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Annual expectations thread 2022/23: #37 Casey Mittelstadt


dudacek
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What do you expect from #37 Casey Mittelstadt  

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  1. 1. Which of these best describes what you think the Sabres will get from Mittelstadt this year?

    • A Thompson-esque explosion with 60+ points and a clear top-6 future
    • Finally a full season where he reveals himself as a 40-50 point middle-sixer
    • He plays, but unevenly, gets passed by multiple kids and finishes with about 30-35 points
    • Another incomplete grade where he finally falls out of Buffalo’s plans


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There must have been times during the past year when Casey Mittelstadt looked at his buddy Tage Thompson and said “it coulda been me.”

Coming off the best stretch of hockey in his life in the spring of 2021, Casey was the star of last year’s training camp and entered the season firmly slotted as the Sabres 1C.

You know the rest: the opening night injury, a recovery fraught with setbacks and spotty production, and a lineup void at centre that Thompson admirably filled to the tune of 38 goals and $50 million.

Mittelstadt made some modest gains on his possession numbers, coming in at just under 50%, but never found that 60-point gear he had shown to close out the previous season. 

https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=192483

As training camp looms, he and Thompson may finish the circle. Both Casey and Don Granato have referenced the likelihood that the lifelong centre might see considerable time at wing this year. 

Rightly or wrongly, early Mittelstadt was pigeonholed as an immature talent who really didn’t have clue about the dedication and the discipline necessary to be a pro.

The past year or so, chatter coming out of the organization paints a different picture: a 24/7 hockey nerd and glue guy in the room, who desperately wants to be an impact player and has put in the time to do so, only to have his efforts short-circuited by misfortune.

He is poised to turn 24 this season and has reached that time when you stop becoming a projection and simply are what you are. There is a large group of offensively gifted young forwards coming hard for his ice time and he needs to show he can produce at a 2nd line pace in more than fits and starts, or he risks losing his job.

What do you expect from Mittelstadt this year?

(Last year’s takes here):

 

 

Edited by dudacek
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I went with option 2.  I’m not really confident that he will “break out” with a Thompson-esk 70 point pace, but I feel very confident that if he remains healthy he can show that he is a middle 6 quality forward who is useful on the PP.

 

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I think Mittelstadt will do well this season.  Health could have been sighted as an issue for Thompson before last season too.  I'm sure that he'll be ready and looking to build off the end of last season.  Thompson, Middelstadt, Cozens at center with some great talent on the wings.  I'm looking forward to the offence.  Should be some nice competition and the line chemistry will be interesting for sure.  Lots of potential combos.

Skinner                 Thompson          Tuch                     

Olofsson              Mittelstadt         Okposo

Krebs                    Cozens                 Quinn

Asplund               Sheahan              Girgensons

Peterka                                            Hinostroza

 

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I said both Mitts and Cozens were gonna break out with 60 points this season and I still think they might.

I voted for 40-50 points for Casey which would be a career high for him and a step in the right direction. 

If he stays healthy and creates some chemistry early on with a group he could catch fire. 

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4 hours ago, dudacek said:

There must have been times during the past year when Casey Mittelstadt looked at his buddy Tage Thompson and said “it coulda been me.”

Coming off the best stretch of hockey in his life in the spring of 2021, Casey was the star of last year’s training camp and entered the season firmly slotted as the Sabres 1C.

You know the rest: the opening night injury, a recovery fraught with setbacks and spotty production, and a lineup void at centre that Thompson admirably filled to the tune of 38 goals and $50 million.

Mittelstadt made some modest gains on his possession numbers, coming in at just under 50%, but never found that 60-point gear he had shown to close out the previous season. 

https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=192483

As training camp looms, he and Thompson may finish the circle. Both Casey and Don Granato have referenced the likelihood that the lifelong centre might see considerable time at wing this year. 

Rightly or wrongly, early Mittelstadt was pigeonholed as an immature talent who really didn’t have clue about the dedication and the discipline necessary to be a pro.

The past year or so, chatter coming out of the organization paints a different picture: a 24/7 hockey nerd and glue guy in the room, who desperately wants to be an impact player and has put in the time to do so, only to have his efforts short-circuited by misfortune.

He is poised to turn 24 this season and has reached that time when you stop becoming a projection and simply are what you are. There is a large group of offensively gifted young forwards coming hard for his ice time and he needs to show he can produce at a 2nd line pace in more than fits and starts, or he risks losing his job.

What do you expect from Mittelstadt this year?

(Last year’s takes here):

 

 

This is such a good post about an interesting player who could easily deliver a Tim Connolly out-of-nowhere explosion, or wash out, or just tread water again.
 

1 hour ago, Pimlach said:

I went with the second option.  A 40 to 50 point guy.  
 

if he stays healthy he is going to improve and contribute, but not breakout like Thompson did. 

This is where I am as well, although it’s more because of DG’s apparent belief in him than my own, which is pretty limited.  

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I "expect" him to do very well, or it's off to Rochester for the rest of his career as far as I'm concerned. It's time for him to show or go. What will he do? I have no idea. I still have my doubts on his work ethic, durability,  effort and commitment level. Very happy if he puts those to rest this year. 

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10 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

25g 35a.  He and Cozens combine with TnT to give us the best center play we have had since the Briere/Drury Sabres.  

O’Reilly (selke level play) and 2nd/3rd year Eichel (11th in league points) probably have a word there. 

- - - 

Not sure exactly what to expect from Casey except, if he’s the 2C I doubt we take a run at the playoffs. I actually see a shift to W, where he gets around that 40-50 points. 

