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2017-18 lineup prediction (the Original Lineup Thread)


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#481 Randall Flagg

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 06:33 PM

Ryan O'Reilly and Kane played 228 minutes together at ES, roughly 25% of the time for both of them. 

 

From puckalytics

 

ROR_KANE.jpg

So pairing the two creates a very nice corsi percentage. The GF% is shockingly bad, but the shooting percentage dip and the size of the sample might be able to explain that away. When together they essentially get used the way Kane does, ie ROR's offensive zone start percent spikes up to Kane's normal one by about 10%.

 

JACK_KANE.jpg

 

Here's Jack and Evander. I almost don't want to comment on their GF% together because the sample size is getting uncomfortable (only 15 goals scored by either team while they play at ES together) but it's much higher than it is for either guy by themselves, and the CF% dips less than 2% even though their usage shifts more than 10% towards the D-zone. Either way, it's not as bad for either of these guys statistically as I thought it was. Expanding with the eye test, I definitely think Jack & Evander figured each other out more this year than they did in the first year when Kane was flubbing Jack's passes, Jack was even worse defensively than he is now, and the two couldn't stop running into each other. I don't remember enough of ROR and Kane to comment, evidenced by the horrible prediction I made the post before this. 

I'm wondering if that train of thought comes from the 15-16 season. 

A side note, I think the GF/60 is bound to go up across the board for this team, but Kane and Eichel have ridiculously bad goals-against numbers at even strength, and we need them and the coaches to put in the work to lower them.



#482 Tondas

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 06:38 PM

FWIW, here are all of Kane's goals from last year

 

 

It's a damning argument against me honestly, because those are all pretty goals. Who knows, maybe this will be the most crow I eat since Drouin / RoR

 

 

No doubt Kane is a natural goal scorer that the team desperately needs.  I think the Sabres can offer everything Kane wants:

 

Term

Dollars

Team on the rise

 

I just hope he wants to spend his youth in Buffalo.  I don't know him but everything I read says warm weather, cosmopolitan city, which he will have his choice.


Edited by Tondas, 12 July 2017 - 06:38 PM.


#483 GASabresFan

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 06:40 PM

One solution would be to pair either KO with them or even Pommers to add a more defensively aware forward to the line. Both pass the puck well as well. I can see KO putting up 40+ assists feeding Kane and Jack.

Edit: I watched the Kane goals video and it was illuminating. Jack can really pass. Here is the breakdown of the plays.
1) Jack feathered 6 perfect passes
2) Kane created 5 goals with physical, hustle or speed plays.
3) Gionta made 5 nice passes
4) Kane scored 5 times on passes, tips or rebounds from D
5) Sam helped on 4 goals, 3 passes and 1 rebound
6) ROR helped on 2, 1 pass, 1 rebound
7) CJ Smith earned a helper on a nifty 2 on 1.

It seems pretty obvious that to maximize Kane, he needs to be paired with Jack.

Edited by GASabresFan, 12 July 2017 - 07:00 PM.


#484 Randall Flagg

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 06:50 PM

These numbers also show that Kane and Sam were a terrible combination for us. Again, I don't buy that entirely because the sample size is quite small. For example, these two have played about 120 minutes together this past season, and just off the top of my head I remember 60 of them being minutes where we had a 2+ goal lead (in NY in January and later against Philly) and let ourselves get absolutely shelled for 2 periods holding the leads. Here's the corsi flow chart of that NYR game, note that as soon as we score the third goal (the third orange dot) we just stop caring:

 

Buf_NYR.jpg

 

So the lesson is kids, don't just read stats off and think you don't have to watch any hockey!


The Kane can't score with Jack meme does have legitimate beginnings - when on the ice together in 15-16, their GF% dropped from 42.9% (Kane) and 50.7% (Jack) to TWELVE POINT FIVE PERCENT, in over 250 minutes. That's horrendous, and that has to be where that thing comes from, even if it's largely been fixed. 


I'm not going to complain much anymore when I see Kane with either guy, but I think my preference toward rolling 3 equal scoring lines would have me keeping Kane separate from those two whether Sam centers his line or is on Jack's wing. 


