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2017-18 lineup prediction (the Original Lineup Thread)


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#201 qwksndmonster

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 08:19 PM

The 3rd and 4th lines don't any defensively skilled players.

Not true. We just abandoned our D-men without any puck support. Our team was so bad at transitioning the puck up the ice. Eichel keeping it himself was the only consistent method we had of gaining the zone.

#202 dudacek

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 08:23 PM

The 3rd and 4th lines don't any defensively skilled players.


Foligno, Gionta, Larsson, Girgensons: train wrecks?

#203 EichSnipe

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 08:32 PM

I want Botterill to bring in Nick Bonino. He's a UFA that he could bring along from Pittsburgh. Also a BU guy (not that it means anything, but still cool for Eich)

Center spine of:

Eichel
Reinhart/ROR (other on RW)
Bonino
Larsson

#204 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 09:37 PM

Bylsma's system wasn't designed to increase time spent in the dzone. In fact, it was quite the opposite (get pucks
quickly moving north up and out of the zone).

The problem was possession. BUF could not get pucks back in their own end for a myriad of reasons I've already gone over in other threads... the short of it is slow dmen, and forwards who don't have any defensive skill.

In Bogo's case he lacks quickness and awareness... not a Bylsma issue.

 

Well of course it wasn't designed that way, but that was the consequence of his breakout strategy. But he was too much of a doofus to understand that.



#205 pi2000

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 10:03 PM

Not true. We just abandoned our D-men without any puck support. Our team was so bad at transitioning the puck up the ice. Eichel keeping it himself was the only consistent method we had of gaining the zone.


Not true? Which of the bottom 6 have defensive skill sets? BUF ranked near the bottom of the league in takeaways because none of the forwards know how to defend, except for O'Reilly.

Just go back and watch some games, it's plain as day. They spent a ton of time in their dzone because they couldn't get the puck back, not because of what they did when they had the puck.

Foligno, Gionta, Larsson, Girgensons: train wrecks?


Larsson is the only guy in that group who has any defensive ability... and it's not much.

Well of course it wasn't designed that way, but that was the consequence of his breakout strategy. But he was too much of a doofus to understand that.


The breakout strategy has nothing to do with the ability of players to defend and create takeaways.

#206 qwksndmonster

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 10:06 PM

Saying the bottom six was our problem is just not right. We were a horrible even strength team, and that's on Bylsma.

#207 WildCard

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 10:16 PM

We already went over the takeaway argument, didn't we?

#208 Scottysabres

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 07:08 AM

Saying the bottom six was our problem is just not right. We were a horrible even strength team, and that's on Bylsma.

True, a good portion of the issue was Bylsma. But I witnessed many failed attempts to capitalize on opportunities by the players, particularly lines 3 and 4, this past season. At some point injuries were also an issue, but players like Girgs, Larsson (before his injury), Moulson and ennis were under performers in my opinion. Those players spent a lot of time on the 3 and 4 lines.

A combination of factors that I'm hoping new coaching, reduced injuries (hopefully) and a youth injection can help remedy.

#209 French Collection

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 11:09 AM

True, a good portion of the issue was Bylsma. But I witnessed many failed attempts to capitalize on opportunities by the players, particularly lines 3 and 4, this past season. At some point injuries were also an issue, but players like Girgs, Larsson (before his injury), Moulson and ennis were under performers in my opinion. Those players spent a lot of time on the 3 and 4 lines.
A combination of factors that I'm hoping new coaching, reduced injuries (hopefully) and a youth injection can help remedy.


You need players that embrace their roles on the team.
Moulson and Ennis have been first line players and Girgs even had a taste of it under Nolan. They may feel they deserve better.

#210 ubkev

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 11:14 AM

You need players that embrace their roles on the team.
Moulson and Ennis have been first line players and Girgs even had a taste of it under Nolan. They may feel they deserve better.


They may feel that, but they certainly don't deserve better. They deserve to be sent far, far away from the team that I cheer for. Worthless, all 3 of em.

#211 ShadowLiger

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 11:46 AM

Casey Nelson... the dark horse on defense

http://buffalonews.c...-defense-corps/



#212 Sakman

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 02:43 PM

Casey Nelson... the dark horse on defense

http://buffalonews.c...-defense-corps/

I don't think he's a dark horse per se. I fully expect him to play a key role on the Amerks blue line this coming season.  ;)



#213 French Collection

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 04:15 PM

They may feel that, but they certainly don't deserve better. They deserve to be sent far, far away from the team that I cheer for. Worthless, all 3 of em.