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5 minutes ago, Thorny said:

I actually see a shift to W

 I mentioned it upthread, but Donnie and Casey each had interviews this week where they said this is going to happen, at least part time.

The AHL coaches were pretty adamant about Krebs being a centre and played him there exclusively during the playoffs, so i suspect there's been an organizational decision made that Tage/Cozens/Krebs is currently their preferred centre spine.

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7 minutes ago, dudacek said:

 I mentioned it upthread, but Donnie and Casey each had interviews this week where they said this is going to happen, at least part time.

The AHL coaches were pretty adamant about Krebs being a centre and played him there exclusively during the playoffs, so i suspect there's been an organizational decision made that Tage/Cozens/Krebs is currently their preferred centre spine.

Oops sorry missed that. 

That’s good to hear, those are the 3 I’ve advocated for keeping at C 

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I think this is largely dependent on a few factors.

- Linemates: I feel like if Mittelstadt is given Krebs and Quinn on the third line they will get out muscled and stuck in their own zone. I'd hate to split up Skinner - Thompson - Tuch but I think Casey could really benefit from playing with Tuch.

- Position: Will he be at wing or center? Frankly I'm not sure if he can handle center at the NHL level. I think having him at left wing centered by Cozens would make for an interesting combo. Incorporating the Tuch idea from above I think a well balanced top 6 would be:

Skinner - Thompson - Quinn

Mitts - Cozens - Tuch

An alternative idea I also considered was the following for the top 9:

Skinner - Thompson - Quinn

Peterka - Mitts - Tuch

Krebs - Cozens - Hinnostroza

I like this second one because it gives Casey support - he doesn't have to carry the line at center. It also allows Krebs, Cozens and Hinnostroza to continue the chemistry they built from last year. My concern with this top 9 is having Quinn on the top line. He'll likely struggle given the level of competition. In addition, the line already has two finishers.

- Injuries: Lastly as others have mentioned he needs to stay healthy. It sounds like he's been working pretty hard in the gym this summer which lends itself well to staying healthy. Only time will tell. If he ends up getting hurt again it warrants a discussion as to how he fits into this team's future -- I don't want Adams to give a big contract to a player that gets hurt every year.

 

Regardless, I think this is a crucial year for Casey. He needs to solidify himself as at the very least, a 40-45 point player.

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6 minutes ago, NAF said:

I think this is largely dependent on a few factors.

- Linemates: I feel like if Mittelstadt is given Krebs and Quinn on the third line they will get out muscled and stuck in their own zone. I'd hate to split up Skinner - Thompson - Tuch but I think Casey could really benefit from playing with Tuch.

- Position: Will he be at wing or center? Frankly I'm not sure if he can handle center at the NHL level. I think having him at left wing centered by Cozens would make for an interesting combo. Incorporating the Tuch idea from above I think a well balanced top 6 would be:

Skinner - Thompson - Quinn

Mitts - Cozens - Tuch

An alternative idea I also considered was the following for the top 9:

Skinner - Thompson - Quinn

Peterka - Mitts - Tuch

Krebs - Cozens - Hinnostroza

I like this second one because it gives Casey support - he doesn't have to carry the line at center. It also allows Krebs, Cozens and Hinnostroza to continue the chemistry they built from last year. My concern with this top 9 is having Quinn on the top line. He'll likely struggle given the level of competition. In addition, the line already has two finishers.

- Injuries: Lastly as others have mentioned he needs to stay healthy. It sounds like he's been working pretty hard in the gym this summer which lends itself well to staying healthy. Only time will tell. If he ends up getting hurt again it warrants a discussion as to how he fits into this team's future -- I don't want Adams to give a big contract to a player that gets hurt every year.

 

Regardless, I think this is a crucial year for Casey. He needs to solidify himself as at the very least, a 40-45 point player.

They shoot the other way and are often listed the other way, but Peterka played RW and Quinn LW most of the time in Rochester. I think flipping them in your lineup makes more sense from a chemistry style as well: Peterka’s style is closer to Tuch’s and Quinn’s Skinner.

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On 9/2/2022 at 10:14 PM, Digger said:

I think Mittelstadt will do well this season.  Health could have been sighted as an issue for Thompson before last season too.  I'm sure that he'll be ready and looking to build off the end of last season.  Thompson, Middelstadt, Cozens at center with some great talent on the wings.  I'm looking forward to the offence.  Should be some nice competition and the line chemistry will be interesting for sure.  Lots of potential combos.

Skinner                 Thompson          Tuch                     

Olofsson              Mittelstadt         Okposo

Krebs                    Cozens                 Quinn

Asplund               Sheahan              Girgensons

Peterka                                            Hinostroza

 

Three of those lines will probably produce goals fairly consistently. We are going to score goals this year. The PP should be good and balanced scoring will keep us in most games. 

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4 hours ago, Taro T said:

Had picked him to get 60 points earlier this summer, so will stick with that.

Not sure if he's C or W this year, but expect him on the 2nd line & 1st PP.

Possibly on both, but I think the 2nd line will likely end up VO-Cozens-KO and the top PP will be Dahlin-TT-Skinner-Tuch-VO.

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19 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

Possibly on both, but I think the 2nd line will likely end up VO-Cozens-KO and the top PP will be Dahlin-TT-Skinner-Tuch-VO.

Wasn’t Casey on the top PP to finish the year, in VO’s place?

I remember Cozens/Krebs/VO was a thing late in the year on PP2

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Casey will have a career year and establish himself as an NHL player.

He will also establish himself as a Holzinger/Plante level NHLer and not a part of the future core.

He’ll be gone as soon as Savoie is ready.

Pulling for him, but I think he’s the final victim of the dark years.

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