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Annual expectations thread 2022/23: #46 Ilya Lyubushkin


dudacek
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What do you expect from Ilya Lyubushkin?  

48 members have voted

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

    • Character, ruggedness and reliability in his own zone, he will be a solid 4/5 and a fan favourite
    • He’ll add some thump, but his good play without the puck won’t outweigh bad play with it — overall, he'll be OK
    • He’s another Robert Hagg, a replaceable part


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Ilya Lyubushkin entered last season off most people’s radar as a late-starting Russian import who had played all of his 134 NHL games in the outpost of Arizona.

That changed when a mid-season trade moved him to the white-hot spotlight of Toronto in order to add some hard-to-play-against to a flabby Leafs blueline.

Despite being an absolute non-factor offensively, Lyubushkin registered some impressive defensive analytics, adding up to a 51% overall Corsi rating despite 55% D-zone starts. He gained a reputation as a neutralizer while punishing opponents with the 26th-ranked hits/60 rate in the entire league.

https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=171177

A heart-and-soul, reliable, no-BS thumper has been on the fanbase wish list since before Mike Weber told the boo-birds where to park their tank. Sabres fans have stared longingly at the dream of Erik Cernak, the concept of Will Borgen and even the delusion of Rasmus Ristolainen.  Lyubushkin — signed to fill the roster slot mainly split last year between Robert Hagg and Casey Fitzgerald — might be their best chance in a decade of having those prayers answered.

Rugged, responsible in his own zone, and a right-handed shot, Boosh appears to check all the boxes on the Sabres summer shopping list to a “T”. He’s expected to either slot in as big brother to Owen Power on the 2nd pair or provide some muscle alongside Bryson or Pilut on the 3rd pair.

What do you expect from Ilya Lyubushkin?

Edited by dudacek
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I don’t know if he’ll be 2nd or 3rd pairing but he will be a PK mainstay and keep other teams honest with a physical game and a shutdown mentality.

He is relatively new to the NHL game and should keep improving with the rest of the team. 
 

I like the corsi numbers despite the D zone starts, sounds like he wins puck battles and gets it up to the forwards.

I am looking forward to see how he fits with DG and the Dmen

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Pretty much an unknown for me as I don't remember his impact in the few Laugh games I saw and certainly never noticed him before. 

I think he's a good fit and we certainly needed D but how good he will be I have no idea. 

My big question for him is he a fairly passive (but maybe responsible) D man or does he have a bit of a snarl (maybe even dirtiness) to his game like some of the Russians do. I'm hoping it's the latter. 

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6 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

Pretty much an unknown for me as I don't remember his impact in the few Laugh games I saw and certainly never noticed him before. 

I think he's a good fit and we certainly needed D but how good he will be I have no idea. 

My big question for him is he a fairly passive (but maybe responsible) D man or does he have a bit of a snarl (maybe even dirtiness) to his game like some of the Russians do. I'm hoping it's the latter. 

He has the reputation of a hitter.

I haven’t watched him play either, so I can only go by what I’ve read.

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16 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

Pretty much an unknown for me as I don't remember his impact in the few Laugh games I saw and certainly never noticed him before. 

I think he's a good fit and we certainly needed D but how good he will be I have no idea. 

My big question for him is he a fairly passive (but maybe responsible) D man or does he have a bit of a snarl (maybe even dirtiness) to his game like some of the Russians do. I'm hoping it's the latter. 

You will like him. Plays a Rhett Warrener type of game. He is exactly the type of dman this group needed. He won’t be sexy like the other dman but he will be solid.

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1 hour ago, PerreaultForever said:

Pretty much an unknown for me as I don't remember his impact in the few Laugh games I saw and certainly never noticed him before. 

I think he's a good fit and we certainly needed D but how good he will be I have no idea. 

My big question for him is he a fairly passive (but maybe responsible) D man or does he have a bit of a snarl (maybe even dirtiness) to his game like some of the Russians do. I'm hoping it's the latter. 

Last season he had more hits and more blocked shots than anyone on the Sabres’ roster.

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I don’t have a ton of expectation for Lyubushkin because, like a lot of you, I haven’t followed him much.

