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22-23 opening day line up


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On 5/11/2022 at 5:02 PM, dudacek said:

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.

Looking at the Sabres forward roster as it exists today, I love this second option. The COG (?) line would be a killer matchup line with some scoring potential. And the Krebs line (ROC Kids) would be fun. They'd certainly need to be sheltered and would be some high-event hockey for sure. I'd at least give it a go. It's all more sensible if you get away from traditional line numbering.

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7 hours ago, Richard Noggin said:

Did someone (well established as a poster) in this thread slot Peterka in as a 4th line winger next year?! That just doesn't make sense. 

I don’t think the Sabres will be a traditional forward lineup next season.  You aren’t going to see 2 scoring lines, a shutdown line and an energy line.  Instead you’ll see 3 scoring lines and a shutdown line.  The 1st 2 scoring lines will be centered by TNT and Mitts.  The shutdown line will feature Z and KO.  What we don’t know is how that line will be configured.  Will Z center that line, or will they try someone like Cozens.  The 3rd scoring line will feature guys who aren’t on the other lines. I can see Krebs, Cozens or even R2 centering that line. 

Camp will be interesting.  Asplund, who I once thought would be an after thought this coming season, could actually be the linchpin for the lineup. Does DG leave him with Mitts to add two way help for that line or does he move him to KO’s line to support their 2 way mission?  

There are really about 500 possible configurations for next season.

Here are 2 possible

Skinner TNT Tuch

Asplund Mitts Quinn

VO Krebs JJP

Girgensons Cozens KO

or

Skinner TNT Quinn

VO Mitts Tuch

Krebs Cozens JJP

Asplund Girgensons KO

I’m partial to the 2nd one.  However don’t be surprised if the 3rd scoring line gets less PT then KO’s line.

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It’s interesting to hear Seth Appert say the Sabres envision Krebs as a centre long-term and then reinforce that by playing him exclusively at centre in the AHL playoffs -shuffling capable AHL centres like Biro and R2 to the wing.

Its also interesting how well he has played there.

With Tage establishing himself as the 1C, Mitts being talked up by the organization as ready to emerge as an offensive 2C, and all the work Granato has put into Cozens to form him into a shutdown 2C it raises the question about how each will be used next year.

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43 minutes ago, dudacek said:

It’s interesting to hear Seth Appert say the Sabres envision Krebs as a centre long-term and then reinforce that by playing him exclusively at centre in the AHL playoffs -shuffling capable AHL centres like Biro and R2 to the wing.

Its also interesting how well he has played there.

With Tage establishing himself as the 1C, Mitts being talked up by the organization as ready to emerge as an offensive 2C, and all the work Granato has put into Cozens to form him into a shutdown 2C it raises the question about how each will be used next year.

I think a lot of what happens both short term and long term revolves around VO and Mitts. I’m not sure Mitts and Krebs can be two of their four centers. In my opinion, they are too similar. With VO, he reminds me a lot of Vinnie Prospal. They excel on top two lines but may leave you wanting more. VO may be better so I’d give him more time if they can sign him to right deal.

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19 minutes ago, tom webster said:

I think a lot of what happens both short term and long term revolves around VO and Mitts. I’m not sure Mitts and Krebs can be two of their four centers. In my opinion, they are too similar. With VO, he reminds me a lot of Vinnie Prospal. They excel on top two lines but may leave you wanting more. VO may be better so I’d give him more time if they can sign him to right deal.

So!  We lack playmakers.  How is having two good playmakers a problem especially if they anchor different lines? Also Mitts is much more of a shooter than Krebs however he has the ability to adjust his game to his linemates.  If DG placed Mitts and Krebs on the same line, you’d see much more goal production from Mitts.  However if he is playing with say Quinn and VO you’ll see more of pass first player trying to set up his snipers. 

DG used both Mitts and Krebs on the wall in the PP to take advantage of their passing skills.  Again I don’t see how this is a problem on a team with Quinn, Tuch, VO, Skinner and TNT.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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40 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

So!  We lack playmakers.  How is having two good playmakers a problem especially if they anchor different lines? Also Mitts is much more of a shooter than Krebs however he has the ability to adjust his game to his linemates.  If DG placed Mitts and Krebs on the same line, you’d see much more goal production from Mitts.  However if he is playing with say Quinn and VO you’ll see more of pass first player trying to set up his snipers. 

DG used both Mitts and Krebs on the wall in the PP to take advantage of their passing skills.  Again I don’t see how this is a problem on a team with Quinn, Tuch, VO, Skinner and TNT.

