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Just 3?

There's only about 6 or 7 I definitely want to keep. 

But to stay on topic, Bryson, VO and Mitts since Vinnie is already gone and Skinner cannot be unloaded, we all know that. 

I still believe, as I have all year, that Kyle and Zemgus should be deadline dealt if possible (all the sentimental folks can go ahead and red X me all they want). At least half this team is useless though. 

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3 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

Just 3?

There's only about 6 or 7 I definitely want to keep. 

But to stay on topic, Bryson, VO and Mitts since Vinnie is already gone and Skinner cannot be unloaded, we all know that. 

I still believe, as I have all year, that Kyle and Zemgus should be deadline dealt if possible (all the sentimental folks can go ahead and red X me all they want). At least half this team is useless though. 

Heavily agree on that last sentence and I am also not sure why most of this board is against acquiring Bo Horvat 

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34 minutes ago, TageMVP said:

Heavily agree on that last sentence and I am also not sure why most of this board is against acquiring Bo Horvat 

Well I can't speak for the board, but I see no reason to trade for him. He isn't going to get us into the playoffs any more than he's getting Vancouver in so you might as well talk to him in free agency if you want. Why give up a boatload of picks and prospects for a few months. You can say the deal would have to involve signing him, but this puts him in a huge negotiating advantage that makes him likely TOO overpaid. 

We find out soon if this team is serious about winning or if it's just a bare bones low cost outfit now as I'm sure there will be plenty of teams looking to off load salaries and we have the room (in exchange for prospects and picks obviously). Personally, I doubt we do much of anything. 

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Bryson and Lyubushkin need to be upgraded.   

I'd move Jokiharju if the price was right.   

Okposo and Girgensons to a contender.

And during the offseason I'd put together a package of Thompson, Power plus for Bedard. 

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On 1/18/2023 at 1:50 PM, GASabresIUFAN said:

You know that it is statistically untrue.  You also know he takes the puck away from the opponent more often then he gives it away?

For some, the narrative on Mitts is written on indelible ink. Over the past dozen games or so Mitts has played at a consistently good level. Yesterday, against the Islanders, he was instrumental in the win. There is nothing wrong with having a view on a player. But when that player ups his game and plays beyond one's expectation of him, then it should be acknowledged. When evaluating players there certainly are elements of subjectivity and objectivity. Too often that balance is skewed and becomes an imbalance. 

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7 hours ago, pi2000 said:

Bryson and Lyubushkin need to be upgraded.   

I'd move Jokiharju if the price was right.   

Okposo and Girgensons to a contender.

And during the offseason I'd put together a package of Thompson, Power plus for Bedard. 

Seriously?  Why on earth would you do that?

The 1st 3 lines of your post I'm right there with you, except I like Jokiharju as the 3rd D pair RHD.  

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40 minutes ago, JohnC said:

For some, the narrative on Mitts is written on indelible ink. Over the past dozen games or so Mitts has played at a consistently good level. Yesterday, against the Islanders, he was instrumental in the win. There is nothing wrong with having a view on a player. But when that player ups his game and plays beyond one's expectation of him, then it should be acknowledged. When evaluating players there certainly are elements of subjectivity and objectivity. Too often that balance is skewed and becomes an imbalance. 

I maybe the most vocal supporter of Mitts here.  I do it primarily because so many here have an opinion of him that is so set in stone they can no longer see anything else and there needs so balance in the discussion.  I readily acknowledge his terrible play defensively early in the season but it's time to put that discussion in the rear view mirror.  Jost has solidified that line, and they have played very well for the most part since DG created that line.  

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The problem is who is going to replace them?

This is a question for after this season and probably next, unless the Sabres are at the point where they are ready tp move on from KO and Girgs.

The Sabres need to upgrade the bottom 2 and maybe even bottom 3 D too.

But in the spirit of the thread ... Bryson, Asplund and Anderson (CA to IR so he can remain the *goalie whisperer*).

Ideally I would trade or sign playoff savy vets to replace Bryson and Asplund.  Basically what @Weave was saying, but it would be pretty tough I think.  Most teams are looking for those players even if the team is heading to the playoff.  The only teams I believe to be fully set are the dastardly Bruins and the Avs.

