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How bad is Casey Mittelstadt?


dudacek
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On 1/2/2023 at 9:14 PM, Scottysabres said:

Body movers, players on the front end that can use their weight to win physical battles, puck battles. Players on the back end that can use their body to separate the opponent from the puck, successfully clear the front of the net.

Have you not seen Tuch or Girgensons over the last few games?

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51 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Casey is on pace for a 46 pts season.  That's excellent production for a 3rd line player making only 2.5 million.  

There has been constant talk on this board about how Casey is a turnover machine.  The stats don't bear that out.  His 2.15 Gva/60 is 65th worst among NHL forwards, which isn't great, but not terrible either.  Skinner is the Sabres worst forward on giveaways at 2.20 per 60.  (57th worst).  None of these guys are even close to the 4.72 by Pastrnak (NHL's worst), or even Kucherov (3.90), Barzal (3.84), Draisaitl (3.71), or McJesus (3.31).  

On takaways, Mitts is second at on the team at 2.36 behind only Tuch at 2.46.  Mitts is a net +2 between Gva and Tka.  

Skinner is the closest we have to a "turnover machine" and he isn't even that bad.  His net -6 is the worst among our forwards.  The only other - Sabres forwards are Krebs (-1) and JJP (-2).  

Oh by the way Casey has 2g 5a for 7 pts and a +2 in his last 10 games.  I thought it was very telling that Casey was the player DG promoted to the top line during Skinner's suspension.  

I'd love to see the chart which shows what D Casey and VO were most often paired with. 

I don't think this is the most common critique of Mitts, or even a common one at all.

I think the most common critique is that he is soft on the puck and that his line consistently gets dominated in terms of not gaining or keeping possession, being highly ineffective on the forecheck, and being pinned down in the D-zone by the opposition.  And the stats bear that out.

Mitts has 8 ES points this year in 36 games.  That's 13th on the team -- same as Krebs (who has played 30 games), and 1 more than Jost, Bryson, Asplund and Vinnie.

His line is by far the worst of the 4 lines in XGF% and HDCF%, despite getting by far the highest percentage of O-zone faceoffs.

As I've said before, I think the fundamental issue with him is a deficient hockey IQ, coupled with a lack of intensity.

He stinks at 5-on-5.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, FrenchConnection44 said:

 I don't think just looking at the last 17 games since Jost came on the team is a full evaluation of Mittelstadt. One could argue that Jost has reduced Casey's negative +/- by his presence on the line. 

Nor does it have to do with his being a top 10 pick. 

I suspect if he gets traded or released that, like a number of players in the NHL and NFL who get traded from their drafting team, they realize that they haven't put the work in that they need to. But it doesn't seem to be the case that he is improving as he should be. I don't care about the goals or points but that he works hard and stops making bad plays.

I think our points are more in line than you may realize.

I was partly talking about fan expectations in my post, but moreso I was talking about player expectations.

Casey is undergoing a process where he first realized he wasn’t going to be an NHL player training like he did in juniors, then realizing he wasn’t going to be a star playing like he did in juniors.

As @Taro T has done a good job explaining, he has adjusted his approach. He just has more to learn and more adjustments to make. He’s only played 231 NHL games.

The next step - the one that is underway this year - is realizing that he isn’t going to be a star, period, and figuring out how he is just going to be a useful player. I brought Jost into the equation because he comes from a similar place as Casey, and is a year ahead of him on that curve.

I can guarantee Avs fans were making similar posts to yours about Jost two years ago.

Edited by dudacek
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3 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I think our points are more in line than you may realize.

I was partly talking about fan expectations in my post, but moreso I was talking about player expectations.

Casey is undergoing a process where he first realized he wasn’t going to be an NHL player training like he did in juniors, then realizing he wasn’t going to be a star playing like he did in juniors.

As @Taro T has done a good job explaining, he has adjusted his approach. He just has more to learn and more adjustments to make. He’s only played 231 NHL games.

The next step - the one that is underway this year - is realizing that he isn’t going to be a star, period, and figuring out how he is just going to be a useful player. I brought Jost into the equation because he comes from a similar place as Casey, and is a year ahead of him on that curve.

I can guarantee Avs fans were making similar posts to yours about Jost two years ago.

You just hit on the reason why Mitts is the object of scorn by so many fans. The level of expectation based on his draft status with respect to his play and production don't match. Some of the sources of his struggles are due to a young player learning to adjust to a higher level of play and the training and preparation necessary to play at the highest level of hockey. As you point out, his superior talents allowed him to dominate his peers. But that youngster approach doesn't work in the highest level of hockey. Again, as you point out with players such as Jost and Lazar, they are working hard to find their niche in this league while their game is evolving. 

I see Mitts as a good third line player who is versatile enough to play on the wing and center. He also has enough ability when needed to move to a higher line when injuries create a need. He playing on the first line when Skinner was suspended is an example of that. He is also a contributing on the second PP unit. In my opinion there is too much effort to fixate on what he is not instead of what he is as a player. 

