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Mittelstadt, Olofsson and the 3rd and 4th Lines


nfreeman
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28 minutes ago, tom webster said:

Yeah, I wouldn’t include Tuch but I understand what you are saying. I’m sure someone will point out exceptions but high draft picks rarely fulfill their expectations with a second or third team. What sometimes happens is they reimagine themselves and find useful roles with their new team. I would never say impossible with Casey, but color me skeptical.

I think if the Sabres had a clearly cable 3C, Casey might already be our 4C and the Sabres wouldn't have picked up Jost.  On a personal level that would be awkward though, with Casey being the designated the 1C prior to his injury in Game 1 last year.

I see flashes of the Casey we hoped for, but there are also holes in his game as we all know.  That's why I suggested he might be able to jump to another team with a different system, and in learning that system somehow work through his weak spots.

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8 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Minor point on 'putting them out against Stamkos' on the 1st goal that line was out against.  Tampa only dressed 11 F's.  Stamkos was out with the "4th line" with Perry & Namestikov.  The Mitts line was getting matched up w/ the 4th line.  They got the puck out of the zone but the Tampa D recovered the clear & turned the puck back up ice.  What else, after the 12 F's were chosen, did you want Granato to do on that one?

The 4th goal against was a coaching mistake.  And Granato had a chance to rectify it as he got a TV timeout right off the initial faceoff.  He could easily have flipped to the Thompson or Jost lines.

Also, the FO for that 4th goal was at the Sabres BL, not defensive zone.

Fair points.  On the 1st goal, I suppose DG could've just not had Mitts' line on for any D-zone faceoffs, but that probably isn't realistic.  On the 4th goal, I think I saw on twitter that Mitts' line hadn't been out for 6 minutes and had already been terrible for 55 minutes of the game.  I think DG should've stapled them to the bench at that point.

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One thing I worry about regarding Mitts is that I'm pretty confident that one of the franchise's objectives for this season is to figure out whether Mitts is a long-term building block -- so I think it's pretty likely that they are going to continue to feed him all-situations ice time, regardless of how much he's pooping the bed.  Losses like the one last night are the inevitable collateral damage.

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12 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

One thing I worry about regarding Mitts is that I'm pretty confident that one of the franchise's objectives for this season is to figure out whether Mitts is a long-term building block -- so I think it's pretty likely that they are going to continue to feed him all-situations ice time, regardless of how much he's pooping the bed.  Losses like the one last night are the inevitable collateral damage.

Yeah I think this is right.  Unfortunately, he may play himself out of retaining any real value.  I’ve had high hopes for Casey but based on what I’ve seen in Rochester and Buffalo, I think he is what he is.  A talented guy who either doesn’t have the capacity or doesn’t want to bother learning the mental aspect of the game.  He makes terrible decisions continuously on the ice.  Just follow him.  Puts the puck in terrible places, makes passes into bad areas, skates into the teeth of the D with the puck almost as if he thinks that’s what he’s supposed to do. As my buddy Rob White used to say, you can’t fix stupid. 

20 minutes ago, JoeSchmoe said:

quote-but-i-would-not-feel-so-all-alone-

quote-but-i-would-not-feel-so-all-alone-

Is this supposed to hurt my feelings? 😀  Trust me, I’ll take my brain power under the influence of THC over most people’s version of reality whilst sober.  

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1 hour ago, JoeSchmoe said:

Can someone 'splain me why Asplund gets credit for being an actual NHL'er?

I feel like he's a guy who's obviously not good, yet people try to say he is to prove how smart they are. Kinda like the Bob Dylan of hockey. 😉 

At least his slug linemates offer at least one or two redeeming skills.

 

10 minutes ago, inkman said:

Is this supposed to hurt my feelings? 😀  Trust me, I’ll take my brain power under the influence of THC over most people’s version of reality whilst sober.

Nope, I was hoping you'd get a chuckle at the irony given my statement in my earlier post.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

One thing I worry about regarding Mitts is that I'm pretty confident that one of the franchise's objectives for this season is to figure out whether Mitts is a long-term building block -- so I think it's pretty likely that they are going to continue to feed him all-situations ice time, regardless of how much he's pooping the bed.  Losses like the one last night are the inevitable collateral damage.