Building a team isn’t just getting the twelve best people. There needs to be a synergy and you need pieces that fit. I think Krebs and Mitts could work short term with Tage and Dylan but eventually they will have to choose, again my opinion. I think Asplund, or someone more of a defense first guy is likely the fourth guy.

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12 minutes ago, tom webster said:

Building a team isn’t just getting the twelve best people. There needs to be a synergy and you need pieces that fit. I think Krebs and Mitts could work short term with Tage and Dylan but eventually they will have to choose, again my opinion. I think Asplund, or someone more of a defense first guy is likely the fourth guy.

In a cap world you always have to make choices, but that may be 3-5 years from now.  

However it’s why we have to draft centers and why it’s a problem that we lack centers in the system.  When we had Drury, Briere, Connolly, Roy and Gaustad, DR failed to draft and develop centers behind them and that is one of the factors why we are where we are now.  

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2 hours ago, tom webster said:

Building a team isn’t just getting the twelve best people. There needs to be a synergy and you need pieces that fit. I think Krebs and Mitts could work short term with Tage and Dylan but eventually they will have to choose, again my opinion. I think Asplund, or someone more of a defense first guy is likely the fourth guy.

Really expect that management wants Cozens in a Drury or even Luce role LT.  I.e., able to center the shutdown line but still also have that line able to score.  Girgensons & Okposo likely have 2-3 years left & when they're gone guys like Cozens & Asplund will have to step up and ideally w/ Dylan generating even more offense than Kyle does.

So, if that "shutdown" line is an actual scoring line as well, don't see any reason why Mittelstadt & Krebs can't each center a "scoring" line.  Mittelstadt could center the more traditional 2nd scoring line leaving Krebs with a lot of leeway centering a modern RAV line.

And the nice part of having Asplund around is, kind of like Roy found himself on Drury's line a fair amount of time he could find himself as a wing for Cozens or Mitts or centering a 2nd checking line, sliding Krebs up to split C duties w/ Mitts on that 2nd scoring line.

And the idea of having all of Thompson, Mittelstadt, Krebs, Cozens, & Asplund to build flexibility up front is why it would be great to land Jiricek.  Having 4 guys that can eat 24 minutes on D to go along w/ hopefully Johnson & Jokiharju who should be able to handle 2 lighter minutes as well allows them IMHO to have 3 true scoring lines to go w/ that 2 way line run by Cozens.  (Plus Mitts is no longer that golden lab puppy running around in his own end that seems to be indelibly etched in so many people's minds.  He's become decent in his own end & expect that will just get better.)

My 2 cents. 

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I’m pretty sure I overthink these things.

The Sabres seem to be intentionally planning to have 4 top 6 centres and 9 top six wingers, most of whom play multiple positions. It’s for maximum flexibility when it comes to matchups, injuries and eventually cap decisions.

I mean if the worst-case scenario is 4th line of Quinn/Krebs/Peterka, how is that bad? 

We’re kinda seeing it in Rochester right now. With teams focused on Quinn, the other 1st line with R2 is killing them and the 4th line with Rousek and Biro are getting ***** done. Depth and versatility help coaches create mismatches.

Semi-related, it’s kinda why I’m not going to be surprised if the Sabres pick an LHD high this year.

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9 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I’m pretty sure I overthink these things.

The Sabres seem to be intentionally planning to have 4 top 6 centres and 9 top six wingers, most of whom play multiple positions. It’s for maximum flexibility when it comes to matchups, injuries and eventually cap decisions.

I mean if the worst-case scenario is 4th line of Quinn/Krebs/Peterka, how is that bad? 

We’re kinda seeing it in Rochester right now. With teams focused on Quinn, the other 1st line with R2 is killing them and the 4th line with Rousek and Biro are getting ***** done. Depth and versatility help coaches create mismatches.

Semi-related, it’s kinda why I’m not going to be surprised if the Sabres pick an LHD high this year.

The only thing that would be truly surprising this off-season is Adams knocking the ST goaltending issue out of the park.  (And that wouldn't be shocking, merely surprising, as it is one thing he hasn't done at all to date.  And, until it is fixed, will assume it won't be.)

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On 5/11/2022 at 2:02 PM, dudacek said:

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.

I like the idea of Cozens with Girgs and KO. That’s an awesome opportunity for the kid and a line with some offensive threat.

Looking at the names I feel a lot better about leadership than I did in years past.