But I have a ton of curiosity. He seems like a player tailor-made for what our defence corps needed heading into the off-season.

Both he and Comrie not only entirely fit the culture Adams is shaping, but they also seem to be products of an analytics-driven moneyball approach where the staff identified potentially undervalued assets that filled a need and aggressively went after them.

Fair or not, Lyubushkin’s performance is going to influence my perception of Ventura as much as anything.

 

Edited by dudacek
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I don’t know exactly what to expect. Stay at home defense, physical play, with very little offensive skill I guess.  
 

If he made a solid impact then you would think the Leaves would have kept him?   Hoping he thrives under DG. 
 

Edited by Pimlach
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10 minutes ago, Pimlach said:

I don’t know exactly what to expect. Stay at home defense, physical play, with very little offensive skill I guess.  
 

If he made a solid impact then you would think the Leaves would have kept him?   Hoping he thrives under DG. 
 

Keeping Lyubushkin was never something the Leafs could afford.

He got a $2.5 million deal. They replaced him with Mark Giordano for $800,000, are already over the cap by $1.5 million and still haven’t signed Rasmus Sandin.

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28 minutes ago, Pimlach said:

I don’t know exactly what to expect. Stay at home defense, physical play, with very little offensive skill I guess.  
 

If he made a solid impact then you would think the Leaves would have kept him?   Hoping he thrives under DG. 
 

Leafs didn't want to lose him actually, was their best defender according to fans.

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9 hours ago, Huckleberry said:

Leafs didn't want to lose him actually, was their best defender according to fans.

Yes.   I guess they could not make cap room with the $$$ tied up in forwards. 

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22 minutes ago, Norcal said:

I expect Ilya to bring the boom! 

I think he will bring a level of toughness with him that will set the tone most nights. 

He will make sure the other team has their head up all night because he will hit anyone anywhere, and isn’t afraid to follow it up with his fists.


I’m estimating he has over 15 jaw dropping open ice hits this season and will end up being a fan favorite as a heavy hitting/shutdown/PK specialist.

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1 minute ago, SHAAAUGHT!!! said:

He will make sure the other team has their head up all night because he will hit anyone anywhere, and isn’t afraid to follow it up with his fists.


I’m estimating he has over 15 jaw dropping open ice hits this season and will end up being a fan favorite as a heavy hitting/shutdown/PK specialist.

I'll take that!

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On 9/9/2022 at 2:12 PM, Sabres Fan in NS said:

I think he will start on the second pairing with Power and then likely be shifted down to the 5/6 pairing at some point.

Good in the D zone and tough as nails.

A good addition.

 

Am expecting it'll actually go in the opposite direction.  Granato loves him some Jokiharju.

22 hours ago, Huckleberry said:

I think they will put him next to Power, and he will excel in his defensive role.   Added benefit will be that he will protect our rookie when needed.

1 goal 15 assists 🙂

 

That's the hope.  Really expect that he should be Power's primary partner as he should let the kid do his thing without forcing him to cover for his partner's D miscues too often.  Expecting Granato will prefer the additional offensive upside of Henri's game on that pairing but really don't expect that it'll be as necessary as Lyubushkin's D-prowess will be there.  We shall see.

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On 9/9/2022 at 3:38 PM, Curt said:

Last season he had more hits and more blocked shots than anyone on the Sabres’ roster.

Could time travel this comment forward from the Bogosian days 

On 9/10/2022 at 10:23 AM, Huckleberry said:

Leafs didn't want to lose him actually, was their best defender according to fans.

No he wasn’t lol. 

Solid though. 

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I didn’t vote because I assume the most positive option is already the clear runaway winner (someone can correct me if I’m wrong), but I do quite like the addition. 

Expect he’ll be a decent/average 5-ish, which is good. Guess that’s closest to the middle option above. 

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Really excited about Boosh and can’t wait to see him stand someone up. Something we need to help the young skill guys do what they do. Everyone on the bench feeds off of these type of guys and possibly may even play bigger as a result. 

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  • dudacek changed the title to Annual expectations thread 2022/23: #46 Ilya Lyubushkin
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