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3 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Oh by the way, I think people need to rethink what their expectations are for anyone forward drafted 8th overall.  https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/draft_by_pick.php?position=8

I went and looked at the history of that draft position for the last 25 years and for the most part the players end up being middle to bottom of the lineup forwards.  For every star like William Nylander and Sean Couterier, you have 2 or more complete busts like Scott Glennie, Alex Nylander, Alexandre Picard, or Zach Hamill.  You also have a large group of role players like Taylor Pyatt, Mark Bell, and Pierre Marc Bouchard

I’ve been stating this very point ever since people started complaining about Zemgus Gigensons. 

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2 minutes ago, Weave said:

I’ve been stating this very point ever since people started complaining about Zemgus Gigensons. 

Girgensons is not an underachiever.  Mittlestadt is, and that was a known fact at his draft combine.

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Gee, and all this time I thought it was what I actually observed while watching every game he has played when all along it was me having the wrong expectations and not knowing what kind of player he really is. I’m so sorry, Mitts, that I’ve misunderstood you these last five years. 

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8 minutes ago, Weave said:

I’ve been stating this very point ever since people started complaining about Zemgus Gigensons. 

 

5 minutes ago, Eleven said:

Girgensons is not an underachiever.  Mittlestadt is, and that was a known fact at his draft combine.

Z was a top 15 pick. Why isn’t he an underachiever under the same standards being applied to Mitts? Z’s best season is 30 points but over the last 6 years he has averaged about 18 points.  

Casey already has 20 points in 36 games and is on pace for 45+.  What more can Casey do with his role when DG admittedly has saddled that line with lousy D?  

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9 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

 

Z was a top 15 pick. Why isn’t he an underachiever under the same standards being applied to Mitts? Z’s best season is 30 points but over the last 6 years he has averaged about 18 points.  

Casey already has 20 points in 36 games and is on pace for 45+.  What more can Casey do with his role when DG admittedly has saddled that line with lousy D?  

Mitts should be better than Z on offense as he has superior offensive skills.  But if you’re gonna throw offensive stats out there, can you do the same for the D side of things? Girgs has shown a propensity to limit the opposition on the ice over the years and has settled nicely into that role as he is harder to play against. Mitts? Not so much. 

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27 minutes ago, K-9 said:

Mitts should be better than Z on offense as he has superior offensive skills.  But if you’re gonna throw offensive stats out there, can you do the same for the D side of things? Girgs has shown a propensity to limit the opposition on the ice over the years and has settled nicely into that role as he is harder to play against. Mitts? Not so much. 

Z is a decade into his career and Casey isn’t.  I’d expect Z to know his role at this point.

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1 hour ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

 

Z was a top 15 pick. Why isn’t he an underachiever under the same standards being applied to Mitts? Z’s best season is 30 points but over the last 6 years he has averaged about 18 points.  

Casey already has 20 points in 36 games and is on pace for 45+.  What more can Casey do with his role when DG admittedly has saddled that line with lousy D?  

If you could somehow combine Z's effort and hustle with Mitt's hands and offensive skills, then you might have something.  

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5 minutes ago, Carmel Corn said:

If you could somehow combine Z's effort and hustle with Mitt's hands and offensive skills, then you might have something.  

Yea it's called Alex Tuch.

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47 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Z is a decade into his career and Casey isn’t.  I’d expect Z to know his role at this point.

Tage Thompson has played 259nhl games

Mitts has played 231. 

When do we stop acting like Casey is the same as Cozens or Quinn?

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5 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

When do we stop acting like Casey is the same as Cozens or Quinn?

Is there anyone around here doing that?

I don’t think even @GASabresIUFAN sees top 6 potential there now.

The debates are 2:

Is/can this guy be a useful NHL player?

Do I want this guy on my team?

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4 minutes ago, Carmel Corn said:

If you could somehow combine Z's effort and hustle with Mitt's hands and offensive skills, then you might have something.  

Casey M will never match Girgs in style of play. They are simply two different players with two different styles of play. I'm a Girgs fan. His offensive production will never reflect the importance of his role on this team. He's a tough player whose style of play is an asset to this team. That doesn't mean that in his own way Mitts can't be an important contributor. It's unlikely that he will reach the level of being a critical and indispensable player for us, but that doesn't mean that he isn't an asset as a third line forward. If there is a weakness on this roster is relates more to the lower lines and pairings than to the higher top two lines and pairings.  

I'm confident that @K-9disagrees with me that Mitts is more of an asset than a liability. He's a versatile player who can play on the wing, center and second PP unit, and when needed moved to other lines to fill in when injuries and suspensions happen as was the case when Skinner was sidelined. Although Mitts is a punching bag by many here. I'm not a member of that distaining crowd.  

 

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1 hour ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Z was a top 15 pick. Why isn’t he an underachiever under the same standards being applied to Mitts?