It seems apparent that the plan was to throw max kids into the fire and see which ones fight the fire.  This will determine what holes they begin to plug down the road.  Mitts’ roster spot, and I think Krebs and Bryson as well, are the holes that will get filled.

As you so well put, the season is collateral damage from this process.  I hate it.

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1 minute ago, Weave said:

It seems apparent that the plan was to throw max kids into the fire and see which ones fight the fire.  This will determine what holes they begin to plug down the road.  Mitts’ roster spot, and I think Krebs and Bryson as well, are the holes that will get filled.

As you so well put, the season is collateral damage from this process.  I hate it.

I hate the fact that this season is yet another in the 'process'.  

Seems that Adams was firm that he wanted Krebs included in the trade with Vegas.  I think Krebs will be given a bit more time.  The other two you mentioned I think will either figure it out or be traded or something by the end of the season.

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37 minutes ago, Ruff Around The Edges said:

Casey is a draft bust. Its time for the Sabres to accept this fact. And it is ok, plenty of good options waiting behind him.

Also, package Olofsson and eat some money if you have to with other players to make an upgrade on D.

Unfortunately, the majority of the 2017 Sabres draft was a bust.  GM JBot's incompetence is showcased here with Mitts, UPL (IMHO is not up to the challenge of NHL or possibly even AHL caliber standards), Davidsson, Laaksonen, Pekar all collectively having minimal impact.  Bryson is the only pick who has actually played somewhat and is a bottom 6 player at best.

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44 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

One thing I worry about regarding Mitts is that I'm pretty confident that one of the franchise's objectives for this season is to figure out whether Mitts is a long-term building block -- so I think it's pretty likely that they are going to continue to feed him all-situations ice time, regardless of how much he's pooping the bed.  Losses like the one last night are the inevitable collateral damage.

But, with the glaring exception of the 4th goal against, he & his line were strictly used as the 4th line.  Asplund got a little PK duty, but none of the 3 were getting "all situation" ice time.  They were matched against TB's lesser heavy line and didn't do particularly well there.   (If TB didn't ave Colton & Maroon on the 3rd line might've seen them going against that line, but they did & they weren't.)  2 games ago they were still being deployed as the 2nd line.

Mittelstadt did not see the ice in the OT.  Don't believe Olofsson did either.

Should they gain their confidence back getting sheltered minutes, expect they'll then be treated as the 3rd line, which they only had against Joisey recently and they scored the 1 goal in that game.

Personally, as @Brawndo has been advocating, would like to see Mitts & VO broken up.  But until we see the Jost line falter am not expecting it as that's the only line left w/ mix & match pieces.  (Really doubt they experiment more w/ moving Tuch around and the Cozterkinn line isn't going anywhere.)  My guess is that they see sheltered minutes for a couple of games (easy against Detroit, tougher to pull off against the Avs, good thing that game is at home).  And then based on the outcome of those games we see Krebs &/or Honostroza roll into the line up.

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41 minutes ago, inkman said:

Yeah I think this is right.  Unfortunately, he may play himself out of retaining any real value.  I’ve had high hopes for Casey but based on what I’ve seen in Rochester and Buffalo, I think he is what he is.  A talented guy who either doesn’t have the capacity or doesn’t want to bother learning the mental aspect of the game.  He makes terrible decisions continuously on the ice.  Just follow him.  Puts the puck in terrible places, makes passes into bad areas, skates into the teeth of the D with the puck almost as if he thinks that’s what he’s supposed to do. As my buddy Rob White used to say, you can’t fix stupid.

I've been thinking about this in the context of how bad the Mitts/VO line is at the possession game and I've come to the conclusion that a huge part of it is indeed mental/hockey IQ.  Mitts has good size, decent skating and excellent hands, but I don't think his hockey IQ is particularly strong.  In his first couple of seasons the characteristic about him that most stood out to me was that he consistently overestimated how much time and space he had to work with when trying to beat a defender.  As a result, the defender took it away from him pretty much every time.

Mitts doesn't make that mistake nearly as much, but as you point out he makes tons of other mistakes that indicate a low hockey IQ.  I also don't see the innate sense of where the puck is going that guys like Quinn and Skinner seem to have.  The result is that his line is terrible on the forecheck/possession game.