I'd be willing to give Girgs a bottom six role for one more year. If someone else wants him (Vegas?) then bon voyage.

#214 Drunkard

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 07:44 AM

I'd be willing to give Girgs a bottom six role for one more year. If someone else wants him (Vegas?) then bon voyage.

 

Maybe in a deal for them to take someone else he can go to Vegas but the Sabres better not just leave him exposed in the expansion draft. Not that he's all that good but we need to protect all the younger cheap guys to encourage Vegas to take one of our overpaid contracts off our hands.

 

O'Reilly

Okposo

Kane

Foligno

Girgensons

Larsson

Carrier

 

Should be our protected forwards so we can cross our fingers and hope they select Moulson or Ennis.


Edited by Drunkard, 09 May 2017 - 08:16 AM.


#215 GrassValleyGreg

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 02:35 PM

I think its pretty hard to argue against ROR as captain. He has emerged as an all-world two-way center. Hopefully the GM change will stem what was feeling like an anointment of captaincy to Eich. 



#216 TheCerebral1

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 03:45 PM

I want Botterill to bring in Nick Bonino. He's a UFA that he could bring along from Pittsburgh. Also a BU guy (not that it means anything, but still cool for Eich)

Center spine of:

Eichel
Reinhart/ROR (other on RW)
Bonino
Larsson

 

It makes sense, but only if its on a reasonable term.  He's at the point where his type of center starts breaking down.  No point clogging up more cap on a player who likely will want to go to a contender. Maybe I'm wrong.  



#217 Thorny

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 05:16 PM

So how many upgrades are we hoping Botterill is able to make this summer? How many are realistically possible? Mix and match the lines combos as you like, this is what we are looking at currently:

Kane - Eichel - Okposo
Ennis - O'Reilly - Reinhart
Foligno - Girgensons - Bailey
Moulson - Larsson - Deslauriers

McCabe - Ristolainen
Falk - Antipin
Gorges - Bogosian

Lehner
Ullmark

---

Potentially Rochester/potentially Big Club:

Carrier, Nylander, Baptiste, Fasching, Guhle

---

When I look at that line-up, if I'm JBot, I'm looking to upgrade, at a minimum: Ennis, Moulson, Deslauriers, Falk, and Gorges. Depending on how Botterill wants to structure Rochester, and the NHL readiness of the listed potentially-Rochester players, the forwards seem to be in better shape. I think Carrier and Baptiste would provide adequate upgrades over Moulson and Deslauriers. Botterill may prefer to bring in a couple of his own guys and let Carrier and Baptiste develop in Rochester, but Ennis is certainly one we could definitely use an outside-the-organization upgrade for.

On Defence, if we are looking to make the playoffs, we'll need to upgrade Falk and Gorges. One could be Guhle, but I'm betting he starts in Rochester. So it looks like Bottz is going to have to bring in 2 defencemen, at least 1 with top 4 ability.

To me, the recipe for a successful summer for Botterill would include the acquisitions of:

1 Top 4 Defenceman
1 Top 6 Defenceman
1 Top 6 LW

Possible? Adequate? Malarkey?

#218 Saratoga

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 07:25 PM

I'd like to see him pick a good coach, figure out what to do with Kane, strengthen our defense either by trade or free agency, shed some dead weight. Also either draft Liljegrin at 8 or trade it for established dman.

#219 ShadowLiger

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 09:48 AM

So... how do these work now with Housley as coach? 



#220 dudacek

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 09:55 AM

Think there are still a couple shoes to drop here before we can really speculate.
Is Kane traded? What defenceman(men)? Does JBot acquire? What happens with Vegas?
Are there any surprises in store?

#221 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 10:46 AM

Think there are still a couple shoes to drop here before we can really speculate.
Is Kane traded? What defenceman(men)? Does JBot acquire? What happens with Vegas?
Are there any surprises in store?

