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22-23 opening day line up


sweetlou
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Have seen different topics regarding off season moves and what the team needs to upgrade.  

Some say Quinn, Krebs and Peterka will be on the opening day roster.   This one I don't agree with.  I feel in order for the Sabres to take the next step, Krebs and JJP need to start in AHL.  Need a year like how Thompson spent a year developing his game. 

There have been many opinions on Olofsson.  Do we trade him? Others have said you can't trade him, he scores goals and the Sabres need goal scorers.  I would trade him if you are bringing up Krebs, JJP, and Quinn.  If you keep him, sign him for one year and then trade next year.

Mitts was set to have a break out year, but injuries...will he be ok as Sabres #2 center?

Asplund is good defensively but doesn't provide enough offense to be a top 6?

Some want Sabres to sign Hinny. Where does he fit in?

So in looking at some of these ideas how do the Sabres improve if they don't make any changes?

Skinner, Thompson, Tuch

Olof, Mitts, Quinn

Krebs, Cozens, JJP

Asplund, Girgs, Okposo

extra- Hinny

Sorry Just don't like this forward line up and feel a trade needs to be made.

 

On defense-

Is Joker a top 4 or should he be part of a solid 3rd pair?

Is Bryson an everyday player or should he be the #7?

Who is KA going to add to be the stay at home, and also add toughness?

What they have now...

Mule, Dahlin

Power, Joker

Bryson, Fitz

definite upgrade needed for 3rd pairing.

 

goalies-  YES UPGRADE HOWEVER YOU CAN

UPL should be the back up to a proven vet for next two years.

 

So me personally I would like to see a shake up of at least two forwards, two defenseman, and a true #1 goalie

 

 

 

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45 minutes ago, sweetlou said:

So me personally I would like to see a shake up of at least two forwards, two defenseman, and a true #1 goalie

We have already shaken up more then 2 forwards. Last season’s opening night roster included Eakin, Bjork, Caggiula, Hayden and R2.  2 of those jobs have been filed by Krebs and Tuch.

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5 minutes ago, SABRES 0311 said:

I maintain we need two veteran Dmen to mentor that young core. 
 

Not gonna lie, wouldn’t be sad if Mitts wasn’t here and we somehow got an upgrade.

I would not trade him , Injuries did set him back but when he was healthy he was a solid middle six C.   I'm expecting a 60 point season out of him next year.

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3 hours ago, sweetlou said:

Skinner, Thompson, Tuch

Olof, Mitts, Quinn

Krebs, Cozens, JJP

Asplund, Girgs, Okposo

Sorry Just don't like this forward line up and feel a trade needs to be made.

A lot of people are slotting Cozens as 2C vs 3C, but I think you have it correct here with Mitts in the 2C role.  I would love to have Cozens make a huge step in the offseason, but I think Mitts is/was ready and just ran into injury problems this season that prevented him from having a larger impact.

And I completely agree we need to bring in at least 1 forward, preferably a veteran center that is starting to slow, but still can significantly contribute and work with our forward group (Patty Kane, Toes, Giroux, etc).  If we can land Hall for $8M/1 year, I think we can land any of these guys for $9-11M for 2 years without giving up too much, if anything.

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2 hours ago, SABRES 0311 said:

I maintain we need two veteran Dmen to mentor that young core. 
 

Not gonna lie, wouldn’t be sad if Mitts wasn’t here and we somehow got an upgrade.

Didn’t people say the same thing about TNT last year? Now he’s the second coming.  If Mitts stays healthy he’ll have a breakout year.  Don’t forget he was the best player in camp and opened the year as the No. 1 center. 

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Forwards

  • Skinner, Thompson, Tuch

I don't think this top line changes, too much chemistry (although Tuch cooled off a lot towards the end)

  • Krebs, Cozens, Olof

I put this as the second line with trepidation. We would need a big step up from all of them really. I would sort of like this to be a hard-checking two way line (e.g. three Cozens). But we don't have the pieces for that. Krebs' vision and Olof's shot could make it more of a rounded line - the classic, playmaker, sniper and grinder combo 

  • JJP, Mitts, Quinn

Feels like Mitts is due a breakout this year (if he ever has one). Quinn and JJP have great chemistry, and experience together and are dynamic to play with Mitts. I put this as the third line, to give all of them space

  • Asplund, Girgs, Okposo

A fourth line that shuts down the opposition, and plays more like a 3b, than a 4. I like the ability to roll lines

  • extra- Hinny

I really like his game, and someone is always injured so he would play most games.

