart in McKee.

We have none of those type of players right now.   

As I wrote in your other D thread, only Dahlin (1 pair) and Jokiharju (3rd pair) belong on a good NHL team.  We have no idea yet what Power, Samuelsson or Johnson will ultimately bring next season or when they'll reach their potential.  Bring in two veteran and capable D will make all the difference in mentoring the kids and shoring up the D zone play.  Until that's taken care of the goaltending will continue to suffer and we'll continue to lose the possession battle.

 

Why would a ufa want to sign here right now?

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23 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Why would a ufa want to sign here right now?

Who said UFA?  Lydman was acquired in trade.  We have a million draft picks, a ton of forward prospects and $30 mill in cap space next season.  Using some combo of these assets to bring in a player or two should be more then feasible.

 

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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5 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Who said UFA?  Lydman was acquired in trade.  We have a million draft picks, a ton of forward prospects and $30 mill in cap space next season.  Using some combo of these assets to bring in a player or two should be more then feasible.

I think it is hard to find a RHD another team wants to trade away for a 2nd in 2023 and Ryan Johnson

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The biggest need is a top pairing RHD. Bump joker to 2nd pairing.

That will probably have to come via trade.  Look for a team up against the cap. Doesn’t need to be a superstar. Can be a vet. A guy that is dependable to make the right decisions at both ends of the ice and free up Dahlin to free wheel offensively. If it is a long term solution and the player fits the core age range then I would give up Ryan Johnson, one of the later 1sts as part of the deal if the player is good enough.

Joker can play 2nd pairing.

3rd pairing I would look for a RHD with some size and grit to pair with Mule. Peters mentioned guys like Gudbranson or Burtuzzo on his podcast and I wouldn’t mind that for the 3rd pairing. Give them an element they are missing.

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10 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

I think it is hard to find a RHD another team wants to trade away for a 2nd in 2023 and Ryan Johnson

Maybe, but given how many teams have serious cap issues, I think it maybe easier then you think.  

For example maybe Wash wants to move on from Orlov to save 5.1 cap hit for 22-23? Maybe we can re-acquire Marco Scandella? Maybe Calgary will trade Tanev who is already 32 and has 2 more years at 4.5 mill.  Also they don't necessarily have to be Right handed, they could be guys who are comfortable playing on the right side, like Orlov.

Don't forget we are going to need to add about 15 mill in cap hits to get to next year's cap floor.

PS, I forgot, some UFAs are looking the best money to help give them financial security.   

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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We could try and pry Jet Woo out of Vancouver. He wouldn't be a veteran but it would balance out the young defense on the right and gives you a RHD with some potential if he doesn't have to carry a pair offensively. 

Tampa Bay would be an option as they have Jan Rutta coming to UFA and they have a few signed and younger RHD. They have a few RHD prospects as well but no real nice LHD prospect. 

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6 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

In other news, I'm not sure Americans are a bright and caring people.

So you're saying that the Sabres should get a bright and caring RHD veteran defenceman from another country other than the US?

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3 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

Even with Owen Power coming up and Samuelsson finally here and looking good, and Dahlin hopefully finding his way...

I think the defense has major issues. That right side is bad. Jokiharju is not a top pair defender. Pysyk is a #3. That's really only the options on the right so how do we fix that this offseason? 

I don't think there actually is enough depth and talent specifically on the right side for this defense to flourish. 

Thoughts?

Absolutely true. As good as I think Power will be he is likely 3 to 4 years away from being an NHL force. Dahlin has flaws and needs better players around him to cover up for those mistakes. I can see Samuelsson being a solid defender and without an upgrade(s) Pysyk is a third pairing guy but like you said Jokiharju is not a top pairing defender. I'm not even sure he's second pairing. 

As much as Risto made many horrible mistakes, we didn't replace him, and thus there's a right side hole. We need a big bruising solid RHD who can be relied on for tough defensive minutes. Don't see how we're going to get that either. 

I suspect they will expect and ask for too much too soon from Power as they have done with every top drafted D man over the last decade. Hope I'm wrong on that. 

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5 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

Absolutely true. As good as I think Power will be he is likely 3 to 4 years away from being an NHL force. Dahlin has flaws and needs better players around him to cover up for those mistakes. I can see Samuelsson being a solid defender and without an upgrade(s) Pysyk is a third pairing guy but like you said Jokiharju is not a top pairing defender. I'm not even sure he's second pairing. 

As much as Risto made many horrible mistakes, we didn't replace him, and thus there's a right side hole. We need a big bruising solid RHD who can be relied on for tough defensive minutes. Don't see how we're going to get that either. 

I suspect they will expect and ask for too much too soon from Power as they have done with every top drafted D man over the last decade. Hope I'm wrong on that. 

Don’t know if the Sabres ask too much of their young D, so much as the fans.

IMO, Dahlin was mostly well-handled in year 1 and 2, horribly miscoached in year 3, and is properly being asked to be a #1 this year and is growing into the role.

Jokiharju has similarly been slowly elevated up the roster.

They want(ed?) Samuelsson to be a top pairing guy in the AHL before elevating him to the NHL.

Risto, sure. Who else am I missing?

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I don't believe acquiring better defensively capable defensemen will help.   

In today's game it's paramount to play sound TEAM defense.    ALL players need to buy in and focus on defensive play as much or moreso than focusing on creating offense.  

Unfortunately, they've shown very little (if any) progress in that area.     Only Granato and his staff can fix it... do they know how?   I don't believe so, which is why I don't believe (never have) that he's a long term solution at the HC position.     

Do better.

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58 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Don’t know if the Sabres ask too much of their young D, so much as the fans.

IMO, Dahlin was mostly well-handled in year 1 and 2, horribly miscoached in year 3, and is properly being asked to be a #1 this year and is growing into the role.

Jokiharju has similarly been slowly elevated up the roster.

They want(ed?) Samuelsson to be a top pairing guy in the AHL before elevating him to the NHL.

Risto, sure. Who else am I missing?

Meyers before Risto  . I'm going to disagree on this though. imo Dahlin saw way too many minutes early and wasn't paired with a solid veteran mentor often enough. 

We have, however, done a good job with Samuelsson so far so we shall see. D men take time. 

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24 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

Meyers before Risto  . I'm going to disagree on this though. imo Dahlin saw way too many minutes early and wasn't paired with a solid veteran mentor often enough. 

We have, however, done a good job with Samuelsson so far so we shall see. D men take time. 

In Dahlin’s first year he was 4th in ice time at 21.09, 1st in points, with mostly offensive starts.

In his 2nd he was 3rd in ice time with 19:18, 1st in points, with mostly offensive starts.

Seems to me he was being put in positions to succeed. He was a top-20 point-getter among defencemen and his analytics were respectable.

How was this asking too much of him? What would you have done differently in terms of usage and how would that have helped?

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4 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

I think it is hard to find a RHD another team wants to trade away for a 2nd in 2023 and Ryan Johnson

Precisely why “BPA” can’t be adhered to full stop without any regard to other factors. BPA should be your prioritization and key focus, but some thought needs to be given to positional system strength at some point during any draft. It’s not always feasible to simply trade from a position of strength for a position of weakness. 

The Sabres should come away with a couple RHD and a couple Cs, at least, in the first 3 rounds in 2022.

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3 hours ago, Curt said:

Sign Josh Manson this offseason?

A name that used to come up all the time when Botterill had overloaded at RHD to the detriment of the position. Assets went unmaximized, and now the position is lacking again. 

Look for a balance in your development system - it’ll help. 

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