Because he always was expected to be a defensive forward (WE KNEW THIS even if you weren't here at the time), which he is.  Mittlestadt was expected to be a scorer at least, and a two-way player at best, and is good at neither.

Edited by Eleven
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1 hour ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Z is a decade into his career and Casey isn’t.  I’d expect Z to know his role at this point.

Z has been in this role the majority of his career. I’d expect Mitts to have figured it out in the same time frame. 

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13 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Tage Thompson has played 259nhl games

Mitts has played 231. 

When do we stop acting like Casey is the same as Cozens or Quinn?

That's the issue being discussed here. Casey isn't the same as Cozens or Quinn. And will never be so. But just because he isn't what we expected of him, doesn't mean that he can't be a contributing player in a lesser and more simplified role. Jost and Lazar had to come to the realization that their roles in the NHL would be a lot different in the NHL than at the lower levels of hockey that they dominated in. That's the situation Mitts is having to deal with. What I can say is that Mitts has more offensive potential than these two previously mentioned players. 

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16 minutes ago, JohnC said:

Casey M will never match Girgs in style of play. They are simply two different players with two different styles of play. I'm a Girgs fan. His offensive production will never reflect the importance of his role on this team. He's a tough player whose style of play is an asset to this team. That doesn't mean that in his own way Mitts can't be an important contributor. It's unlikely that he will reach the level of being a critical and indispensable player for us, but that doesn't mean that he isn't an asset as a third line forward. If there is a weakness on this roster is relates more to the lower lines and pairings than to the higher top two lines and pairings.  

I'm confident that @K-9disagrees with me that Mitts is more of an asset than a liability. He's a versatile player who can play on the wing, center and second PP unit, and when needed moved to other lines to fill in when injuries and suspensions happen as was the case when Skinner was sidelined. Although Mitts is a punching bag by many here. I'm not a member of that distaining crowd.  

 

I give him zero credit for being a versatile player who can fill in for injured players, etc. when we have several players who have offered the same versatility as well. Difference is, when those players go back to their usual roles, they’re effective. Wish I could say the same thing about Casey. 
 

These discussions are exactly as I predicted. He has a good game or two and all his fans come out to celebrate and tell us we are all wrong, that Mitt’s analytics show he’s a good player, that he has finally turned the corner and we just don’t understand how valuable he is and can be. So have at it. But I’m gonna wait until he is anything more than the flash in the pan he always is. 

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1 minute ago, K-9 said:

I give him zero credit for being a versatile player who can fill in for injured players, etc. when we have several players who have offered the same versatility as well. Difference is, when those players go back to their usual roles, they’re effective. Wish I could say the same thing about Casey. 
 

These discussions are exactly as I predicted. He has a good game or two and all his fans come out to celebrate and tell us we are all wrong, that Mitt’s analytics show he’s a good player, that he has finally turned the corner and we just don’t understand how valuable he is and can be. So have at it. But I’m gonna wait until he is anything more than the flash in the pan he always is. 

This raises an interesting question:

Who would you rather have on your 3rd line?

A guy who plays like a 2nd liner half the time and is replacement level the other half? (not arguing Casey is this guy)

Or a guy who is consistently neutral?

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10 minutes ago, K-9 said:

I give him zero credit for being a versatile player who can fill in for injured players, etc. when we have several players who have offered the same versatility as well. Difference is, when those players go back to their usual roles, they’re effective. Wish I could say the same thing about Casey. 
 

These discussions are exactly as I predicted. He has a good game or two and all his fans come out to celebrate and tell us we are all wrong, that Mitt’s analytics show he’s a good player, that he has finally turned the corner and we just don’t understand how valuable he is and can be. So have at it. But I’m gonna wait until he is anything more than the flash in the pan he always is. 

He's not a flash in the pan. He will never reach your loftier expectation of him (compared to what I have of him) but that doesn't mean that he doesn't have a role on this team. He is a third line player and not a second line player. I accept that while you seem not to. 

Edited by JohnC
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2 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

 

Z was a top 15 pick. Why isn’t he an underachiever under the same standards being applied to Mitts? Z’s best season is 30 points but over the last 6 years he has averaged about 18 points.  

Casey already has 20 points in 36 games and is on pace for 45+.  What more can Casey do with his role when DG admittedly has saddled that line with lousy D?  

Is that the case? It seems more of a situational determination where DG needs to rest his more useful lines, so the smart thing is the bottom pairing D goes with the Mitts-VO-currently Jost line on offensive zone face-offs where they hopefully have the greatest chance for success. What more can DG do than provide them the protected minutes in the hope they produce? Would you rather be burning out Muel and Dahlin just so that Mitts line isn't saddled with a weaker pairing? I believe it was Dudacek who has shown the TOI curve is heavily skewed to Dahlin-Muel-Power as it is. They can't be doing 30 minutes each night. 

 

 

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