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Krebs is not playing in the AHL after having played here all year since he got here.

Peterka and Quinn both should be here also, they have nothing left to prove at that level. Dominating inferior competition is fine for a year but after that what are they learning? Not a lot.

It's time. LFG.

Edited by matter2003
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6 hours ago, Taro T said:

Really expect that management wants Cozens in a Drury or even Luce role LT.  I.e., able to center the shutdown line but still also have that line able to score.  Girgensons & Okposo likely have 2-3 years left & when they're gone guys like Cozens & Asplund will have to step up and ideally w/ Dylan generating even more offense than Kyle does.

So, if that "shutdown" line is an actual scoring line as well, don't see any reason why Mittelstadt & Krebs can't each center a "scoring" line.  Mittelstadt could center the more traditional 2nd scoring line leaving Krebs with a lot of leeway centering a modern RAV line.

And the nice part of having Asplund around is, kind of like Roy found himself on Drury's line a fair amount of time he could find himself as a wing for Cozens or Mitts or centering a 2nd checking line, sliding Krebs up to split C duties w/ Mitts on that 2nd scoring line.

And the idea of having all of Thompson, Mittelstadt, Krebs, Cozens, & Asplund to build flexibility up front is why it would be great to land Jiricek.  Having 4 guys that can eat 24 minutes on D to go along w/ hopefully Johnson & Jokiharju who should be able to handle 2 lighter minutes as well allows them IMHO to have 3 true scoring lines to go w/ that 2 way line run by Cozens.  (Plus Mitts is no longer that golden lab puppy running around in his own end that seems to be indelibly etched in so many people's minds.  He's become decent in his own end & expect that will just get better.)

My 2 cents. 

I think they envision Cozens a 2/3, potentially great two way guy but I believe they’ll still want a more aggressive, defensive orientated fourth center. The real key is deciding where Casey’s career trajectory is heading. If he achieves the status expected of him when drafted maybe it does work. 

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6 hours ago, Taro T said:

Really expect that management wants Cozens in a Drury or even Luce role LT.  I.e., able to center the shutdown line but still also have that line able to score.  Girgensons & Okposo likely have 2-3 years left & when they're gone guys like Cozens & Asplund will have to step up and ideally w/ Dylan generating even more offense than Kyle does.

So, if that "shutdown" line is an actual scoring line as well, don't see any reason why Mittelstadt & Krebs can't each center a "scoring" line.  Mittelstadt could center the more traditional 2nd scoring line leaving Krebs with a lot of leeway centering a modern RAV line.

And the nice part of having Asplund around is, kind of like Roy found himself on Drury's line a fair amount of time he could find himself as a wing for Cozens or Mitts or centering a 2nd checking line, sliding Krebs up to split C duties w/ Mitts on that 2nd scoring line.

And the idea of having all of Thompson, Mittelstadt, Krebs, Cozens, & Asplund to build flexibility up front is why it would be great to land Jiricek.  Having 4 guys that can eat 24 minutes on D to go along w/ hopefully Johnson & Jokiharju who should be able to handle 2 lighter minutes as well allows them IMHO to have 3 true scoring lines to go w/ that 2 way line run by Cozens.  (Plus Mitts is no longer that golden lab puppy running around in his own end that seems to be indelibly etched in so many people's minds.  He's become decent in his own end & expect that will just get better.)

My 2 cents. 

I like the thought of Cozens in a Drury type role (from back in the day) but those teams did have some pretty good shut down support in Hecht, Mair, Gaustadt, and Grier.

I cringe when I see fans putting Cozens on the "4th line" with Girgensons as a checking line center.  I believe the kid still has a great deal of upside and it would not surprise me at all for him to take a big step next season.  I liked Okposo in a 3rd line role this past season and his offence was respectable (along with his leadership).  I see next seasons team with 3 capable scoring lines.  I see Krebs on the wing with spot duty as center as he continues his development (playing with Cozens or Mittelstadt).

Where do Quinn and Peterka fit if they make the team?  There's lots of potential combinations and it's easy to switch players between lines (nice to have some depth).

Skinner     Thompson    Tuch

Olofsson   Mittelstadt  Quinn

Krebs       Cozens       Okposo

Asplund   Girgensons  XXX

 

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1 hour ago, Digger said:

I like the thought of Cozens in a Drury type role (from back in the day) but those teams did have some pretty good shut down support in Hecht, Mair, Gaustadt, and Grier.

