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GDT: Lightning at Sabres 2/13/18 7:00pm MSG

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#161 Mick O’Manly

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:01 AM

I think I agree more with him. I don't think his game has changed as much as everyone here seems to think and have said as much.

There are three big improvements I see.

The first is his passing. He greatest skill is his ability to move the puck to the right spot at the right time. Sometimes it’s spectacular like the goalmouth one-touch set-up to Jack on the PP a few games ago. Sometimes it’s more subtle like in the first period last night on the rush where he paused for a split second just inside the blue line to open up the D, then slid it past him in a perfect spot to send one of our D (Nelson?) in alone on goal. In his first two years he’d make those plays in many games, but for some reason they dried up completely in the first half of this year. They’re back and they are happening more than ever.

The second is his pace. Freeman has mistakenly called Sam the slowest player on the team for a while now because Sam’s game has been built on waiting - creating space through pausing, and anticipating - slowing the game down while others race around, then pouncing while they panic and make mistakes. But NHL players are faster and make fewer mistakes and Sam has had to learn that he has to move and create and react more quickly to exploit the gaps he’s looking for. He is doing that.

And the final one - and this is where I think Housley has had the most influence - is that he is starting to take charge. He has enough skill to be a driver but in the NHL he has been cast as a lurker and a complementary player. Over the past month or two, he’s been aggressive on pucks in the corner, winning battles, shielding the puck with his body and hanging on to it every once in awhile to open ice for his linemates. He has gone from passively only taking what the game gives him to trying to impose himself on the game and be a difference maker.

He might not see the difference because in his pre-NHL career he always was this player, but to me he finally looks like the player I hoped we were drafting.

I knew he was better than what we were getting in November.
The question is will he settle in to the 20/25/45 player he was in his first two years?
Or does he have it in him to make February his new norm?

Edited by Mick O’Manly, 14 February 2018 - 11:05 AM.


#162 Kottbullar

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:09 AM

I think I agree more with him. I don't think his game has changed as much as everyone here seems to think and have said as much.

I dont think his game so much as his work in the corners and on his feet, hes staying on them more and avoiding checks. Now guys are looking for his sick passes. But because of his better corner/board work he is creating more space for himself. He thus is able to better play his game which imo hasnt changed. PS he appears faster. Still needs to work on his forechecking... still drive-byes too much. Still not so much change in his game as NHL maturity.

There are three big improvements I see.
The first is his passing. He greatest skill is his ability to move the puck to the right spot at the right time. Sometimes it’s spectacular like the goalmouth one-touch set-up to Jack on the PP a few games ago. Sometimes it’s more subtle like in the first period last night on the rush where he paused for a split second just inside the blue line to open up the D, then slid it past him in a perfect spot to send one of our D (Nelson?) in alone on goal. In his first two years he’d make those plays in many games, but for some reason they dried up completely in the first half of this year. They’re back and they are happening more than ever.
The second is his pace. Freeman has mistakenly called Sam the slowest player on the team for a while now because Sam’s game has been built on waiting - creating space through pausing, and anticipating - slowing the game down while others race around, then pouncing while they panic and make mistakes. But NHL players are faster and make fewer mistakes and Sam has had to learn that he has to move and create and react more quickly to exploit the gaps he’s looking for. He is doing that.
And the final one - and this is where I think Housley has had the most influence - is that he is starting to take charge. He has enough skill to be a driver but in the NHL he has been cast as a lurker and a complementary player. Over the past month or two, he’s been aggressive on pucks in the corner, winning battles, shielding the puck with his body and hanging on to it every once in awhile to open ice for his linemates. He has gone from passively only taking what the game gives him to trying to impose himself on the game and be a difference maker.
He might not see the difference because in his pre-NHL career he always was this player, but to me he finally looks like the player I hoped we were drafting.
I knew he was better than what we were getting in November.
The question is will he settle in to the 20/25/45 player he was in his first two years?
Or does he have it in him to make February his new norm?

This beat me to it. PS now he just needs to drive the net more and shoot occasionally on breaks especially, which will open up more space for himself.

#163 nfreeman

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:25 AM

Well, I've called Reino the slowest player on the team because he is in fact the slowest player on the team, both in tight and in longer runs.

 

I agree that he uses his vision, anticipation, hockey IQ and passing skills to make plays -- but those factors don't make him not slow -- they allow him to play at the NHL level, which he would otherwise be unable to do.

 

To be clear, I agree that he looks reborn over the past month or so, and I am glad to see it (and I will note that GAFan noted Reino's proclivity for slow starts and strong 2nd halves several times -- so good on him for that one).  However, no one should forget that he AGAIN didn't show up this season until the horse had left the barn and gone to the glue factory.  All the pressure is off, both on Reino and on the team as a whole.  They aren't getting the opponents' A games, or even their B games.

 

I'm pretty far away from assuming that either the Sabres or Reino will start off next season looking like they do right now.  And I sure as heck don't want to give Reino a fat contract this summer.



#164 SwampD

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:30 AM

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#165 Mick O’Manly

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:32 AM

Well, I've called Reino the slowest player on the team because he is in fact the slowest player on the team, both in tight and in longer runs.

LOL. We will never agree on this point until Sam actually beats someone in a race.

The rest of your post is bang on.
I have always been a believer in Reinhart - I think around Christmas there were two of us left - but he’s still got a helluvalot to prove.

Edited by Mick O’Manly, 14 February 2018 - 11:32 AM.


#166 That Aud Smell

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:35 AM

Antipin has been around long enough to know he will get the bench for that now.

