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Can we make the playoffs this year?


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Poll: Can we make the playoffs this year?

Do the Sabres have a chance of making the playoffs???

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#41 LikeEich

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 06:57 AM

We are going to win the division


Montreal wins the division! We will be lucky to be 4th or 5th

#42 Eleven

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 09:34 AM

I don't think this team should "just barely" make the playoffs, nor do I think it should make the playoffs "by a good margin."  So I went with the former.



#43 ShadowLiger

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 10:15 AM

If this team doesn't expect to be in the playoffs then they are losers. Ik Captain Jack expects it. He should hold that entire locker room to his standards.

#44 Doohickie

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 10:42 AM

If this team doesn't expect to be in the playoffs then they are losers. Ik Captain Jack expects it. He should hold that entire locker room to his standards.

 

I also think bringing Pommer in to replace Gionta will work in that direction.  You could hear it in Pommer's interview in the BN:  "Hopefully, we can bring that same buzz to the city again and get into the playoffs and create that atmosphere again... You want younger players to have the chance to see and to live what we were able to do.  Hopefully, we can live up to those expectations and exceed them."  He remembers Buffalo playoff hockey and wants to see it come back.



#45 Touched by Boyes

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 10:54 AM

I have hope.  Hope is good.

 

Reality says that the roster has improved.  We have a new coach that will be instilling a new system, which will take time for the players to learn.  It will take time for it all to mesh together, which may be too long this coming season.

 

So, as of now I will predict a playoff cusp, but in the end I think they will fall just short (I hope I am wrong), which will be a great improvement over the last several years.

 

I will also say that I expect the Sabres to be 'in' most games and will play a far more entertaining style of hockey, which is important.

Basically this.

 

I think with the system change, much improved defense and some middle 6 wing changes (Pommers/Pouliot) we will be far more effective and not have to rely on Jack carrying the team like last year. Plus more healthy games from ROR/Eichel/Kane should help as well. Color me optimistic.



#46 Sabre fan

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 10:30 AM

Just the thought of this team playing more offensive-minded wide open hockey is awesome! Been far too long this the Sabres have been called exciting...at least win or lose they will be entertaining, which is far more then you can say for the last few years...

 

Can't help but wonder if we'll make the playoffs before there is a nuclear war with good old North Korea and we'll all be nuked and miss the show...


Edited by Sabre fan, 06 July 2017 - 11:56 AM.


#47 pi2000

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 12:52 PM

I don't think there's been enough turnover on the bottom 6 to reduce SAT against enough to contend for the playoffs.    They still don't have a guy to take the load off ROR (d-zone draws, PK minutes, etc).         



#48 Sabres79

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 12:56 PM

I don't think there's been enough turnover on the bottom 6 to reduce SAT against enough to contend for the playoffs.    They still don't have a guy to take the load off ROR (d-zone draws, PK minutes, etc).


You underestimate the benefits of not playing a system in which the only instruction to the D is: "Throw the puck that way as hard as you can!!!!!!!"

Extra exclamation marks needed.

#49 ShadowLiger

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 01:00 PM

I don't think there's been enough turnover on the bottom 6 to reduce SAT against enough to contend for the playoffs.    They still don't have a guy to take the load off ROR (d-zone draws, PK minutes, etc).         

The system last year was to form a box in the slot and keep everything to the outside. It is one of the most passive ways to play defense in all of hockey. A change to that and the major changes to our defense will easily make us contend for the playoffs. You are getting to bogged down in the bottom 6 stuff. 



#50 pi2000

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 01:18 PM

You underestimate the benefits of not playing a system in which the only instruction to the D is: "Throw the puck that way as hard as you can!!!!!!!"

Extra exclamation marks needed.

 

You overestimate the benefits of playing a system in which the only instruction to the D is:  "Carry the puck out of the zone and join the rush every chance you get!!!!"

 

The system last year was to form a box in the slot and keep everything to the outside. It is one of the most passive ways to play defense in all of hockey. A change to that and the major changes to our defense will easily make us contend for the playoffs. You are getting to bogged down in the bottom 6 stuff. 

 

And what's the system going to be this year that magically makes BUF a better defensive team and reduces SAT against?    I think everyone if overestimating the impact of a new coach when there hasn't been much roster turnover.