I worry that this forward combo really relies on the kids and them all taking steps forward - but maybe that's just where we are? One more really solid two way vet would ease my tension though.

Defence

Veteran stay at home RHD (second pair)

Third line LHD (anything)

  • Mule - Dahls (formerly Risto)
  • Power - RHD
  • LWD - Joker

Depth is always nice, and having Joker dominate against third liners is preferable than merely hold his own against second liners

Goal

Goaltending is tricky - it really depends on UPL and the coaches assessment of him. I like Anderson, but he is too old and at best can be a veteran third goalie. I wouldn't mind brining him back as that (if you can carry 3 goalies?) and he is ok with it. Otherwise, I think Fleury is your best shot. Doesn't seem like tons of options out there really. This is definitely the most important too.

  • Fleury
  • UPL
  • Andersson
Edited by Trettioåtta
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Skinner Thompson Tuch (it's the top line until it isn't 😉 )

Hinostroza Mittelstadt Olofsson

Girgensons Asplund Okposo

Krebs Cozens Quinn

Spare: Versatile bottom 6 vet in either the Lazar or Sheahan mold; Peterka gets a call-up to the Sabres around Thanksgiving (US version)

Expecting the lines to be fairly balanced in ice time overall but ranked the in order of ice time.  (Lines 2 & 3 could flip based upon opponents.  That "4th line" could be a RAV Line redux.)

 

Samuelsson Dahlin (Expecting Muel to not suffer the sophomore slump; his game is just too elegant defensively)

Power New Guy

Bryson Jokiharju

Spares: Pysyk & Fitzgerald. (Yeah, they're both righties, Bryson & Pysyk can both slide to their off side in a pinch.)

Expecting ice time e to be very unbalanced.

 

Fleury

Luukkonnen

(Lord help us should MAF get injured.  Expecting (hoping?) Anderson saves Adams from himself.)

 

Realizing it's ridiculously few moves for an off-season, but just don't expect the BIG trade to happen & Adams & Granato are high on the kids & leaders.

Edited by Taro T
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I like the idea of:

  • Skinner/Tage
  • Mitts/Tuch
  • Cozens/Okposo

As the pairs anchoring the first three lines with the others rotating in around them as circumstances dictate.

Traditional two scoring lines, 1 matchup, 1 energy:

  • Skinner/Tage/Olofsson
  • Quinn/Mitts/Tuch
  • Girgensons/Cozens/Okposo
  • Asplund/Krebs/Peterka

or:

  • Skinner/Tage/Tuch
  • Asplund/Mitts/Olofsson
  • Girgensons/Cozens/Okposo
  • Quinn/Krebs/Peterka

4 balanced lines:

  • Skinner/Tage/Peterka
  • Girgensons/Mitts/Tuch
  • Quinn/Cozens/Okposo
  • Asplund/Krebs/Olofsson

The beauty of our forwards is that we have 6 C/Ws and several wings very comfortable playing either side.

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Skinner - Thompson - Olofsson 

JJP? - Cozens - Tuch

Krebs - Mitts - Quinn

Asplund - Girgs - Okposo

UFA targets: Boyle, Hinostroza

Trade Options: Hornqvist, Garland (expensive)

Muel - Dahlin

Power - Jokiharju?

Bryson - Pysyk?

UFA targets: Letang, Stecher

Trade Options: Gudas, DeMelo, Roy, Mayfield, Myers?

UPL

UFA targets: Fleury, Husso, Holtby

Trade Options: Allen, Reimer

 

Maybe we can convince Letang and Fleury to come here together for two years and have fun. 

 

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9 hours ago, sweetlou said:

Have seen different topics regarding off season moves and what the team needs to upgrade.  

Some say Quinn, Krebs and Peterka will be on the opening day roster.   This one I don't agree with.  I feel in order for the Sabres to take the next step, Krebs and JJP need to start in AHL.  Need a year like how Thompson spent a year developing his game. 

There have been many opinions on Olofsson.  Do we trade him? Others have said you can't trade him, he scores goals and the Sabres need goal scorers.  I would trade him if you are bringing up Krebs, JJP, and Quinn.  If you keep him, sign him for one year and then trade next year.