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Middlestadt, Bryson and Asplund

Middlestadt not only has about 3-4 turnovers a game, he's a glider and if I saw that vast improvements that some of you see I'd be all for keeping him but nothing I see from him warrants a roster spot at this time and imo.

Bryson is too small and doesn't do anything well, doesn't play strong enough defense, has trouble getting the puck out of our own zone and doesn't have a good enough offensive game to warrant a spot anymore.

I used to like Asplund's defensive game but I feel like this year he's almost been invisible, I barely notice him good or bad so obviously a guy like that could surely be replaced.

 

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11 minutes ago, GoPuckYourself said:

Middlestadt, Bryson and Asplund

Middlestadt not only has about 3-4 turnovers a game, he's a glider and if I saw that vast improvements that some of you see I'd be all for keeping him but nothing I see from him warrants a roster spot at this time and imo.

Bryson is too small and doesn't do anything well, doesn't play strong enough defense, has trouble getting the puck out of our own zone and doesn't have a good enough offensive game to warrant a spot anymore.

I used to like Asplund's defensive game but I feel like this year he's almost been invisible, I barely notice him good or bad so obviously a guy like that could surely be replaced.

 

One man’s glider is another man’s grinder. I think Mitts hustles his ass off all over the ice. 

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53 minutes ago, GoPuckYourself said:

Middlestadt not only has about 3-4 turnovers a game, he's a glider and if I saw that vast improvements that some of you see I'd be all for keeping him but nothing I see from him warrants a roster spot at this time and imo.

He has only 22 giveaways for the season. He also isn’t a glider.   He should be more physical given his size and his new position and Ray said his work along the boards is much improved.

I get that people wanted him to be Cozens when drafted (I did too) given his offensive tool kit and that he often leaves you feeling like he has much more to give, but this constant drum beat that he is a turnover machine and that he is a ineffective NHL player simply isn’t true. We still have plenty of others guys who don’t contribute.  

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3 hours ago, JohnC said:

For some, the narrative on Mitts is written on indelible ink. Over the past dozen games or so Mitts has played at a consistently good level. Yesterday, against the Islanders, he was instrumental in the win. There is nothing wrong with having a view on a player. But when that player ups his game and plays beyond one's expectation of him, then it should be acknowledged. When evaluating players there certainly are elements of subjectivity and objectivity. Too often that balance is skewed and becomes an imbalance. 

 

34 minutes ago, GoPuckYourself said:

Middlestadt, Bryson and Asplund

Middlestadt not only has about 3-4 turnovers a game, he's a glider and if I saw that vast improvements that some of you see I'd be all for keeping him but nothing I see from him warrants a roster spot at this time and imo.

Bryson is too small and doesn't do anything well, doesn't play strong enough defense, has trouble getting the puck out of our own zone and doesn't have a good enough offensive game to warrant a spot anymore.

I used to like Asplund's defensive game but I feel like this year he's almost been invisible, I barely notice him good or bad so obviously a guy like that could surely be replaced.

 

 

21 minutes ago, bg17 said:

One man’s glider is another man’s grinder. I think Mitts hustles his ass off all over the ice. 

Aesthetics + post-draft hype + "the Sabres need more grit" mean some people will never be happy with MItts as a 3rd line player, IMO.

What is more interesting to me is whether he can change the minds of those who a month ago said the perceived him to be "1 flashy outing followed by 5 games of nothing"

I think most unbiased observers would agree he has been playing pretty well lately. He has points in 9 of his past 18 games for 14 total. Over that period he sports a 54% Corsi and is -1. All but one of his points are at even strength.

When does that stop being a good stretch and start to become who he is?

 

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5 minutes ago, dudacek said:

 

 

Aesthetics + post-draft hype + "the Sabres need more grit" mean some people will never be happy with MItts as a 3rd line player, IMO.

What is more interesting to me is whether he can change the minds of those who a month ago said the perceived him to be "1 flashy outing followed by 5 games of nothing"

I think most unbiased observers would agree he has been playing pretty well lately. He has points in 9 of his past 18 games for 14 total. Over that period he sports a 54% Corsi and is -1. All but one of his points are at even strength.

