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Most improved team thus far?


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Poll: Most improved team thus far?

Have the Sabres improved and how much? Or are we destined to fail (again)

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#1 Sabre fan

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 10:26 AM

Interesting article by Sportsnet that claims that four teams have improved themselves significantly this off-season. They are Calgary, Carolina, Arizona and Dallas Stars. I like to think that the Sabres have improved themselves immensely, both on and off the ice. New coaching and management seem to be already making big improvements over last  season, and on the ice, our defense makeover would appear to be light-years ahead of last years gang. bringing in Pommers, along with the younger guys getting more experience that should help them excel this coming season should help immensely too.

 

Just wondering if anybody agrees or thinks that the Sabres have made significant improvements or are we headed for another season of disappointment?

 

Here is link to article too..

 

http://www.sportsnet...ams-far-summer/



#2 Randall Flagg

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 10:34 AM

It's impossible to know until we actually see the type of hockey this team is playing, and the growth/development of the young guys. Dan sounded really good that first summer too, we were hanging onto his every word. Same with Ted Nolan. 

 

If we play possession hockey (I keep hearing up tempo and activation, but not support and only sometimes possession) then I think the improvement will be bigger than just the guys we added versus the guys we subtracted, and it will thus be bigger than what the general NHL media/fans who don't watch every Sabres game expect, as those people for the most part aren't even aware that the on ice system was a problem here.



#3 sabills

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 10:41 AM

It's impossible to know until we actually see the type of hockey this team is playing, and the growth/development of the young guys. Dan sounded really good that first summer too, we were hanging onto his every word. Same with Ted Nolan. 

 

If we play possession hockey (I keep hearing up tempo and activation, but not support and only sometimes possession) then I think the improvement will be bigger than just the guys we added versus the guys we subtracted, and it will thus be bigger than what the general NHL media/fans who don't watch every Sabres game expect, as those people for the most part aren't even aware that the on ice system was a problem here.

 

Yup. There's a chance that with this coach they not only make the playoffs but win a round, the freaking Senators made the ECF last year and they were on the "worst team" lists before the season. Its equally possible that the players are actually not good enough and we need a lot of work. Call me in December.



#4 TheCerebral1

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 10:55 AM

I would say that we still need a ton of work.  Arizona, meh.  Tell me about them in 5 months when they start out 0-5.  Hjalmarsson looks to have taken a step back, he's been beaten down heavily each of the past six seasons.  I would agree with Dallas for sure.  Calgary...added what a meh goalie.  They're still the same team.  Carolina got better, but there are still question marks.  We'll see.  I would still put us in the 3-6 area of teams that most improved.  Yes our defense improved, but we still need to fix the a few other areas.



#5 WildCard

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 11:02 AM

It's impossible to know until we actually see the type of hockey this team is playing, and the growth/development of the young guys. Dan sounded really good that first summer too, we were hanging onto his every word. Same with Ted Nolan. 

 

If we play possession hockey (I keep hearing up tempo and activation, but not support and only sometimes possession) then I think the improvement will be bigger than just the guys we added versus the guys we subtracted, and it will thus be bigger than what the general NHL media/fans who don't watch every Sabres game expect, as those people for the most part aren't even aware that the on ice system was a problem here.

100%

 

 

As far as the question goes, it's difficult to name most improved; partly because of what Flagg says, and because teams that were bad had injuries or were simply not yet mature enough. Carolina will be a great team this year, but that's not just because of Williams and Darling; they were good last year too.

 

Calgary was already good, and now think Mike Smith is their savior, not sure I buy that

 

Arizona will improve but mostly because they had nowhere to go. Hjal helps a ton, but their goaltending, coaching, and leadership got a lot worse. Unless Domi, Duclair, and Strome have big years, they're not doing anything

 

Dallas would be my bet. I mistakenly threw Nill under the bus the other day, but he's had a good offseason. I don't like Radulov or Bishop for their contracts, but he should help them this year. That and the addition of Hitchcock will have the Stars much improved

 

 

I'm amazed Tampa isn't on this list honestly 



#6 North Buffalo

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 11:04 AM

Still in show me mode until some of the recent draft picks... Ghule, Nylander, Glotov, Middlestadt, Fitz, Borgen, and others take the next step. If Sabres again draft well next year, the next few years should be fun to watch but I'm still in show me mode.

#7 We've

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 11:24 AM

Rookie coach. Rookie GM. Young team. Lots of turnover. I wouldnt expect anyone to assume we'll make a big jump. We assume it because we are irrational. We're fans. Irrational comes with the territiory.

#8 Saratoga

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 11:33 AM

Overall we made huge leaps this off season. New GM and coach alone was huge. Plus improved blue line and Pommers back for some nostalgia (not why he was brought in I know but that's what it is for me) and yeah I'm psyched.