Mitts was set to have a break out year, but injuries...will he be ok as Sabres #2 center?

Asplund is good defensively but doesn't provide enough offense to be a top 6?

Some want Sabres to sign Hinny. Where does he fit in?

So in looking at some of these ideas how do the Sabres improve if they don't make any changes?

Skinner, Thompson, Tuch

Olof, Mitts, Quinn

Krebs, Cozens, JJP

Asplund, Girgs, Okposo

extra- Hinny

Sorry Just don't like this forward line up and feel a trade needs to be made.

 

On defense-

Is Joker a top 4 or should he be part of a solid 3rd pair?

Is Bryson an everyday player or should he be the #7?

Who is KA going to add to be the stay at home, and also add toughness?

What they have now...

Mule, Dahlin

Power, Joker

Bryson, Fitz

definite upgrade needed for 3rd pairing.

 

goalies-  YES UPGRADE HOWEVER YOU CAN

UPL should be the back up to a proven vet for next two years.

 

So me personally I would like to see a shake up of at least two forwards, two defenseman, and a true #1 goalie

 

 

 

If you have watched the AHL playoffs, Quinn has struggled while Krebs and Peterka have played well. Quinn will need to engage more consistently to make the Sabres next year.

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Now that the talent base is increasing you can see a variety of credible options materializing when putting together lines. And in the course of a season when the coach juggles lines due to injuries or simply to change the dynamic of a line going stale you can see the flexibility the coach has to make the changes. I believe it was @dudacekwho made the observation that staff has the ability to assemble two credible second-caliber lines behind your first line, with Cozens and Mitts as your centers. If Quinn and to a lesser extent JJ can quickly make the jump to the higher league and comfortably fit in, then the line options increase even more.   

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23 hours ago, sweetlou said:

Some want Sabres to sign Hinny. Where does he fit in?

So in looking at some of these ideas how do the Sabres improve if they don't make any changes?

Skinner, Thompson, Tuch

Olof, Mitts, Quinn

Krebs, Cozens, JJP

Asplund, Girgs, Okposo

extra- Hinny

Sorry Just don't like this forward line up and feel a trade needs to be made.

 

On defense-

Is Joker a top 4 or should he be part of a solid 3rd pair?

Is Bryson an everyday player or should he be the #7?

Who is KA going to add to be the stay at home, and also add toughness?

What they have now...

Mule, Dahlin

Power, Joker

Bryson, Fitz

definite upgrade needed for 3rd pairing.

 

goalies-  YES UPGRADE HOWEVER YOU CAN

UPL should be the back up to a proven vet for next two years.

 

So me personally I would like to see a shake up of at least two forwards, two defenseman, and a true #1 goalie

 

 

 

It's interesting because we have all of those forwards under contract for next year and there's not much room to bring in outsiders to improve the lineup. For starters, I'd be surprised if Hinestroza comes back as the 13th forward. If I were GMKA I'd be looking to fill that role with a UFA center who is good at faceoffs and can actually contribute offensively (think Cody Eakin with worse hair, but more talent). 

If Quinn & JJ make the jump that boots out Bjork & Hayden from the lineup which I hope would already be a major upgrade. I've bolded the forwards who I think are "unmovable" for GMKA this coming season (for talent or contractual reasons)  and the only three players I can see being moved are VO, Mitts or Asplund and I wouldn't expect more than one of them to be moved. 

Like others have said I'm expecting a breakout year from Mitts so I'd be hesitant to trade him, I'm also looking forward to seeing a breakout year from Cozens.

We also have to keep in mind that on top of 3 first round picks and 1 second round pick this year, we have Rosen, Polpatov, Kisakov, and 7 other lower picks (6F and 1D) from the previous draft (hopefully 1 or 2 of those guys can develop into NHL regulars) in the pipeline. I'd forgotten we made 11 picks last year. Wow. 

This all leads me to think GMKA will be focusing / spending money on goaltending and defense. I'm expecting to see Byrson and Fitzgerald replaced on the 3rd pair and maybe one of them can fill in as the 7th D, but I wouldn't be sad if we upgraded those three slots. 