#51 ShadowLiger

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 01:24 PM

You overestimate the benefits of playing a system in which the only instruction to the D is:  "Carry the puck out of the zone and join the rush every chance you get!!!!"

 

 

And what's the system going to be this year that magically makes BUF a better defensive team and reduces SAT against?    I think everyone if overestimating the impact of a new coach when there hasn't been much roster turnover.

Out of 6 defenders last year, only 3 are returning. That's a 50% turnover. I think that might have an impact. 

 

Also, Bylsma's loser oriented craptastic system of losers was geared towards keeping shots to the outside, not shot suppression. I think Housley's approach will be drastically different and offer drastically different results. 



#52 Sabres79

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 01:41 PM

Keeping the puck is better than defending. Disco didn't believe this. A coach who does will work wonders with this team.

#53 Taro T

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 02:18 PM

I don't think there's been enough turnover on the bottom 6 to reduce SAT against enough to contend for the playoffs.    They still don't have a guy to take the load off ROR (d-zone draws, PK minutes, etc).


At least 50% of the bottom 6 at the end of last season will be swapped out (barring a very late in FA Gionta signing) & quite likely 4 of 6 will be different.

Other than finding a FO specialist for 4th line they should be on the right track there. (Haven't seen Josefson's FO stats, so no idea if he fills that need or not if he makes the squad.)

#54 Eleven

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 03:02 PM

Keeping the puck is better than defending. Disco didn't believe this. A coach who does will work wonders with this team.

 

I remember an old coach saying, or writing, something to the effect of how he doesn't want to hear that a guy is good in his own end because he doesn't want the guy to BE in his own end.  Made sense to me.



#55 Sabres79

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 03:55 PM

I remember an old coach saying, or writing, something to the effect of how he doesn't want to hear that a guy is good in his own end because he doesn't want the guy to BE in his own end.  Made sense to me.


shhhhhhhh. You'll start a revolution with that thinking.,,

#56 Sabre fan

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 10:36 AM

heck when I coached little guys including my son's hockey team when he was between 7 and 11 I always stressed the best defense is without a doubt a good offense, something Disco Dan obviously did not subscribe to...new coach, new system and new style of playing should make a world of difference and win or lose at least this team should be entertaining, something they never were under Danny



#57 Saratoga Sabres Fan

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 03:34 PM

Transitioning from DB to Housley alone should be good for like what, 8 points at least in the standings? It took 95 points last year and we finished at 78. I think we can make up those 17 or so between our new coach, full season with Jack and improved defense.

Also this six year no playoffs streak is double what our previous franchise record was between 2001-2003. Historically we usually reach the playoffs.

Edited by Saratoga Sabres Fan, 11 July 2017 - 09:18 AM.


#58 Saratoga Sabres Fan

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 08:13 AM

Article from NHL.com today.

https://www.nhl.com/...sis/c-290338816

#59 dudacek

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 01:47 PM

There is a little something that I'm going to call the "Eichel effect"
It happens when an elite talent, with enough experience under his belt, is put in the proper circumstances, emerges into an unstoppable force and his rising tide floats his team's boat.

The environment has been improved, the supporting cast upgraded and the adversity endured.
We will be one of the surprise teams this year.

#60 3putt

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 03:12 PM

I respect the hell out of your opinions and posts but please explain to me where the upgrade is?  Ignore the GM and Coach because they do not factor into the results as much as people think.  

 

Lost:

Kulikov

Franson

Ennis

Foligno

Carrier

Gionta

 

Add:

Scandella

Antipin

BallYou

Pouliot

Pommers

JAG from NJ

 

Where is this phoenix like rise coming from?  Less lost man games? 

 

So many are quick to say the change in system will unleash all this offensive firepower but ignore the growing pains involved in that and fail to see that there was not any significant adds to the talent on the game day roster.  Pommers is not a top 6 anymore and we have 1 arguable top pair D.  I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer, I just don't see where the jump comes from.  A lot of the hope is from projecting the existing roster to far exceed the prior years output.  Why is that other than fan induced hubris? You usually have a good take on things and I would like to see what I am missing. 