Edited by Randall Flagg, 12 July 2017 - 06:45 PM.


#485 pi2000

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 07:01 PM

Am I the only one that like Rodrigues more than Baptiste / Bailey?

 

No, but I like Baptiste and Bailey better.    Both bigger stronger, can protect the puck better and create more plays with their feet.    

 

 

Anything to get Reinhart as 3rd center and "skate 3 lines" like in the Drury-Briere-Roy days

 

Pouliot - Eichel - Okposo

Girgs - ROR - Pominville

Kane - Reinhart - Bailey

Moulson - Larsson - Fasching

 

Heard Bailey as right shot can play left wing, could sub him instead of Girgs and get:

 

Pouliot - Eichel - Okposo

Bailey - ROR - Pominville

Kane - Reinhart - Baptiste

Girgs - Larsson - Fasching

 

I would swap Pouliot with Kane.    And Baptise with Facshing.     And then Bailey with Pominville, and then Pominville with Pouliot.


Is anyone else a little concerned about Nylander? I expected a bit more from him last year for his first year in the AHL. I heard he's put on more size though.

 

Yes, his compete level sucks.



#486 Randall Flagg

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 07:06 PM

I've never been a huge Nylander fan. 

 

I don't hold too much of his poor AHL season against him. He kept his head in the right place, didn't pout or blame people. Was the youngest, and probably thinnest, guy in the league. 

 

Leafs fans absolutely rave about the summer training program William went through last year. The guy is chiseled and a complete beast now, and had a wonderful NHL season after being far too small for the league starting out. This was Alex's first summer in that very same program (it has something to do with their father). We'll see what the results are.



#487 GASabresFan

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 07:21 PM

I've never been a huge Nylander fan.

I don't hold too much of his poor AHL season against him. He kept his head in the right place, didn't pout or blame people. Was the youngest, and probably thinnest, guy in the league.

Leafs fans absolutely rave about the summer training program William went through last year. The guy is chiseled and a complete beast now, and had a wonderful NHL season after being far too small for the league starting out. This was Alex's first summer in that very same program (it has something to do with their father). We'll see what the results are.

I just watched Jbot's interview after D Camp day 4 and one of the journalists said that Nylander was noticably bigger and stronger. Hope that he has a better AHL year 2.

Edited by GASabresFan, 12 July 2017 - 07:21 PM.


#488 ShadowLiger

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 07:48 PM

Is anyone else a little concerned about Nylander? I expected a bit more from him last year for his first year in the AHL. I heard he's put on more size though.

No he's 19 and staying in the AHL another year will be good for him.

I've never been a huge Nylander fan.

I don't hold too much of his poor AHL season against him. He kept his head in the right place, didn't pout or blame people. Was the youngest, and probably thinnest, guy in the league.

Leafs fans absolutely rave about the summer training program William went through last year. The guy is chiseled and a complete beast now, and had a wonderful NHL season after being far too small for the league starting out. This was Alex's first summer in that very same program (it has something to do with their father). We'll see what the results are.

Oh God, I'm having Gary Roberts, Cy Hgsn flashbacks...

#489 dudacek

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 09:27 PM

Am I the only one that like Rodrigues more than Baptiste / Bailey?


Yes. (You must have hacked Saratoga's account)

Seriously, I love him as a versatile 13th forward, but I can't picture him ever being top nine.
Hope I'm wrong. Love his hustle.

  

Ryan O'Reilly and Kane played 228 minutes together at ES, roughly 25% of the time for both of them. 
 
From puckalytics
 
ROR_KANE.jpg
I definitely think Jack & Evander figured each other out more this year than they did in the first year when Kane was flubbing Jack's passes, Jack was even worse defensively than he is now, and the two couldn't stop running into each other. I don't remember enough of ROR and Kane to comment, evidenced by the horrible prediction I made the post before this. 
I'm wondering if that train of thought comes from the 15-16 season. 

