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Mittelstadt, Olofsson and the 3rd and 4th Lines


nfreeman
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They have two good lines and one checking line. 
 

The Sabres need to construct a third line that will break even and not bleed scoring chances against, especially against the Avs. 
 

Put Asplund-Krebs-Hinostronza together as all three have better defensive metrics than Mittelstadt and VO

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Mitts 3rd period played crappy...  i have been a defender for day one.... great passer... nice moves hard forechecker... but something is missing... cant hold on to the puck and is a poor defender... i have seen him work and do well at all skill sets at different times but he has never put them all together at once.... dont know if he is over thinking or just not thinking...  the light may be on just not sure anyone is home...  thought he'd mature by now.... asplund is smart but doesnt have the body to be a third liner with these two...  ollie its all about effort...

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7 hours ago, Brawndo said:


They have two good lines and one checking line. 
 

The Sabres need to construct a third line that will break even and not bleed scoring chances against, especially against the Avs. 
 

Put Asplund-Krebs-Hinostronza together as all three have better defensive metrics than Mittelstadt and VO

You know they won't. There's blind loyalty to Mitts and vo even as they cost us games. 

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1 hour ago, LGR4GM said:

You know they won't. There's blind loyalty to Mitts and vo even as they cost us games. 

I don’t think it is loyally.  I think it is an evaluation, and the bulk of the season will be used to evaluate.

My observation is the same as North Buffalo’s, but I never had the optimism earlier in his career.  He’s got hands equivalent to Connolly.  His skating is NHL level.  His passing is NHL level.  But he’s missing something.  I don’t know if it is situational awareness, intensity, fitness level, or what, but something key is missing that is preventing him from putting it all together, and it has been missing from day 1.

My gut tells me Mitts gets 1 more short NHL contract with another team and after he’ll have a long, successful career in a European league.  He’s got mad tools but his toolbox is not NHL level.

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Yes, there are still problems with this team.... The Casey Mittelstadt–Victor Olofsson line continues to be a problem at five-on-five. The Red Wings had 85 percent of the expected goals when that line was on the ice at even strength Wednesday.

https://theathletic.com/3955984/2022/12/01/sabres-jack-quinn-shootout-win/?source=emp_shared_article

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Mitts really needs to work with a skating coach. I think he would be a power if he just widened his stance and bent his knees more.

Just like Dahlin last year. He still slips back every now and again, and you can see it. As soon as he stands up straight and looks pretty, you just know a mistake is coming.

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10 hours ago, Brawndo said:


They have two good lines and one checking line. 
 

The Sabres need to construct a third line that will break even and not bleed scoring chances against, especially against the Avs. 
 

Put Asplund-Krebs-Hinostronza together as all three have better defensive metrics than Mittelstadt and VO

Part of me wants DG to healthy-scratch Mitts and VO for the next 5 games and tell them that if they want to play in the NHL, they need to make it their business to learn how to forecheck, maintain possession and create chances in the O-zone and not smile at the opposition and serve them lemonade when the Sabres are in the D-zone and trying to close out a game with 5 minutes to go.

The other part of me cannot see either of them getting healthy-scratched for even 1 game.

I still think it's more realistic that DG will separate Mitts and VO and combine them in some manner with Zemgus, Jost and KO.

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21 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

Part of me wants DG to healthy-scratch Mitts and VO for the next 5 games and tell them that if they want to play in the NHL, they need to make it their business to learn how to forecheck, maintain possession and create chances in the O-zone and not smile at the opposition and serve them lemonade when the Sabres are in the D-zone and trying to close out a game with 5 minutes to go.

The other part of me cannot see either of them getting healthy-scratched for even 1 game.

I still think it's more realistic that DG will separate Mitts and VO and combine them in some manner with Zemgus, Jost and KO.

Absolutely. And I think it would work, too.

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So last night, the 3 members of the Mitts/VO line again had the least ice time among Sabres forwards -- Mitts and Vinnie each had 9 min and change, while VO had just under 9 min. 

Interestingly, the "4th line" of Zemgus, Jost and KO all were around 18 min, making them the 2nd line in terms of ice time.  I thought they were very effective last night, although more so in the O-zone than in the D-zone.

I'll say it again:  DG knows, just like everyone else knows, that Mitts/VO isn't working.  He doesn't want to mess with the other 3 lines, which I get, but I don't see what his options are.  It's not sustainable to have a line continuously getting caved in like this.