When does that stop being a good stretch and start to become who he is?

 

Thank you.  Adding Jost has gone along way to solidifying the line and moving Casey to the wall has helped him think less and play more instinctively.  His pass to VO last night was pretty and the play in the first that rang off the post were just two examples of his improved play.  

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4 minutes ago, dudacek said:

 

 

Aesthetics + post-draft hype + "the Sabres need more grit" mean some people will never be happy with MItts as a 3rd line player, IMO.

What is more interesting to me is whether he can change the minds of those who a month ago said the perceived him to be "1 flashy outing followed by 5 games of nothing"

I think most unbiased observers would agree he has been playing pretty well lately. He has points in 9 of his past 18 games for 14 total. Over that period he sports a 54% Corsi and is -1. All but one of his points are at even strength.

When does that stop being a good stretch and start to become who he is?

 

There is another aspect to Mitts's game that should be recognized: His versatility. When needed, he can move to the center position. When Skinner was suspended Mitts played with the first line. For the short term, there wasn't a major drop-off. He also plays on the second PP unit. My point is that even with the recognition that he is more of a third than a second line player, there is value in his versatility that can be utilized. 

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1 minute ago, JohnC said:

There is another aspect to Mitts's game that should be recognized: His versatility. When needed, he can move to the center position. When Skinner was suspended Mitts played with the first line. For the short term, there wasn't a major drop-off. He also plays on the second PP unit. My point is that even with the recognition that he is more of a third than a second line player, there is value in his versatility that can be utilized. 

Exactly.  Jochen Hecht 2.0?  

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29 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

He has only 22 giveaways for the season. He also isn’t a glider.   He should be more physical given his size and his new position and Ray said his work along the boards is much improved.

I get that people wanted him to be Cozens when drafted (I did too) given his offensive tool kit and that he often leaves you feeling like he has much more to give, but this constant drum beat that he is a turnover machine and that he is a ineffective NHL player simply isn’t true. We still have plenty of others guys who don’t contribute.  

I think some are trying to convince others that he is an improved player but my own eyeballs are telling me different. 

When I focus in on Casey Middlestadt this is what I see.... I see a guy coming into the oppositions zone, he either tries to make a pass or enters the zone himself, most of the time is either intercepted or taken away and the opposing team then goes back the other way and gets a scoring chance or some kind of a chance while he's gliding behind them. I've seen this just about every night with this guy and it's not just once it's 3-4 times a game. I gave him props a few games ago and I said "if he plays like this every night I'll be glad to be wrong about him". I want Casey to be successful because it's another player we don't have to replace and he has flashes of his skills and what he can be but then constantly has nights like I explained above. I have nothing to gain by wanting him to fail, I said the same exact things about Dahlin 2 years ago and I was totally wrong about that guy which I'm thrilled I was. I don't feel that I am with Middlestadt, I think he's a poor man's version of Drew Stafford without the hitting but I'd love to be wrong about him.

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3 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I maybe the most vocal supporter of Mitts here.  I do it primarily because so many here have an opinion of him that is so set in stone they can no longer see anything else and there needs so balance in the discussion.  I readily acknowledge his terrible play defensively early in the season but it's time to put that discussion in the rear view mirror.  Jost has solidified that line, and they have played very well for the most part since DG created that line.  

No, you are not! I am. Season 9 Thank You GIF by The Office

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4 hours ago, JohnC said:

There is another aspect to Mitts's game that should be recognized: His versatility. When needed, he can move to the center position. When Skinner was suspended Mitts played with the first line. For the short term, there wasn't a major drop-off. He also plays on the second PP unit. My point is that even with the recognition that he is more of a third than a second line player, there is value in his versatility that can be utilized. 

 

4 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Exactly.  Jochen Hecht 2.0?  

Quite similar, but different skill set.  And much like Hecht was a 3rd line C/W who could play up a line or 2 (& face it, in the Golisano era he was the 1LW) & who was their best PKer but could also play on the PP; see Mittelstadt being a 3C/W (and honestly, if his play the last dozen plus games is legit & it seems to be, actually a 3C/2W) that can play up a line or 2 who can play on either PP & who could probably play PK if necessary.