I don't think VO is quite as bad as Mitts is at this, but I'm starting to think he isn't great at it either.

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13 minutes ago, Taro T said:

But, with the glaring exception of the 4th goal against, he & his line were strictly used as the 4th line.  Asplund got a little PK duty, but none of the 3 were getting "all situation" ice time.  They were matched against TB's lesser heavy line and didn't do particularly well there.   (If TB didn't ave Colton & Maroon on the 3rd line might've seen them going against that line, but they did & they weren't.)  2 games ago they were still being deployed as the 2nd line.

Mittelstadt did not see the ice in the OT.  Don't believe Olofsson did either.

Should they gain their confidence back getting sheltered minutes, expect they'll then be treated as the 3rd line, which they only had against Joisey recently and they scored the 1 goal in that game.

Personally, as @Brawndo has been advocating, would like to see Mitts & VO broken up.  But until we see the Jost line falter am not expecting it as that's the only line left w/ mix & match pieces.  (Really doubt they experiment more w/ moving Tuch around and the Cozterkinn line isn't going anywhere.)  My guess is that they see sheltered minutes for a couple of games (easy against Detroit, tougher to pull off against the Avs, good thing that game is at home).  And then based on the outcome of those games we see Krebs &/or Honostroza roll into the line up.

Breaking up Mitts and VO sounds good, but doing that would weaken two lines that are presently playing well because whoever inherits either of them is gonna have a worse player on their line. Mitts and VO are gonna suck, regardless. 

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24 minutes ago, K-9 said:

Breaking up Mitts and VO sounds good, but doing that would weaken two lines that are presently playing well because whoever inherits either of them is gonna have a worse player on their line. Mitts and VO are gonna suck, regardless. 

Which was the point of "(b)ut until we see the Jost line falter am not expecting it as that's the only line left w/ mix & match pieces."  😉

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30 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Which was the point of "(b)ut until we see the Jost line falter am not expecting it as that's the only line left w/ mix & match pieces."  😉

So the Jost line falters and they inherit one of Mitts or VO. Where does the other sucky player go? No matter how we slice it, separating them is gonna ensure that two lines are 1/3 suck. I’d rather have one line with 2/3 suck and the other three with no suck. 

But watch, Mitts will have his one in ten great games and VO will pot a couple PP or empty net goals and all their defenders will come out with their “I told you so” and once again ignore their 90% body of work that sucks. 

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24 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

Face it, we have one good line, one kid line and 2 lines of garbage. That's it. 

Next season we'll have one very good line, one slightly more experienced kid line, another kid line that's very green, and a line like the JOG line (maybe the same exact line).

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40 minutes ago, Thorny said:

I know people dislike talking about handedness, if I had to guess it’s probably NOT a factor in this case, but correlation (likely) or causation, it DOES almost always lately seem to be the line with all left shots that can’t find success. Even the 4th line always has handedness balance. I wonder if there’s an outside shot it slightly ups the degree if difficulty re: things like exit pass options, etc

Prob not, just thinking about it this afternoon. But it’s line 3 always and it always has all left shots. I’d try Hinostroza there just to rule it out

Maybe this fits better here. 

Does anyone know how often we’ve run out 2 of Casey/VO/Asplund in combination with Hinostroza on the right? Didn’t Hinostroza have successful metrics last season? 

They may have already tried this, if so someone can point that out and debunk this post. But I feel like we haven’t seen that much, just off the top of my head. 

Asplund is good defensively, I’d line him up at C, Hinostroza on the right, and Olofsson (he scores actual goals) on the left. Give Mitts a rest and let him switch off with VO depending on who’s contributing 

Skinner - Thompson - Tuch

Peterka - Cozens - Quinn

Olofsson - Asplund - Hinostroza

Girgensons - Jost - Okposo

29 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

Face it, we have one good line, one kid line and 2 lines of garbage. That's it. 

2 good lines 

One reasonable 4th line

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2 hours ago, K-9 said:

Breaking up Mitts and VO sounds good, but doing that would weaken two lines that are presently playing well because whoever inherits either of them is gonna have a worse player on their line. Mitts and VO are gonna suck, regardless. 

VO would do really well with Cozens and JJ, but then you hurt Quinn's development. That's how I see it

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