We have 7.6M on injured reserve coming off the books (Boychuk, Subban, Calligula) + another ~7mill between Miller , Butcher and Psysk. Byrson and VO are the only RFAs we need to sign so there's a lot of $$$ to be spent just to reach the cap floor. GMKA has options and I hope he gets this off-season right, because I'll be putting a lot of money on this team making the playoffs next year if the odds look good.

In summation, I expect to see money thrown at goaltending and defense and wouldn't be surprised if we executed a trade for a forward + assets to bring in an established, high-money forward.

Exciting stuff, hope we're not disappointed. 

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Even if Peterka and Quinn are pencilled in, Hinostroza, Eakin, Hayden and Bjork leave two more forward spots open.

And that's not counting the fill-in spots Janko, Cagiulla, R2 and Murray had this year.

There's room to add a forward or two.

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9 minutes ago, Mustache of God said:

 

Like others have said I'm expecting a breakout year from Mitts so I'd be hesitant to trade him, I'm also looking forward to seeing a breakout year from Cozens.

 

I hope so also, but if you don't get the breakout year form them this year, I'm still OK with it.

Mitts was scoring at a 30 goal pace for the last couple months of 2020-2021, then he got injured in the first game.  Maybe that was just a hot streak, maybe it was who he can be.  But the fact he did that for 1/4 of a season AND a few current players say he is someone they expect a break-out from next year...I'm willing to still be patient with him.

As for as Cozens (and Krebs and others) I'm willing to have a lot of patience with them as long as there isn't a major regression.  There are many players picked 4th to 20th overall in the draft that sometimes just take years to hit their stride:

-Kevin Fiala was drafted 11th overall. Didn't become an NHL regular till the 3rd year past his draft year.  It wasn't until his 7th or 8th season past his draft year he became a 30 goal guy (32 goals per 82 games SINCE he turned 23 years old)

-Elias Lindholm  was drafted 5th overall.  Didn't even score 20 goals until he was 24 years old (his 6th season).  He put up 42 last year and has been averaging 33-34 goals per 82 over the last 4 years.  Before that in his first 5 seasons is career HIGH was 17 in a full season.

-Bo Horvat 9th overall.  His first 4 full seasons in the league he was basically a 14-20 goal guy.  The last 4 seasons  he's been closer to 30 (per  82 games)

-Lawson Crouse (11th overall) was considered a flat-out Bust. 36 goals in his first 5 years (281 games, a 10 goal pace).  Last year, his 6th year at age 24, he breaks 20 goals in less than a full season, plays top-2 line minutes, and becomes a top power play guy also).

-I don't have to mention for anyone reading this about Tage Thompson.

Yes, there are other guys that are good right away (first year or two), but there are also other examples like above of guys that just take time.  Sometimes you think you have a bust on your hands...or maybe a top pick seems to be a bottom 6 guy at best and then all of a sudden he becomes a 30 plus goal scorer.  With the team the Sabres have now...guys like Krebs, Mitts, Cozens...and others I'm willing to give them time, maybe a couple more years...to see what you have.

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40 minutes ago, Mustache of God said:

 

In summation, I expect to see money thrown at goaltending and defense and wouldn't be surprised if we executed a trade for a forward + assets to bring in an established, high-money forward.

Yup.  Your last item is why I am predicting that a young forward that we will all be disappointed to see go, will be moved.  And given the situation I think it makes sense.

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1 minute ago, Weave said:

Yup.  Your last item is why I am predicting that a young forward that we will all be disappointed to see go, will be moved.  And given the situation I think it makes sense.

Which is a good thing. As much as it seems we all enjoyed this team as it was, we still finished 25 points out of the playoffs. Recently I was looking over our losses and saw that we had 19 games we lost by 1 goal or 2 w/an empty netter at the end. Goaltending will help make up for some of those losses but it won't solve everything. 

Last season it felt like we were always icing 1.5 lines of spare parts, this year it looking like we can have 3 actual NHL lines with a really good shutdown line of Asplund, Girgs & Okposo. 

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I've never been a fan of Mitts. Would love to have the vision of the future if Cozens can be the second line guy.  Teams don't exacty get rid of 1st or second line centers. Kadri is the king of contract year seasons so unless he wants a 1-2 year deal i wouldnt touch him, Trocheck is ok after that it could be Malkin for a year but would he want to come here? 

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