Imagine if DB was still here? *shutters*

I just hope that the dark cloud of negativity/ laziness/ mistakes/ injuries etc has been lifted when Housley was hired. I think the coaching change is going to be night and day for us ☺

#9 MattPie

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 12:17 PM

Overall we made huge leaps this off season. New GM and coach alone was huge. Plus improved blue line and Pommers back for some nostalgia (not why he was brought in I know but that's what it is for me) and yeah I'm psyched.

Imagine if DB was still here? *shutters*

I just hope that the dark cloud of negativity/ laziness/ mistakes/ injuries etc has been lifted when Housley was hired. I think the coaching change is going to be night and day for us ☺

 

The more I think about it, I'm not sure "huge leap" is correct. Pominville replaces Gionta, which is an upgrade but not huge. The new D could be promising, but the loss of Foligno and Ennis means Pouliot and one or two of the Rochester-3 will have to take a step otherwise they could be in the same place for goals, which isn't good. strange as it is to say, the season may hang on depth wingers becoming NHLers and if the new system can really boost everyone's stats.


Edited by MattPie, 12 July 2017 - 12:17 PM.


#10 Randall Flagg

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 12:43 PM

The more I think about it, I'm not sure "huge leap" is correct. Pominville replaces Gionta, which is an upgrade but not huge. The new D could be promising, but the loss of Foligno and Ennis means Pouliot and one or two of the Rochester-3 will have to take a step otherwise they could be in the same place for goals, which isn't good. strange as it is to say, the season may hang on depth wingers becoming NHLers and if the new system can really boost everyone's stats.

ROR.jpg

O'Reilly^^

image.jpg

Okposo^^

 

If we can get these guys up to where they are in competent systems at ES, and continue grooming Jack & Sam, we'll see a decent level of improvement.



#11 WildCard

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 12:48 PM

Great charts, where did you find them?

#12 Randall Flagg

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 12:53 PM

Great charts, where did you find them?

I stole the original from somewhere and calculated ROR/Okposo's numbers and put them on the chart as best I could haha.



#13 ShadowLiger

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 01:03 PM

Im not voting. Team needs to prove that they are better and names are paper doesn't prove it to me. To many years of bs. 



#14 GASabresFan

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 12:48 PM

Why is there no choice for firing DD or TM?

For the roster, the trades for Scandella and Beaulieu, but the real top change is Jbot replacing TM. Now the question is whether all the changes will help or will we stink again?

Edited by GASabresFan, 13 July 2017 - 12:48 PM.


#15 Sabre fan

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 01:20 PM

Oh sorry never thought to include the "GMJB and/or CPH (coach Phil Housley)" will get fired half way through but maybe I should have (or at least people will be calling for this half way through the season)



#16 GASabresFan

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 02:02 PM

I think people are over looking the Devils as an improved team. Trading for Johansson and drafting Hirschier will improve any team, especially when you add these guys to Henrique, Hall, Palmieri, and Zajac. Their offense should be much improved.

As to the Sabres
Pommers > Gionta
Scandella >> Kulikov
Beaulieu >> Franson
Pouliot > Ennis? Likely
Bailey/Baptiste/Fasching = Carrier
Foligno >> Josefson

These changes should make us better, but we are going to have to have someone step into the phyiscal game lost from Foligno. Ultimately, the improvement may not be enough to make us a playoff team without major improvemenr from Risto (onD), and Eichel and Sam on offense. Staying healthy for a change would be nice.

#17 Randall Flagg

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 02:24 PM

FWIW, I'm not convinced Beaulieu will be as good for us as Franson was last year.

#18 ShadowLiger

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 02:33 PM

FWIW, I'm not convinced Beaulieu will be as good for us as Franson was last year.

I am, he can skate and was better than Franson last year.

#19 Sabres Fan In NS

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 02:41 PM

FWIW, I'm not convinced Beaulieu will be as good for us as Franson was last year.

 

I'm hoping that he is better than Kuli, 'cos that is who he is replacing, basically.



#20 Randall Flagg

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 02:50 PM

I am, he can skate and was better than Franson last year.

Wasnt he healthy scratched a few times while Franson was our best possession defenseman getting pretty difficult minutes?

I'd take Nathan for a skating-D system over Cody, but Cody played well and I'm not under the impression that Nathan did in Montreal last year.

#21 ShadowLiger

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 02:54 PM

Wasnt he healthy scratched a few times while Franson was our best possession defenseman getting pretty difficult minutes?

I'd take Nathan for a skating-D system over Cody, but Cody played well and I'm not under the impression that Nathan did in Montreal last year.

Franson was playing hard minutes?

#22 Randall Flagg

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 02:59 PM

Franson was playing hard minutes?

They weren't sheltered very much. He probably got a "third pair" role technically speaking but filled into the top 4 for many games because of injuries to Bogosian and Kulikov, and was by far the best possession defenseman, because of his ability to actually do the thing our system needed, pass accurately over long distances. 