 

I still expect a rather low-key defensive addition that will excite few, but be quietly effective when coupled with a more aggressive play style. I think Botterill is smart enough to recognize the strength of this team is the forward group, and savvy enough to recognize the value in a forward-defenseman swap isn't going to morph us into Nashville or Anaheim. Put differently, I'd be surprised if we saw the equivalent of the Hall-Larsson trade. We don't have Crosby or Malkin, of course, but sans Letang, that blue line in Pittsburgh is the envy of nobody...but it worked due to forwards and style of play. I also expect they're going to try to rehabilitate Bogosian, and think it's somewhat likely they believe he can at least be serviceable, with pushing the Dmen to jump into the play more.



#222 Sabre fan

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 10:50 AM

I still think many are under-selling many of the players on this team,..there is far more talent then we have seen. Foligno is a great example of a player who has never fully reached his potential. I think with proper coaching and leadership both on and off the ice we will see a significant improvement in many of our players. If one looks at successful teams we see that every year players reach or play over their expected limitations. The Leafs had just about everybody play over their heads. And I think little Tyler Ennis may be one of the biggest surprises...


Edited by Sabre fan, 16 June 2017 - 11:02 AM.


#223 GASabresFan

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 10:56 AM

Think there are still a couple shoes to drop here before we can really speculate.
Is Kane traded? What defenceman(men)? Does JBot acquire? What happens with Vegas?
Are there any surprises in store?

What are you feeling?  Trade of Kane, Lehner?  or something really surprising?



#224 dudacek

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 11:05 AM

What are you feeling?  Trade of Kane, Lehner?  or something really surprising?


Not feeling anything other than uncertainty over the value Botterill puts on the players.

Is Lehner our goalie going forward, or a chip that can cashed in?
Is Bogosian a salary to be dumped or a prime reclamation project?
Is Gorges the type of veteran warrior who can help any team, or poison in the locker room and on the ice?
Is Girgensons a misused talent to be developed or someone to be moved while he still has value?

You could do this with pretty much the entire roster.

He told us what he thinks of Ullmark with the signing, other wise we just don't know.
He keeps his cards pretty close. His actions are going to tell us.

#225 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 11:23 AM

Under-the-radar UFA I think could help the team at a reasonable price: Brendan Smith. Tack on a second-tier trade (Does de Haan count as second tier?), and get something like:

 

McCabe-Risto

de Haan-Bogo

Smith-Antipin

Falk/Gorges

 

I don't think anyone is going to look at it and scream "CHAMPIONSHIP," but it would represent a considerable upgrade in a single offseason.



#226 Randall Flagg

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 11:50 AM

Projected Forward Lines, based on two press conferences

 

Ennis - ROR - Okposo 

Moulson - Eichel - xxx

Foligno - Larsson - xxx

Carrier - Girgensons - Reinhart 

 

xxx is a competition, because Botterill loves those, and Reinhart is at the very end because they forgot about him until he wandered in with a bed head 20 minutes late to practice. 



#227 WildCard

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 11:52 AM

Projected Forward Lines, based on two press conferences

 

Ennis - ROR - Okposo 

Moulson - Eichel - xxx

Foligno - Larsson - xxx

Carrier - Girgensons - Reinhart 

 

xxx is a competition, because Botterill loves those, and Reinhart is at the very end because they forgot about him until he wandered in with a bed head 20 minutes late to practice. 

I would take off one of Moulson or Ennis from that list. Also, where's Kane?



#228 Randall Flagg

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 11:54 AM

Under-the-radar UFA I think could help the team at a reasonable price: Brendan Smith. Tack on a second-tier trade (Does de Haan count as second tier?), and get something like:

 

McCabe-Risto

de Haan-Bogo

Smith-Antipin

Falk/Gorges

 

I don't think anyone is going to look at it and scream "CHAMPIONSHIP," but it would represent a considerable upgrade in a single offseason.

I just rewatched the game in LA this past March where we were outshot like 15-2 in the first period.

Every single instance in that period where Fedun had the puck in our own zone, except for 2, the Sabres team had a controlled exit and maintained possession through the NZ. I'm not sure any other defenseman did that more than once. This was against a big bad scary team that Fedun surely can't handle, right?

Your #8 there whiffed on a shot at the point, fell down trying to keep it in, and got ran over by Toffoli (I think) going the other way. He also whiffed on an offensive zone faceoff win which caused a possession switch the next period.

Moral of the story - DON"T YOU DARE TYPE GORGES' NAME WHEN TAYLOR FEDUN EXISTS AS A MUCH MORE VIABLE 7/8 D-MAN 

 

:P


I would take off one of Moulson or Ennis from that list. Also, where's Kane?