And the reason he's quite possibly a 2W whereas Hecht was only a 3W (who played up) is Hecht had very little offense to his game but Mitts is seemingly a good set up man & might be able to pot a few if he can ever stop hitting the iron.

The other thing they have in common is people were upset at Hecht for the contract he got & people are upset w/ Mittelstadt because (as somebody said upthread) he isn't Cozens but was drafted in nearly the same slot.  Every fanbase seems to need a whipping boy; pretty sure Casey is that guy and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

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1 hour ago, Taro T said:

 

Quite similar, but different skill set.  And much like Hecht was a 3rd line C/W who could play up a line or 2 (& face it, in the Golisano era he was the 1LW) & who was their best PKer but could also play on the PP; see Mittelstadt being a 3C/W (and honestly, if his play the last dozen plus games is legit & it seems to be, actually a 3C/2W) that can play up a line or 2 who can play on either PP & who could probably play PK if necessary.

And the reason he's quite possibly a 2W whereas Hecht was only a 3W (who played up) is Hecht had very little offense to his game but Mitts is seemingly a good set up man & might be able to pot a few if he can ever stop hitting the iron.

The other thing they have in common is people were upset at Hecht for the contract he got & people are upset w/ Mittelstadt because (as somebody said upthread) he isn't Cozens but was drafted in nearly the same slot.  Every fanbase seems to need a whipping boy; pretty sure Casey is that guy and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

I consider Casey M more of a third line player than a second line player. But that isn't a knock on him. It's a reflection that this team has more talent to work with when putting together lines. Having a quality third line (and multiple lines) is what top tier teams have. Tampa would be an example of that where all the lines are meaningful contributors to their team's success. 

The one aspect of Mitts's game that irritates me is that there are times when instead of shooting he will make the low percentage pass instead of shooting. He's not the only one who is resistant to shooting when the opportunities exist. Just shoot the dam puck!  

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5 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Exactly.  Jochen Hecht 2.0?  

 

1 hour ago, Taro T said:

Quite similar, but different skill set.  And much like Hecht was a 3rd line C/W who could play up a line or 2 (& face it, in the Golisano era he was the 1LW) & who was their best PKer but could also play on the PP; see Mittelstadt being a 3C/W (and honestly, if his play the last dozen plus games is legit & it seems to be, actually a 3C/2W) that can play up a line or 2 who can play on either PP & who could probably play PK if necessary.

And the reason he's quite possibly a 2W whereas Hecht was only a 3W (who played up) is Hecht had very little offense to his game but Mitts is seemingly a good set up man & might be able to pot a few if he can ever stop hitting the iron.

The other thing they have in common is people were upset at Hecht for the contract he got & people are upset w/ Mittelstadt because (as somebody said upthread) he isn't Cozens but was drafted in nearly the same slot.  Every fanbase seems to need a whipping boy; pretty sure Casey is that guy and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

I'll be the first to admit that Mitts has turned things around in the last 7-8 games, and that GA accordingly is, at least at present, somewhat vindicated for his unflagging support of Mitts (despite it being largely based on fiction and delusion for most of Mitts' career).  Mitts-Jost-VO are no longer getting caved in on every shift and in fact are usually getting the better of play.  It's a great development for the Sabres, especially since Quinn and JJP have fallen off the table in terms of scoring.

However, I can't agree with Hecht as a comparable.  Their skill sets and styles of play have pretty much nothing in common.  Hecht was a tough 2-way Swiss army knife player with decent but limited hands and skill who was a pretty good skater.  Mitts has very good hands and scoring touch, but is an average skater, doesn't play a 200-foot game and isn't tough or versatile.

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2 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

 

I'll be the first to admit that Mitts has turned things around in the last 7-8 games, and that GA accordingly is, at least at present, somewhat vindicated for his unflagging support of Mitts (despite it being largely based on fiction and delusion for most of Mitts' career).  Mitts-Jost-VO are no longer getting caved in on every shift and in fact are usually getting the better of play.  It's a great development for the Sabres, especially since Quinn and JJP have fallen off the table in terms of scoring.