#61 Randall Flagg

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 03:22 PM

I respect the hell out of your opinions and posts but please explain to me where the upgrade is?  Ignore the GM and Coach because they do not factor into the results as much as people think.  

 

Lost:

Kulikov

Franson

Ennis

Foligno

Carrier

Gionta

 

Add:

Scandella

Antipin

BallYou

Pouliot

Pommers

JAG from NJ

 

Where is this phoenix like rise coming from?  Less lost man games? 

 

So many are quick to say the change in system will unleash all this offensive firepower but ignore the growing pains involved in that and fail to see that there was not any significant adds to the talent on the game day roster.  Pommers is not a top 6 anymore and we have 1 arguable top pair D.  I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer, I just don't see where the jump comes from.  A lot of the hope is from projecting the existing roster to far exceed the prior years output.  Why is that other than fan induced hubris? You usually have a good take on things and I would like to see what I am missing. 

If you think our best two veteran forwards posting by FAR career worst scoring rates (not including seasons before they turned 20) abruptly in the middle of their primes as soon as they come over to a certain coach is normal and to be expected and not a product of the system, I have a bridge to sell ya

 

Also, Kulikov and Ennis were u t t e r  g a r b a g e for us. Pominville would have led this team in ES scoring. And if he isn't that good anymore, then that immediately calls into question the assertion that systems don't matter 'as much as we think', which is something that varies wildly between SS posters. 

 

It's totally reasonable for this team to be a 95 point team next year. They also could hit 80. They will be improved though, unless they spend as much time doing as much as we can to not keep the puck as we did last year.

I'll share these again:

ROR

ROR.jpg

 

KO

image.jpg

Taking into account the number of 20 goal scorers we had on this team, talent-wise, we were by far the worst even strength team out there relative to expectations. These two didn't even come from GOOD possession teams, they just came from competent ones. 



#62 3putt

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 03:31 PM

Assuming you mean O'Reilly and Okposo I would attribute their dip to injury and in Okposo's case new team players etc.  



#63 dudacek

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 03:46 PM

Thanks 3putt. Feel the same about your opinions.
I think we tend to see the same things, but I tend to see them through pink lenses and you grey.

To your point, I'm of the view the biggest problems last year were:
* leadership (Murray, Bylsma, the on-ice struggles of Ennis, Moulson and Gorges)
* maturity (Jack, probably Sam and the navel-gazing of ROR)
* the defence (the feet of Falk, Franson and Gorges, the head of Bogosian, the lack of a 2/3 minute muncher, and the utter disaster that was Kulikov)
* and systems (again Bylsma)

We have:
* changed the coaching, management and Ennis, as well as likely the captain. We still need to find a place for the other two where their voices won't mean as much.
* the full attention of the youth who I believe will come in all ears because they don't want a repeat of last year. Also, Sam and Evander are in contract years. Also, young players usually get better.
* drastically improved the skating and puckmoving on the back-end, added a legitimate top-four D and given the group a coach whose strong point seems to counterattack our weakness.
* see the last point above, add better tactics and communication skills

We haven't sat on our heels; we've taken the logical steps to address our issues.
And I maintain there is more talent here than the last 20 games of the season would have us believe.
Health and Jack taking the next step puts our top six in the top quarter of the league.
Our goaltending is good enough. Hopefully the changes mean our defence can be the same.

I give us five points from the changes, five from the growth of the youth and five from luck (compare things like injuries, shootouts and other bounces between us and say, the Leafs).

That puts us in the mix.

Edited by dudacek, 13 July 2017 - 03:46 PM.


#64 Thorny

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 04:16 PM

There is a little something that I'm going to call the "Eichel effect"
It happens when an elite talent, with enough experience under his belt, is put in the proper circumstances, emerges into an unstoppable force and his rising tide floats his team's boat.
The environment has been improved, the supporting cast upgraded and the adversity endured.
We will be one of the surprise teams this year.


This is what I hope will, and think must, happen.

I respect the hell out of your opinions and posts but please explain to me where the upgrade is?  Ignore the GM and Coach because they do not factor into the results as much as people think.  
 