I'm just making a joke based on the PC - where Housley talked up those two and neglected to mention Kane & Sam.



#229 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 11:58 AM

I just rewatched the game in LA this past March where we were outshot like 15-2 in the first period.

Every single instance in that period where Fedun had the puck in our own zone, except for 2, the Sabres team had a controlled exit and maintained possession through the NZ. I'm not sure any other defenseman did that more than once. This was against a big bad scary team that Fedun surely can't handle, right?

Your #8 there whiffed on a shot at the point, fell down trying to keep it in, and got ran over by Toffoli (I think) going the other way. He also whiffed on an offensive zone faceoff win which caused a possession switch the next period.

Moral of the story - DON"T YOU DARE TYPE GORGES' NAME WHEN TAYLOR FEDUN EXISTS AS A MUCH MORE VIABLE 7/8 D-MAN 

 

:P

 

Hey now! I don't want Gorges there, I'm just a little skeptical they actually bury him in Rochester if they can't find someone willing to take on his contract for a year. I honestly liked Fedun better than Falk, and was surprised (or maybe I shouldn't be, given Murray's evaluation of defensemen) got more NHL time and a 1 year contract.



#230 Randall Flagg

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 12:09 PM

Hey now! I don't want Gorges there, I'm just a little skeptical they actually bury him in Rochester if they can't find someone willing to take on his contract for a year. I honestly liked Fedun better than Falk, and was surprised (or maybe I shouldn't be, given Murray's evaluation of defensemen) got more NHL time and a 1 year contract.

Fair points. 

It's not totally crazy to say that over the last 3 seasons, Fedun and Nelson from March 2016 are two of our top four transition defensemen, when you account for both skating ability and first-pass ability.



#231 yse325

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 12:10 PM

Not feeling anything other than uncertainty over the value Botterill puts on the players.

Is Lehner our goalie going forward, or a chip that can cashed in?
Is Bogosian a salary to be dumped or a prime reclamation project?
Is Gorges the type of veteran warrior who can help any team, or poison in the locker room and on the ice?
Is Girgensons a misused talent to be developed or someone to be moved while he still has value?

You could do this with pretty much the entire roster.

He told us what he thinks of Ullmark with the signing, other wise we just don't know.
He keeps his cards pretty close. His actions are going to tell us.


Something big is coming. We can't just bring back the same failed roster less the UFAs. I also don't see much of this roster fitting in with what Wowie and Jbot want to do. I do think Girgensons may get a bigger role. I was surprised that Wowie mentioned Moulson. I don't see how he fits the system. I'm not surprised he wants to see what he can do with Ennis. I still think Gorges is gone.

#232 pi2000

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 11:40 PM

I wouldn't read too much into Housley's comments about Moulson.    He's likely a goner.



#233 Drunkard

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 09:34 AM

I wouldn't read too much into Housley's comments about Moulson.    He's likely a goner.

 

I hope you're right but I'm skeptical. People assumed he was just pumping tires on Moulson and Ennis then they turn around and protect Ennis when we should haven't been hoping for Vegas to take him off our hands.



#234 Doohickie

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 09:46 AM

We'll know more later in the week.



#235 Randall Flagg

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 12:54 PM

There have been a couple discussions since the season ended about Josh Gorges and his place with this team. Some people want to see him Craig Rivet-ed, some think he can be a valuable piece in the top six for the last year of his contract, and one or two referred to him as an okay number 4 d-man. In a couple of those discussions, the names of Falk and Fedun have come up. I think both are better than Gorges, but I think Fedun in particular gets snubbed relative to what he brings to the table. In severely limited use, he was one of our best puck moving D last season. I think everyone can agree that this is Gorges' worst asset, but it is argued that Gorges' grit, leadership, and ability to "shut down" players is worth the lack of ability he has as a puck mover. 

 

My stance has always been that Gorges should not be a top 8 defender on this team next year, and that we should bury him in Rochester. I have Fedun ahead of both him and Falk on our depth chart, and honestly I'd rather see him than Bogosian at this point as well, though I'll leave Bogosian ahead in this ranking:

1.) Risto

2.) McCabe

3.) Beaulieu

4.) Antipin

5.) Bogosian 

6.) Fedun

7.) Falk

8.) Guhle

9.) Gorges

 

And I'd like to see another acquisition or two, one to push Antipin down and one to push Fedun/Falk/Guhle/Gorges down. 