 

I agree with your latter point. I don't think Evander ever got enough credit for the way he changed his game in his second season here.
I think he recognized he could benefit from better shot selection and more emphasis on getting open.
I suspect the main reason for his shooting percentage jump was a much higher percentage of his shots were coming from a high percentage scoring area.

 

I've never been a huge Nylander fan. 
 
I don't hold too much of his poor AHL season against him. He kept his head in the right place, didn't pout or blame people. Was the youngest, and probably thinnest, guy in the league. 
 
Leafs fans absolutely rave about the summer training program William went through last year. The guy is chiseled and a complete beast now, and had a wonderful NHL season after being far too small for the league starting out. This was Alex's first summer in that very same program (it has something to do with their father). We'll see what the results are.


I thought Alex looked noticeably bigger - more college student, less Grade 11 student.
He plays the kind of game I've never been a fan of, but I can't deny his skill is off the charts and he thinks the game well.
Still think he could score a ton on Jack's wing. We may see that combination some time later this year.

#490 ericcomposer72

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 02:43 PM

Another thing to consider about a possible contract, since everybody loves speculating on Kane's mentality-

 

He may just want to win, and be in a place that loves hockey. He's not going to get to play with Jack Eichel if he goes to another team. If things play out the way we all hope they do, he may, himself, imagine being part of a team that could win it all in a few years.



#491 GASabresFan

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 09:21 AM

Eric,

Kane will do what's he thinks is best for Kane. The argument that he gets to play with an elite center like Jack is a good one, but it's an argument that has failed before. We all thought that Vesey might come here to play with his buddy Jack, but he went with the Rags instead.

The bigger question with Kane is will Jbot want him back an at what price given we have younger and cheaper Mittelstadt and Nylander coming through the system, one or both of which may be NHL ready in 2018.

#492 WildCard

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 09:24 AM

Damn, it was me who did the duplicate threads. 



#493 dudacek

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 12:39 AM

Weren't we having some discussion about how much of a turnover the team would have?
Looks like about 1/3 of the lineup, not counting any rookies who make it full-time.

OUT: Nilsson, Kulikov, Franson, Carrier, Gionta, Ennis, Foligno, Grant
IN: Johnson, Scandella, Beaulieu, Antipin, Pominville, Pouliot, Josefson

#494 GASabresFan

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 12:49 AM

Yep,

 

I wrote that I thought as many as 10 new faces were going to grace the Sabres starting lineup this fall vs 2016.  Some here gave me a very hard time about it.  We are already at 7 as you pointed out, which is nearly 1/3 of the roster.  There is still a good chance that Delo doesn't make the team and that 1 or more of guys like Bailey, Baptiste, or ERod make the team as well.   Also don't count out Griffith, Falk or even Guhle making the team.

 

By the way stick tap to Flagg for mentioning Scandella all the way back on April 25th. 


Edited by GASabresFan, 03 August 2017 - 01:00 AM.


#495 dudacek

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 01:05 AM

Yep,

I wrote that I thought as many as 10 new faces were going to grace the Sabres starting lineup this fall vs 2016. Some here gave me a very hard time about it. We are already at 7 as you pointed out, which is nearly 1/3 of the roster. There is still a good chance that Delo doesn't make the team and that 1 or more of guys like Bailey, Baptiste, or ERod make the team as well. Also don't count out Griffith or Falk making the team.

Botterill has made some interesting (and in my view, wise) choices.

First of all, he corrected the issue with depth on defence: Scandella and Beaulieu will increase the mobility over Kulikov and Franson in the top six, but he not only kept his first two fringe call-ups (F&F), he complemented them with Tennyson and added an intriguing free agent in Antipin. Add Guhle and you could have 11 defencemen capable of NHL calibre hockey.

The other thing he did was recognize the number of guys we have who are close on the wing - Bailey, Baptiste, Fasching, ERod and Nylander (some would add Griffith and I would include the lost boy Girgensons) - and created some openings for them to earn. Carrier and Ennis were not replaced and Moulson and DeLo are vulnerable. There is a vacuum - one top six and one bottom six spot, IMO - and players battling to fill it.