 

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21 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

So last night, the 3 members of the Mitts/VO line again had the least ice time among Sabres forwards -- Mitts and Vinnie each had 9 min and change, while VO had just under 9 min. 

Interestingly, the "4th line" of Zemgus, Jost and KO all were around 18 min, making them the 2nd line in terms of ice time.  I thought they were very effective last night, although more so in the O-zone than in the D-zone.

I'll say it again:  DG knows, just like everyone else knows, that Mitts/VO isn't working.  He doesn't want to mess with the other 3 lines, which I get, but I don't see what his options are.  It's not sustainable to have a line continuously getting caved in like this.

 

We all know that these are all just preseason games for next year. There has got to be (or, at least, I hope there is) a developmental reason for this to continue.

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20 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

So last night, the 3 members of the Mitts/VO line again had the least ice time among Sabres forwards -- Mitts and Vinnie each had 9 min and change, while VO had just under 9 min. 

Interestingly, the "4th line" of Zemgus, Jost and KO all were around 18 min, making them the 2nd line in terms of ice time.  I thought they were very effective last night, although more so in the O-zone than in the D-zone.

I'll say it again:  DG knows, just like everyone else knows, that Mitts/VO isn't working.  He doesn't want to mess with the other 3 lines, which I get, but I don't see what his options are.  It's not sustainable to have a line continuously getting caved in like this.

 

DG talked about this yesterday. He was talking about how good those two are on the PP. Even though the second unit has not seen much time on the PP lately. He said Mitts was second on team in PP points. He also said that since the other lines were looking so good, it made that line look bad. So...there's that. 

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30 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

So last night, the 3 members of the Mitts/VO line again had the least ice time among Sabres forwards -- Mitts and Vinnie each had 9 min and change, while VO had just under 9 min. 

Interestingly, the "4th line" of Zemgus, Jost and KO all were around 18 min, making them the 2nd line in terms of ice time.  I thought they were very effective last night, although more so in the O-zone than in the D-zone.

I'll say it again:  DG knows, just like everyone else knows, that Mitts/VO isn't working.  He doesn't want to mess with the other 3 lines, which I get, but I don't see what his options are.  It's not sustainable to have a line continuously getting caved in like this.

 

There are 2 options.  Drop them to the 4th line, which happened realistically 3 games ago, & let them get their confidence at 5v5 back with sheltered usage or bench 1 or both of them.

Right now, it is obvious that the chosen option is the 1st.  Personally, expect that's the right choice, but we'll see.  Realize that isn't a popular choice around here.

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52 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

So last night, the 3 members of the Mitts/VO line again had the least ice time among Sabres forwards -- Mitts and Vinnie each had 9 min and change, while VO had just under 9 min. 

Interestingly, the "4th line" of Zemgus, Jost and KO all were around 18 min, making them the 2nd line in terms of ice time.  I thought they were very effective last night, although more so in the O-zone than in the D-zone.

I'll say it again:  DG knows, just like everyone else knows, that Mitts/VO isn't working.  He doesn't want to mess with the other 3 lines, which I get, but I don't see what his options are.  It's not sustainable to have a line continuously getting caved in like this.

 

If you have a chance listen to DG's last weakly Tuesday appearance on WGR. You perfectly capture the dilemma that he faces if he juggles the Mitts line with other lines. He made the point that the other lines are clicking, and he doesn't want to disrupt the chemistry on those lines. If you listen to him you can also sense that he will have to make a change on that line. It's apparent that he is already doing so by limiting that line to limited playing time. 

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14 hours ago, Brawndo said:


They have two good lines and one checking line. 
 

The Sabres need to construct a third line that will break even and not bleed scoring chances against, especially against the Avs. 
 

Put Asplund-Krebs-Hinostronza together as all three have better defensive metrics than Mittelstadt and VO

I really like the idea of, for at least one game scratching Mitts & VO and running this as the 3rd line. It can't be any worse than what weve seen with Mitts-VO-and whoever else.

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2 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

The 4th line was also lousy last night.  I’d like to see DG shuffle the guys in 3rd and 4th lines to try to reset the chemistry.  

Id like to see Mitt and Olofsson shipped out for something useful like defense or another bottom 6 player who doesn't get caved in by his feeble play whenever he's on the ice. 

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Should HCDG flip-flop players on the bottom 2 lines each game to see what can get going?  I have a sneaking suspicion that switching Jost and Mittlestadt or Okposo with Olofsson could work for both lines.