I cringe when I see fans putting Cozens on the "4th line" with Girgensons as a checking line center.  I believe the kid still has a great deal of upside and it would not surprise me at all for him to take a big step next season.  I liked Okposo in a 3rd line role this past season and his offence was respectable (along with his leadership).  I see next seasons team with 3 capable scoring lines.  I see Krebs on the wing with spot duty as center as he continues his development (playing with Cozens or Mittelstadt).

Where do Quinn and Peterka fit if they make the team?  There's lots of potential combinations and it's easy to switch players between lines (nice to have some depth).

Skinner     Thompson    Tuch

Olofsson   Mittelstadt  Quinn

Krebs       Cozens       Okposo

Asplund   Girgensons  XXX

 

Yeah, they're getting to a point where they actually have a full roster's worth of NHL talent (though a fair portion isn't at their prime yet) all through the lineup w/ the glaringbexception of GTing.

Will allow them to have some mixing and matching depending upon the opponent.  Will be better when these guys are in their primes and other teams have to juggle around them, but after being lost in the desert for so long, it's moving in the right direction. 

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14 hours ago, matter2003 said:

Krebs is not playing in the AHL after having played here all year since he got here.

Peterka and Quinn both should be here also, they have nothing left to prove at that level. Dominating inferior competition is fine for a year but after that what are they learning? Not a lot.

It's time. LFG.

From today's Buffalo News:

"Peterka led all AHL rookies with 68 points in 70 games, recording the most points by an AHL player in his under-20 season since Guy Chouinard had 80 as a 19-year-old with Nova Scotia in 1975-76."

I don't get those who are reluctant to pencil Peterka into the lineup next year. He had a season like Vanek in 04/05.

When kids dominate in the minors, they move up. That's how it works. It's called earning it.

Edited by dudacek
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Obviously the desperate need is a number one goal tender. They will also have to upgrade the defense and that should not be an issue with some free agents and the money they can spend.

As far as the top six, I am fine leaving that as is for one year. Would it be crazy to overpay some crazy good, tough playoff ready third and fourth liners for a couple years since they have the cap money to do so. It might not be a bad way to invest without mortgaging the future. 

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1 hour ago, dudacek said:

From today's Buffalo News:

"Peterka led all AHL rookies with 68 points in 70 games, recording the most points by an AHL player in his under-20 season since Guy Chouinard had 80 as a 19-year-old with Nova Scotia in 1975-76."

I don't get those who are reluctant to pencil Peterka into the lineup next year. He had a season like Vanek in 04/05.

When kids dominate in the minors, they move up. That's how it works. It's called earning it.

Speaking as apparently one of those you're calling out, will explain why he's been penciled in as an early season callup rather than an out of the gate Sabre.

It comes down to 2 things: 

1 - he was very out of place in his brief callup to the Sabres.  Quinn looked like he belonged, Peterka not so much.  And 

2 - his play in the defensive zone has for the most part been adequate at best between poor coverage in zone to leaving the zone early looking for that breakaway that has been a large part of his offense.  Both of which will cost the team goals at the next level.

Now, that said, his play in the playoffs (which btw are quite recent and haven't yet been factored in 😉 ) is making that expectation that he won't make the Sabres out of the gate less certain.  Will wait until the playoffs are done to revise the expectation, but it could change.  And, even if it does, if he looks as out of place in TC games as he did this season, it will shift back to an e petition that he's an early season callup.

And, it isn't a knock on JJ either to say he still has some things to work on & the wings are crowded this year, especially if a Hinostroza or 2 are brought back/in next year to keep from being entirely young, so there's a possibility he isn't a Sabre on opening night.  You mention Vanek, but forget one of his teammates in Ra-cha-cha.  Pominville put up 68 points in 78 games in '04-'05 and had to clear waivers the next year and still got sent down before finally becoming a regular later in the fall of '05.  Peterka doesn't have to clear waivers.  

 

Edited by Taro T
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So I'm watching the LetterKenny hockey spin off Shorsey (it's dumb but also what you expect) and there was one line that got me thinking Sabres, especially Sabre led by Eichel Reinhart Risto.  The sentence went something like "it's not that they don't want to win, but the kids today don't hate to lose" and I thought ya, that sums up the era. For all the stick smashing and so forth there was also a lot of acceptance and whatever. So my point is, whoever is in the line up next year, I want a line up where everyone hates to lose. So even if that's a less talented guy over a more talented guy give me that team. Give me a team where every single one of them HATES TO LOSE. 

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