The roster is in a good place entering training camp.

Edited by dudacek, 03 August 2017 - 01:06 AM.


#496 GASabresFan

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 01:24 AM

I'll be thrilled if Moulson is the 13th forward (or sent down) and Gorges is the 8th D behind Falk.  The sad part is I really respect both guys, who have made great careers out of limit talent, but their time has come.  

 

Do you think Bailey or Baptiste could earn that top 6 LW job? 


Edited by GASabresFan, 03 August 2017 - 01:24 AM.


#497 nfreeman

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 05:03 AM

Well, Pommer could be viewed as an Ennis replacement.

#498 Thorny

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 06:15 AM

Well, Pommer could be viewed as an Ennis replacement.


I see him as an upgrade on Gionta, both 3rd line RW.

#499 dudacek

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 07:31 AM

 
Do you think Bailey or Baptiste could earn that top 6 LW job?

 

Yes. I think they could be co-favourites because they've put in their time in the AHL. But don't count out Griffith as a long shot for the same reason. I also suspect Girgensons will get a look given his pedigree and skill set and think Nylander believes that spot is his for the taking. Pouliot is a better fit for Foligno's role, but he has played higher in the past and may become the fallback guy, like Foligno was. Fasching has the skill set to replace Foligno and Carrier right now, but I keep hearing JBot's comments about wingers who can get his skill guys the puck. And who knows, the new staff may think Moulson still deserves a shot. It's going to be a great battle, the best in camp.

Well, Pommer could be viewed as an Ennis replacement.

  

I see him as an upgrade on Gionta, both 3rd line RW.


I think Pominville is the reason Gionta wasn't re-signed.
The battle above is for the Ennis replacement.

#500 Marions Piazza

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 07:38 AM

I'll be thrilled if Moulson is the 13th forward (or sent down) and Gorges is the 8th D behind Falk.  The sad part is I really respect both guys, who have made great careers out of limit talent, but their time has come.  

 

Do you think Bailey or Baptiste could earn that top 6 LW job? 

I think the sample size for Bailey and Baptiste is still too small to say.  Going by numbers in Rochester alone, i would say that Baptiste is closer.  While Bailey did show some flashes of speed and grit during his games in Buffalo, I think he's still a bit raw and needs to play in Rochester for 17-18 and perhaps start the following season there as well.  Baptiste will most likely start in Rochester and be one of the first call-ups with Nylander IMO.



#501 dudacek

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 07:40 AM

If Baptiste and Bailey aren't in the NHL at the end of the year, I will be writing them off as legitimate middle six prospects

#502 Thorny

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 08:27 AM

So 4 LW spots for 8 guys: Kane, Pouliot, Moulson, Girgensons, Nylander, Bailey, Baptiste, Fasching.

I wonder if handedness will play a role. First 4 are left shots, second 4 right shots. Nylander is generally a LW though. The other 3 are RW, naturally. But Bailey has been putting time in at LW, so that may make him a favourite.

I think Baptiste and Fasching are destined for RW, and Nylander may not be ready. I also think Kane, Pouliot, and Girgensons are locks.

I see it as Bailey versus Moulson, with Nylander as a dark horse, for the final LW spot.

Edit - I think Moulson may be the front-runner, because I think there's a RW spot available for Bailey. If Bailey does get the LW spot, I think that opens up an open spot on RW. Okposo, Reinhart, Pominville are the locks.

So really, there's 8 wingers jockeying for 2 wing spots, one on the left, one on the right.

Edited by Thorny, 03 August 2017 - 08:27 AM.


#503 BRAWNDO

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 10:13 AM

From NHL's 31 in 31 about the Sabres

"We were really excited to make a couple of trades there, and some of the players we were able to get on July 1 from a depth standpoint for our organization," said Botterill, who was hired May 11. "My guess is things will heat up a little bit more come fall time and we'll see how our players perform in rookie tournaments and main camps. We're also in a situation where we could have some NHL contracts still available. We still have [salary] cap space available (about $8.5 million, according to CapFriendly.com), so we'll certainly be looking out for our team."