However, I can't agree with Hecht as a comparable.  Their skill sets and styles of play have pretty much nothing in common.  Hecht was a tough 2-way Swiss army knife player with decent but limited hands and skill who was a pretty good skater.  Mitts has very good hands and scoring touch, but is an average skater, doesn't play a 200-foot game and isn't tough or versatile.

Wow, a Hallmark congrats if I’ve ever heard one 

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18 minutes ago, JohnC said:

I consider Casey M more of a third line player than a second line player. But that isn't a knock on him. It's a reflection that this team has more talent to work with when putting together lines. Having a quality third line (and multiple lines) is what top tier teams have. Tampa would be an example of that where all the lines are meaningful contributors to their team's success. 

The one aspect of Mitts's game that irritates me is that there are times when instead of shooting he will make the low percentage pass instead of shooting. He's not the only one who is resistant to shooting when the opportunities exist. Just shoot the dam puck!  

He's been more of a 3rd (or at times a 4th) liner, but really believe he could very well be a 2W.

Remember, in large degree this is his first full season under Granato because his skating wasn't right last year due to the injury.  And he's only got ~20 games at W under Don as well.  Both he & Granato expected him to play W this year.  Not only didn't he start at W, he was forced into a 2C role much of the early part of the season as Cozens (the better 2C) was given rookie W's who weren't ready for 2nd line duty.

Personally don't believe this team HAS a 2nd line right now.  They have 2 3rd lines that both show potential to be very good 3rd lines.  And w/ any luck, they'll have 2 2nd lines next year.  For that to happen, at least 1 of the kids needs to step up his game (should happen) & Mitts needs to keep playing at this level & he needs to continue to gain synergy w/ Jost.  (And, please note, didn't say 2 GOOD 2nd lines, said 2 2nd lines.)

The Kid Line was scoring at a great clip as the 3rd line & the Jost line is scoring at a good clip as the 3rd line.  IF the Jost line can improve a little bit more, they might try bumping them back to 2nd line usage getting the increased scoring of the Kids Line getting back into a zone.

Will also be interesting how the D playing a more traditional D role in their own zone affects those dynamics if THAT continues.

As to the annoyance of overpasses, believe that's a combination of who he is & coaching preaching for them to not just throw the puck on net but to get to a decent scoring position to shoot.  He's a playmaker 1st & has a sniper on his line.  If you want him to shoot more give him Asplund & Jost instead of Olofsson & Jost.

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13 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

 

I'll be the first to admit that Mitts has turned things around in the last 7-8 games, and that GA accordingly is, at least at present, somewhat vindicated for his unflagging support of Mitts (despite it being largely based on fiction and delusion for most of Mitts' career).  Mitts-Jost-VO are no longer getting caved in on every shift and in fact are usually getting the better of play.  It's a great development for the Sabres, especially since Quinn and JJP have fallen off the table in terms of scoring.

However, I can't agree with Hecht as a comparable.  Their skill sets and styles of play have pretty much nothing in common.  Hecht was a tough 2-way Swiss army knife player with decent but limited hands and skill who was a pretty good skater.  Mitts has very good hands and scoring touch, but is an average skater, doesn't play a 200-foot game and isn't tough or versatile.

Well, we agree they have different skill sets.  (Explicitly stated that in the 1st sentence of the post you quoted & throughout that post.)

They're comparable in that both were best served on a 3rd line but could play higher when necessary and both were viewed with disdain by large portions of the fanbase.

Do not agree that Mittelstadt's skating is only average.  He'll never be confused w/ Hinostroza, Skinner, Krebs, or even Tuch but he is a good skater.  Also, he is playing w/ a bit of a chippy edge.  Hecht wasn't overly physical but you consider him to have been tough.  Would agree w/ that, but expect you're selling Mitts short.  

 

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On 1/19/2023 at 2:52 AM, TageMVP said:

Heavily agree on that last sentence and I am also not sure why most of this board is against acquiring Bo Horvat 

Because he is a UFA at the end of the season, It’s crazy for the Sabres to give up good assets for a player who will only be here 2 months 

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