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So, as I think @Brawndo pointed out in the GDT, Mitts’ line did much, much better in the fancystats last night with the insertion of Krebs at C.  They had the vast majority of expected goals while they were on the ice.  I think that may be overstating their performance, as Mitts in particular coughed it up a bunch of times and I don’t think the line had a ton of chances, but they also didn’t get brutally caved in like they have been recently.

Cozens’ line, OTOH, didn’t do nearly as well despite scoring 2 goals.  They were well in the minority in expected goals while on the ice and Cozens had a minus-2 while JJP and Quinn had  minus-1. I think they were getting tougher matchups, and Colorado is really loaded, but they certainly had their hands full.

I’m still deeply concerned about Mitts and VO, and very high on the Cozens line, but last night provided a glimmer of hope for Mitts, VO and Krebs and a cautionary note about the Cozens line.  

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23 hours ago, JohnC said:

If you have a chance listen to DG's last weakly Tuesday appearance on WGR. You perfectly capture the dilemma that he faces if he juggles the Mitts line with other lines. He made the point that the other lines are clicking, and he doesn't want to disrupt the chemistry on those lines. If you listen to him you can also sense that he will have to make a change on that line. It's apparent that he is already doing so by limiting that line to limited playing time. 

@JohnC, good one!  

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22 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

So, as I think @Brawndo pointed out in the GDT, Mitts’ line did much, much better in the fancystats last night with the insertion of Krebs at C.  They had the vast majority of expected goals while they were on the ice.  I think that may be overstating their performance, as Mitts in particular coughed it up a bunch of times and I don’t think the line had a ton of chances, but they also didn’t get brutally caved in like they have been recently.

Cozens’ line, OTOH, didn’t do nearly as well despite scoring 2 goals.  They were well in the minority in expected goals while on the ice and Cozens had a minus-2 while JJP and Quinn had  minus-1. I think they were getting tougher matchups, and Colorado is really loaded, but they certainly had their hands full.

I’m still deeply concerned about Mitts and VO, and very high on the Cozens line, but last night provided a glimmer of hope for Mitts, VO and Krebs and a cautionary note about the Cozens line.  

You want to know what the difference was in why those lines respectively looked better & a little worse overall in this game than in previous games?

It's USAGE.  The Mittelstadt line only got caught against the McKinnon line for part of 1 shift.  They looked good against the Avs 4th line.  And that was pretty much who they were out against exclusively.  They also got to start the 1st PP before they'd even taken a shift.  Mittelstadt & Olofsson were in their comfort zone and played w/ less (no?) hesitation when their line finally got a shift 7 or so minutes into the game.  They also never had an icing go against them but even drew 1 or 2.  That's huge.  Didn't notice them against Compher's line at all & only caught very brief stints against that top line.  Had they been on for an icing, they would definitely faced one of those lines fresh off a rest while they wee at the end of a shift.

Cozens line, w/ the possible exception of the shift Peterka got that glorious goal (great look by Quinn to see how open he was), was fed nearly exclusively the Compher line & on occassion the McKinnon line too.  And often it was w/ Pilut & Fitzgerald behind them.  Considering who they were up against, they played really well.  And the Avs #2 line is waaay better than Detroit's.  (Heck, IMHO, it is better than Detroit's top line.)

Until 4 games ago, Mitts was getting the usage Cozens line is now getting & Cozens line was getting mainly 3rd & 2nd line opponents.  (Okposo's line seemed to split between 4th line & top line.)

It's part of why this guy isn't as down on Mitts as everybody else.  His getting tougher usage helped build up the confidence of that Cozterkinn line.  Now that his confidence is shot, HE'S getting lighter usage.  They play a relatively weak set of opponents soon.  Expect all 4 lines to start/continue to click.  Again, darn shame that Comrie is broken because he & Anderson could get results like they had in October through this stretch.  Not convinced UPL & Andy can, but am hoping.  (UPL needs something to get his head on straight.  Maybe this will be that something.)  And really hoping that Granato starts having them play a little more responsibly over this next stretch.  They SHOULD be able to do so w/out tanking the offense.

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On 12/1/2022 at 10:17 AM, inkman said:

Casey Mittlestadt = Tyson Jost

 

He should be waived likewise.  Trade Olofsson at the deadline to a team with a bad PP.  Move on from these black holes that get caved every night. 

Its incredible how many chances Mittlestadt gets i agree he should be waived but they wont .

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Buffalonill said:

Its incredible how many chances Mittlestadt gets i agree he should be waived but they wont .

 

 

Waived?   That would be wasteful.

 

He has some trade value, at least in a package deal.   

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