#504 Sabresforlife

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 10:55 AM

From NHL's 31 in 31 about the Sabres
"We were really excited to make a couple of trades there, and some of the players we were able to get on July 1 from a depth standpoint for our organization," said Botterill, who was hired May 11. "My guess is things will heat up a little bit more come fall time and we'll see how our players perform in rookie tournaments and main camps. We're also in a situation where we could have some NHL contracts still available. We still have [salary] cap space available (about $8.5 million, according to CapFriendly.com), so we'll certainly be looking out for our team."

#sign Vanek.

So 4 LW spots for 8 guys: Kane, Pouliot, Moulson, Girgensons, Nylander, Bailey, Baptiste, Fasching.
I wonder if handedness will play a role. First 4 are left shots, second 4 right shots. Nylander is generally a LW though. The other 3 are RW, naturally. But Bailey has been putting time in at LW, so that may make him a favourite.
I think Baptiste and Fasching are destined for RW, and Nylander may not be ready. I also think Kane, Pouliot, and Girgensons are locks.
I see it as Bailey versus Moulson, with Nylander as a dark horse, for the final LW spot.
Edit - I think Moulson may be the front-runner, because I think there's a RW spot available for Bailey. If Bailey does get the LW spot, I think that opens up an open spot on RW. Okposo, Reinhart, Pominville are the locks.
So really, there's 8 wingers jockeying for 2 wing spots, one on the left, one on the right.

Going by this, it looks like you have Larsson and Josefson locked as your #3 and #4 centers. I don't think I like Josefson on Buffalo. I think he fits better in Rochester.

#505 ShadowLiger

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 11:00 AM

#sign Vanek.

Why? 



#506 WildCard

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 08:23 AM

Not sure if anyone posted it yet but Antipin will wear #93



#507 Sabres Fan In NS

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 08:27 AM

Not sure if anyone posted it yet but Antipin will wear #93

 

Someone else posted that a player was going to be wearing Dougie's number, but I don't think it was Antipin.



#508 Sabres79

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 08:41 AM

Not sure if anyone posted it yet but Antipin will wear #93

  

Someone else posted that a player was going to be wearing Dougie's number, but I don't think it was Antipin.


Good. Here's hoping Antipin does well and takes the stench of Gilmour off that number.

#509 Sabresforlife

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:33 AM

Why?

Because we have lost 3 LWs this offseason and have done little to replace them. We signed Pouliot but that leaves 2 spots and there is a chance that 2 young guys will not be ready for Lw in the NHL. I would like an insurance plan.

#510 ShadowLiger

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:57 AM

Because we have lost 3 LWs this offseason and have done little to replace them. We signed Pouliot but that leaves 2 spots and there is a chance that 2 young guys will not be ready for Lw in the NHL. I would like an insurance plan.

I can spit and hit 5 LW's the Sabres could use. Kane, Larsson, Moulson, Zemgus, Josefson, Pouliot, Deslauriers.  We lost Carrier which meh and I literally can't remember the other one. 


oh yea we traded Ennis away and Foligno. Literally forgot about that. Still I see plenty of options for the left side with plenty more only a year or two away (Nylander, Mittlestadt, Asplund, Olofsson (Davidsson is 3 years away or more))


Edited by ShadowLiger, 09 August 2017 - 09:58 AM.


#511 dudacek

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 10:01 AM

Because we have lost 3 LWs this offseason and have done little to replace them. We signed Pouliot but that leaves 2 spots and there is a chance that 2 young guys will not be ready for Lw in the NHL. I would like an insurance plan.


From Botterill's most recent quote, it sounds like signing/acquiring someone remains an option, but it will depend on what he sees from the kids in camp. In other words, he wants one of the kids to grab it.

#512 ShadowLiger

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 10:03 AM

From Botterill's most recent quote, it sounds like signing/acquiring someone remains an option, but it will depend on what he sees from the kids in camp. In other words, he wants one of the kids to grab it.

The possibility of CJ Smith I suppose still exists. 