 

Anyway, when I got into that debate between Taylor and Josh, I mentioned that I don't think Josh actually defends that well, and I think the idea that Taylor couldn't handle anything but the easiest minutes in the world was overblown. While watching some games, I decided to make a point to spend 10 minutes collecting video during our west coast game in LA. So I grabbed a few snippets of each player against the biggest, heaviest, best corsi team in the league to see who could and couldn't handle themselves. Most of these clips are from the first period, one or two from the second, and I was too busy with the other purpose for watching/collecting videos to care about this argument much anymore after these few clips. I'd recommend watching on a computer so the tab navigation is easy. 

 

Here's Taylor executing one of our very few successful zone exits of this game (we were outshot like 15-2 in the first). 

 

Here's Gorges failing to do the same: 

 

Fedun with another successful pass to an open guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yi_6ykZ1ra8 

 

Here's Gorges in a similar situation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-sPZX9isiI 

 

Here's Taylor winning a race that Josh wouldn't have even tried: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIAC4pqzb0I 

 

Here's Josh with a failed attempted catch and being left hopelessly behind because of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtV3vm2A8Pg 

 

Here's Fedun making a cool decision under some forechecking pressure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3kREstr_-k

 

Another simple, effective pass to make sure we keep the puck: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-Mmpkxc5yM

 

But Gorges is at least better defensively, right? No chance Taylor can snuff out opponents like he can: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFWIAWPRFoQ 

 

Since Fedun sucked so bad in that last clip, here's some Gorges manhandling the other team and displaying general competence: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQedfXtBc-o 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9nwLngFjKQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSFC46YaKs8

 

 

This is all within a 25 minute span of hockey in the day to day lives of these players. It's not freaking close. 

And yes, I cherrypicked a little. In that time span, Gorges had 1 or 2 completed passes and I think Fedun had a giveaway, as well as two dump ins while his team was changing/not supporting him. Overall, it's still not freaking close.


Edited by Randall Flagg, 20 June 2017 - 12:54 PM.


#236 dudacek

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 01:02 PM

Fedun though is not a Sabre.
And Gorges remains in the top six of the current depth chart:

Risto
McCabe
Bogosian
Beaulieu
Gorges
Falk
Antipin
Guhle
Nelson
Austin
Stevens

Yes, Guhle and Antipin should be better, but they are rookies who need to beat someone out of a job.
We need at least one more vet before we cut ties.

I think Gorges does need to go - for the same reason he originally needed to come here: he is a strong voice in the locker room.

#237 Randall Flagg

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 01:05 PM

Fedun though is not a Sabre.
And Gorges remains in the top six of the current depth chart:

Risto
McCabe
Bogosian
Beaulieu
Gorges
Falk
Antipin
Guhle
Nelson
Austin
Stevens


Yes, Guhle and Antipin should be better, but they are rookies who need to beat someone out of a job.
We need at least one more vet before we cut ties.

I think Gorges does need to go - for the same reason he originally needed to come here: he is a strong voice in the locker room.

If this is being measured by playing ability, he's not in the top 7 and maybe even 8 of that list, and I'm looking for 2 more depth acquisitions still. 

He needs to go because he cannot handle NHL ice time.



#238 dudacek

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 01:09 PM

To clarify, Gorges is a 6/7 at best, who is also an assistant captain.
Those two universes should not collide.

Edited by dudacek, 20 June 2017 - 01:09 PM.


#239 nfreeman

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 01:13 PM

I too liked what we saw out of Fedun last year and would like to see the Sabres re-sign him.  I kinda expect someone else to overpay for him (relatively speaking) though.



#240 sweetlou

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 01:30 PM

Kane, ROR, Okposo

Foligno , Eichel, Reinhart

Girgensons, Bonino, Pomminstein

Moulson , Larsson, Bailey

 

McCabe, Risto

Beaulieu, Dumba

Antipin, Bogo

 

Lehner

Ullmark

 

 

 

Fasching, Ennis, and 2nd rd pick to Minnesota for Dumba and Pomminstein

Gorges bought out or sent to Rochester

 

Guhle plays this year in Rochester and brought up for injuries or if Anitpin doesn't adjust to smaller rinks


Edited by sweetlou, 22 June 2017 - 01:31 PM.