Lost:
Kulikov
Franson
Ennis
Foligno
Carrier
Gionta
 
Add:
Scandella
Antipin
BallYou
Pouliot
Pommers
JAG from NJ
 
Where is this phoenix like rise coming from?  Less lost man games? 
 
So many are quick to say the change in system will unleash all this offensive firepower but ignore the growing pains involved in that and fail to see that there was not any significant adds to the talent on the game day roster.  Pommers is not a top 6 anymore and we have 1 arguable top pair D.  I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer, I just don't see where the jump comes from.  A lot of the hope is from projecting the existing roster to far exceed the prior years output.  Why is that other than fan induced hubris? You usually have a good take on things and I would like to see what I am missing.


Our D is order of magnitudes better, from the players you listed. The bonus is that Pominville will score more points than any of the forwards listed in the first group would have.

I give us five points from the changes, five from the growth of the youth and five from luck (compare things like injuries, shootouts and other bounces between us and say, the Leafs).
That puts us in the mix.


The issue I see, is that then gets us to 93 points. Last year required 95. Doh. Hopefully we get that little bit more than +15.

#65 Randall Flagg

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 04:21 PM

Assuming you mean O'Reilly and Okposo I would attribute their dip to injury and in Okposo's case new team players etc.  

ROR has been nursing an injury, that began right away, that is causing a 40% drop in production relative to what he was doing right before he came here, for consecutive seasons? 



#66 3putt

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 04:25 PM

Jet Black Ray Bans but darker nonetheless.  My reservation is that while I agree on all counts I believe that factors like youth improving, better health etc. apply to all teams.  The Leafs last year were blessed with exceptional health but the thing that put them in the playoffs was the youth, i.e. new additions, actually producing above replacement.  I do not see enough adds that give us the asame momentum unless the Rochester 3 give us some sort of boost. 


ROR has been nursing an injury, that began right away, that is causing a 40% drop in production relative to what he was doing right before he came here, for consecutive seasons? 

He was a winger in Colorado as well.  Not carrying the load.  



#67 Randall Flagg

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 04:30 PM

I believe ROR played wing full time for only one of those four seasons that exactly follow the general scoring curve by age. And his overall point totals remain very similar. KO hasn't changed position either. Many of the players that make up that original curve underwent shifts in responsibility and position as well. 

And we were an intentionally terrible possession team at even strength. I think it really is that simple. 


Edited by Randall Flagg, 13 July 2017 - 04:30 PM.


#68 3putt

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 04:51 PM

I guess we have to agree to disagree.   I do not think we were intentionally a bad possession team, we were not good at it or did not or do not have enough possession players.  But even if we have the right possession personnel, and an adequate system you still need finishers.  I feel that is our weakness outside tbe top 6.



#69 FuhrFury

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 05:06 PM

I respect the hell out of your opinions and posts but please explain to me where the upgrade is?  Ignore the GM and Coach because they do not factor into the results as much as people think.  

 

Lost:

Kulikov

Franson

Ennis

Foligno

Carrier

Gionta

 

Add:

Scandella

Antipin

BallYou

Pouliot

Pommers

JAG from NJ

 

Where is this phoenix like rise coming from?  Less lost man games? 

 

So many are quick to say the change in system will unleash all this offensive firepower but ignore the growing pains involved in that and fail to see that there was not any significant adds to the talent on the game day roster.  Pommers is not a top 6 anymore and we have 1 arguable top pair D.  I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer, I just don't see where the jump comes from.  A lot of the hope is from projecting the existing roster to far exceed the prior years output.  Why is that other than fan induced hubris? You usually have a good take on things and I would like to see what I am missing. 

 

You're looking at a 17-point improvement in one year (78 last year to 95 this year to make the playoffs) as a "phoenix-like rise." But I look at it as a more reasonable 14-point improvement in two years (81 two years ago to 95 this year). I see the team as having unnaturally regressed last season due to overwhelming injuries, poor coaching, and poor leadership. They should have been in the high-80's / low-90's in points last year.