#513 Sabres Fan In NS

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 10:15 AM

  
Good. Here's hoping Antipin does well and takes the stench of Gilmour off that number.

 

What's your beef with Dougie?



#514 GASabresFan

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 10:27 AM

This was the primary 2016-17 Roster (based on games played)

Kane ROR Okposo
Foligno Eichel Reinhart
Carrier Larsson Gionta
Moulson Girgensons Ennis
Delo Grant Bailey

McCabe Risto
Kulikov Bogo
Gorges Franson
Falk Fedun

Lehner Nilsson

This season - 2017-18
Kane Eichel Reinhart
Pouliot ROR Okposo
????? Larsson Pominville
Moulson Girgensons ?????
Delo Josefson ?????

Scandella Risto
McCabe Antipin
Beaulieu Bogo
Falk Fedun
Gorges Tennyson

Lehner Johnson


After doing this exercise on a piece of paper, it looks like only 7 forward spots are set in stone with another 2 player almost certain to be on the roster, but not sure what position.
Locks:
C: ROR, Eichel, Larsson
RW: Okposo, Reinhart, Pominville
LW: Kane, Pouliot (2nd or 3rd LW)
LW/C: Girgensons - 2nd or 3rd LW or 4th Center?

As Dudacek pointed out earlier that a pitched battle for various jobs for 2 LW jobs, the 4th C and 4th RW.
LW contenders: Moulson, Girgensons, Josefson, and Bailey, with Smith, Nylander as longshots
C contenders: Girgensons, Josefson, Griffith and E Rod. If Housley moves Reinhart to 3rd C, add Larsson.
RW contenders: Bailey, Baptiste, Fasching, E Rod and Griffith with Nylander a longshot.

My dream forward group (I want to see the kids get a chance), based on what we have signed so far
Kane Eichel Okposo
Pouliot ROR Baptiste
Girgensons Reinhart Pominville
Bailey Larsson Fasching

I want to see Reinhart in his natural position. I think Girgensons can step into Foligno's role, while playing with Reinhart will increase his goal output. The idea of Baptiste being ROR's trigger man intrigues me and Pouliot bring solid to way play to complement ROR. Kane was at his best playing with Eichel, and adding KO gives the line additional physical play, an needed 2 way presence who can also score and create. KO could have 50 assists setting up Jack and Kane. Fasching and Bailey with Larsson creates a surprisingly skilled 4th line with some speed, 2 physical players and the energy of youth.

#515 Sabres79

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 10:34 AM

What's your beef with Dougie?


Dogged it the entire time he wore a Sabres jersey. Tried to end Varada's career in the cheapest fashion possible the second he saw the Sabres after he left. He and Kozlov are both PNG as far as I'm concerned,

#516 Sabresforlife

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 10:55 AM

My preffered lineup:
Pouliout-Eichel-Babtiste
Bailey-ROR-Okposo
Kane-Reinhart-Pomminstein
Girgensons-Larsson-Moulson/Fasching
I would like to sign Vanek and have him take Pouliot's spot, and slide Pouliout down to Bailey's spot. If Nylander was truly ready, he could work as the 2nd line LW instead of signing Vanek.

#517 Randall Flagg

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 11:01 AM

My only hope for Nylander's 17-18 season is that he becomes a decent AHL player.



#518 WildCard

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 11:06 AM

My only hope for Nylander's 17-18 season is that he becomes a decent AHL player.

25 NHL points is about as high as I see him getting

#519 Randall Flagg

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 11:09 AM

25 NHL points is about as high as I see him getting

Considering he only had 28 in the AHL last year, I don't see how he could be ready enough to get enough games to score 25 in the NHL (which would likely be most if not all of the 82 games).



#520 WildCard

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 11:11 AM

Considering he only had 28 in the AHL last year, I don't see how he could be ready enough to get enough games to score 25 in the NHL (which would likely be most if not all of the 82 games).

Better talent around him, not playing for a crappy coach.

 

Girgs went from 17 points to 22 in the first year he jumped. 


Edited by WildCard, 09 August 2017 - 11:15 AM.