I don't think he'd be as good a fit this year like I said, but with him we lost the third best performing D last year IMO, and Beaulieu may very well not be in our best four performing defensemen next year. Still worth the 3rd and trying him out, of course.



#23 ShadowLiger

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 03:03 PM

They weren't sheltered very much. He probably got a "third pair" role technically speaking but filled into the top 4 for many games because of injuries to Bogosian and Kulikov, and was by far the best possession defenseman, because of his ability to actually do the thing our system needed, pass accurately over long distances.

I don't think he'd be as good a fit this year like I said, but with him we lost the third best performing D last year IMO, and Beaulieu may very well not be in our best four performing defensemen next year. Still worth the 3rd and trying him out, of course.

You're conflating two things. Franson being our 3rd best defender last year and then Baloo being our say 5th best defender now doesn't mean Baloo is worse than Franson. I guess I think Baloo will be a better defender this year than Franson was last year.

#24 Randall Flagg

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 03:06 PM

You're conflating two things. Franson being our 3rd best defender last year and then Baloo being our say 5th best defender now doesn't mean Baloo is worse than Franson. I guess I think Baloo will be a better defender this year than Franson was last year.

Well I might have accidentally come off that way but I do still believe my original point that it certainly might not play out that way, considering Beaulieu was a regular healthy scratch and after reading what some Habs fans had to say about his play. 

 



#25 ShadowLiger

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 03:11 PM

He played 74 regular season games but was a regular healthy scratch... skeptical Liger is skeptical

#26 Randall Flagg

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 03:16 PM

A quick google search shows him a healthy scratch in December, again in March, and that his team decided they wanted to play Brandon Davidson and Jordie Benn instead with the season on the line for Game 6, they healthy scratched him there. Maybe more instances, I got bored after the first 3 hits.



#27 dudacek

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 03:17 PM

FWIW, I'm not convinced Beaulieu will be as good for us as Franson was last year.


I think he will make more plays - good and bad.
To this point in his career he hasn't been a better player, but I think he will bring the mobility we need and therefore should be an upgrade.

In terms of role, I see Pouliot as Foligno's replacement and Fasching as Carrier's
Josefson is actually replacing Derek Grant and we expect Antipin to bump Gorges

Ennis represents the open spot.
He will be replaced as an offensive winger by Baptiste, Bailey, Nylander, Griffith or a player to be named later.

#28 Sabres79

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 03:20 PM

A quick google search shows him a healthy scratch in December, again in March, and that his team decided they wanted to play Brandon Davidson and Jordie Benn instead with the season on the line for Game 6, they healthy scratched him there. Maybe more instances, I got bored after the first 3 hits.


Still more useful than a third round pick, on balance.

#29 Randall Flagg

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 03:21 PM

Still more useful than a third round pick, on balance.

For sure, for a supposed "Housely team" I let Cody walk and make that trade 10 times out of 10. 



#30 GASabresFan

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 03:47 PM

First off Kulikov was acquired to be a top 4 D, as was Gorges and Bogo before him. When they all failed Franson was forced to play top 4 minutes because that's all we had.

However, lets not call him good. He is a pillar and if was good he'd probably have a FA deal in place, rather then the PTO in his future.

Beaulieu was a victim of the coaching change in Mon more then anything else. He has the one thing that a modern team needs and Franson lacks: speed! He also blocks more shots and is nearly as physicals. He also provides more offense. The biggest issue was turnovers. Not a surprise because he does take more risk with the puck. He also played more minutes per game last year then Franson; 19:29 vs 18:29. Furthermore he is a better fit for our new system.


Edited by GASabresFan, 14 July 2017 - 07:42 PM.


#31 Randall Flagg

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 03:52 PM

Franson_Beaulieu.jpg

 

Some of Beaulieu's scratches came before the coaching change tho

 

One guy was sheltered more than the other and still performed far worse relative to the rest of his team

 

There is a non negligible chance that Nathan is bad for us, that's the only thing I'm trying to say



#32 Thorny

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 04:27 PM

Kulikov - Ristolainen
McCabe - Bogosian
Gorges - Falk/Franson

V

Scandella - Ristolainen
McCabe - Bogosian
Beaulieu - Antipin

---

Scandella > Kulikov
Beaulieu > Gorges

Antipin v Falk/Franson is the ?, but we are miles better with the two ">" listed above.

#33 DarthEbriate

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 05:30 PM

Rookie coach. Rookie GM. Young team. Lots of turnover. I wouldnt expect anyone to assume we'll make a big jump. We assume it because we are irrational. We're fans. Irrational comes with the territiory.

Irrational. Heh!

Excitable. Heh!

We are reckless (fans).

 

<<disembodied voice>> Were we any different in previous years?



#34 ShadowLiger

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 05:47 PM

I follow you Flagg, might not totally agree but I see what you mean.