 

A lot of the changes made this offseason have been in the form of slight improvements, but these changes do add up even if they aren't as noticeable as a more Murray-like splash of trading for an O'Reilly or signing an Okposo. The defense is certainly faster with Beaulieu/Antipin/Scandella in place of Franson/Gorges/Kulikov in the top-6. Pominville and Pouliot is a little better than Gionta and Foligno. The biggest improvement among the roster, however, may come from the large number of hungry players with chips on their shoulders and reasons to play lights out this season. Pouliot, Kane, Beaulieu, Antipin, and Reinhart - for example - are all very talented hockey players with 1-year contracts.

 

Final thought: you say that the change in coaching doesn't have as big of an effect as people think. I very strongly disagree. But I'll just leave it at that. We can revisit this topic in another half-year or so.



#70 Randall Flagg

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 05:11 PM

I guess we have to agree to disagree.   I do not think we were intentionally a bad possession team, we were not good at it or did not or do not have enough possession players.  But even if we have the right possession personnel, and an adequate system you still need finishers.  I feel that is our weakness outside tbe top 6.

What I mean by intentionally bad is that we purposely gave away possession to turn the defenders around, and that it worked as one might expect (horribly). 



#71 3putt

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 05:58 PM

I watch alot of Hawks games being here in Chicago. They are often held out as a model for possession based on the advanced stats they generate.  But this is where I think the causation correlation problem arises for me.  The Hawks have a lot of dump and chase, more than you would think.  They are just very good at getting the puck back.  They also don't fumble it on the halfboards that much (Ala Foligno, Des).  But they also have finishers up and down the lineup.  Are they successful because they possess or because the possession allows for more opportunity to finish?  Do we have enough possession players? Finishers? I don't know.



#72 Randall Flagg

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 06:02 PM

I watch alot of Hawks games being here in Chicago. They are often held out as a model for possession based on the advanced stats they generate.  But this is where I think the causation correlation problem arises for me.  The Hawks have a lot of dump and chase, more than you would think.  They are just very good at getting the puck back.  They also don't fumble it on the halfboards that much (Ala Foligno, Des).  But they also have finishers up and down the lineup.  Are they successful because they possess or because the possession allows for more opportunity to finish?  Do we have enough possession players? Finishers? I don't know.

I could watch games and count their zone entries, but I'm not going to do that again. They provide exponentially more support to their D for chips/stretches, and still make a point to possess anyway, far more than we did. It ain't even close! 



#73 3putt

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 06:04 PM

You're looking at a 17-point improvement in one year (78 last year to 95 this year to make the playoffs) as a "phoenix-like rise." But I look at it as a more reasonable 14-point improvement in two years (81 two years ago to 95 this year). I see the team as having unnaturally regressed last season due to overwhelming injuries, poor coaching, and poor leadership. They should have been in the high-80's / low-90's in points last year.

 

A lot of the changes made this offseason have been in the form of slight improvements, but these changes do add up even if they aren't as noticeable as a more Murray-like splash of trading for an O'Reilly or signing an Okposo. The defense is certainly faster with Beaulieu/Antipin/Scandella in place of Franson/Gorges/Kulikov in the top-6. Pominville and Pouliot is a little better than Gionta and Foligno. The biggest improvement among the roster, however, may come from the large number of hungry players with chips on their shoulders and reasons to play lights out this season. Pouliot, Kane, Beaulieu, Antipin, and Reinhart - for example - are all very talented hockey players with 1-year contracts.

 

Final thought: you say that the change in coaching doesn't have as big of an effect as people think. I very strongly disagree. But I'll just leave it at that. We can revisit this topic in another half-year or so.

I don't dispute that we made changes and at least on paper the appear positive.  But every team feels that way.  Have our changes been that much better than the others? Again i don't know.



#74 Sabres Fan In NS

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 08:03 AM

You guys all seem to have forgotten that other big signing.

 

The Sabres brought back Kevin Porter.  So, that signing along with The Big J and the playoffs are all but assured.



#75 Woods-Racer

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 08:25 AM

The secret is telling them at the beginning of the game that there are 8 minutes left and they are behind by 2 goals. Seriously, that team last year with their backs to the wall just dominated. That proves to me that the talent is there and that they were held back by coaching. When they were forced to open things up they were nearly always the better team.

 

 

We will be this years leafs. Last year they surprised many and had a good playoff experience for their young team. This season it will be the Sabres.

 

Book it.

 

These are my 2 hooks I'm hanging my playoff hat on.