 

Boy, I hope not. He's a nifty player. I posted upthread: He made a pass to Wilson moments before that flub that was spectacular.

 

That mulligan was on Johnson.



#167 LTS

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:11 PM

Interesting would be the correct word if this was the start of the season, now it is basicly stats only with no meaning.

 

I think the thing you take away from that stat is that on this team, even a few games without its top scorer, they are able to put together that kind of run.  You look back and understand that the team has to learn the system and more importantly they have to believe in the system.  Jack Eichel finally believed that playing a full 200ft. game would translate into more points and it happened.  The team learned how to play with more speed and attack while not getting scorched for goals.  All of this equates to a change in mentality that just doesn't happen overnight.  Kind of like when the power goes out and you still walk around hitting light switches.  You know the power is out, but you haven't unlearned your ingrained thinking that when you enter a room you flip the switch.

 

Sam Reinhart claiming that he isn't doing anything different is complete BS. He knows damn well his game has changed and thats why he is having success. 

 

He's not doing anything different.  He's still skating, shooting, passing.  It's HOW he's doing it that has changed.  :)



#168 PASabreFan

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:26 PM

Boy, I hope not. He's a nifty player. I posted upthread: He made a pass to Wilson moments before that flub that was spectacular.

 

That mulligan was on Johnson.

Defensemen stick together. Antipin will be fine.

 

I am also impressed by the guy. His game seems so taut. Crisp and compact. I can't articulate it just yet.



#169 Anordning

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:36 PM

Well, I've called Reino the slowest player on the team because he is in fact the slowest player on the team, both in tight and in longer runs.

 

I agree that he uses his vision, anticipation, hockey IQ and passing skills to make plays -- but those factors don't make him not slow -- they allow him to play at the NHL level, which he would otherwise be unable to do.

 

To be clear, I agree that he looks reborn over the past month or so, and I am glad to see it (and I will note that GAFan noted Reino's proclivity for slow starts and strong 2nd halves several times -- so good on him for that one).  However, no one should forget that he AGAIN didn't show up this season until the horse had left the barn and gone to the glue factory.  All the pressure is off, both on Reino and on the team as a whole.  They aren't getting the opponents' A games, or even their B games.

 

I'm pretty far away from assuming that either the Sabres or Reino will start off next season looking like they do right now.  And I sure as heck don't want to give Reino a fat contract this summer.

 

To the first bolded:  My hope is that much of the slow start might be attributed to the new head coach learning the ropes.  Instead of creating an aggressive strategy, he was just trying to hang on at first.  Now that he has better knowledge of the players he's better able to use the weapons at his disposal.

 

To the second bolded:  That's been the issue the last several seasons, hasn't it?  We end the season playing well, expect it to carry over to the following season, and it hasn't yet.  So healthy skepticism is more than warranted.  I think the difference next year will be that HCPH will be better at his job out of the gate, and the stock of players coming out of Rochester will have been groomed to play the uptempo game that the Sabres are currently playing.  That is my hope, but this team has repeatedly dashed my hopes in the past.



#170 SkuggaLiger

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 03:24 PM

Well, I've called Reino the slowest player on the team because he is in fact the slowest player on the team, both in tight and in longer runs.

I agree that he uses his vision, anticipation, hockey IQ and passing skills to make plays -- but those factors don't make him not slow -- they allow him to play at the NHL level, which he would otherwise be unable to do.

To be clear, I agree that he looks reborn over the past month or so, and I am glad to see it (and I will note that GAFan noted Reino's proclivity for slow starts and strong 2nd halves several times -- so good on him for that one). However, no one should forget that he AGAIN didn't show up this season until the horse had left the barn and gone to the glue factory. All the pressure is off, both on Reino and on the team as a whole. They aren't getting the opponents' A games, or even their B games.

I'm pretty far away from assuming that either the Sabres or Reino will start off next season looking like they do right now. And I sure as heck don't want to give Reino a fat contract this summer.

Reinhart is not the slowest on the team.

#171 skogslopp

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 03:34 PM

Boy, I hope not. He's a nifty player. I posted upthread: He made a pass to Wilson moments before that flub that was spectacular.

 

That mulligan was on Johnson.

 

 I think Antipin has a lot of upside, he's as close to a Brian Campbell as I've seen here since he left. 

 

Yes CJ was just stupid on the play, but Antipin made it worse. 

 

I hope Antipin isn't benched Thursday in Ottawa, but considering he's been on a short leash all season I wouldn't be surprised. 



#172 Alkoholist

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 03:52 PM

Reinhart is not the slowest on the team.

 

Definitely not. Even with Moulson leaving there's still Gorges and a few other slugs.



#173 Thorny

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 03:57 AM

I think he just allowed Jack, Kane and ROR to do the heavy lifting for him and he just played a good complemenatary game. Housley broke that pattern early in the year and I don't think he knew how to handle it. These past 20 games or so, he has completely turned it around, he looks and plays like a completely different player than before, he's taking control and he still makes a mistake here and there but you can tell his confidence is as high as its ever been. I was wondering when your Samcrush was going to come back to by the way.


I think this is a good take, especially the part about Housley forcing him to seize the game instead of letting it come to him.
I hope it lasts, because what we have seen is the player I thought we were getting when we picked him and was scared Dan Bylsma had buried for good.



Good stuff here, totally agreed.

Sam Reinhart claiming that he isn't doing anything different is complete BS. He knows damn well his game has changed and thats why he is having success.


This too. His game is way different now. You don’t go from scoring points almost not at all to scoring at (what now, a point-a-game for the last while?) this pace by doing nothing different and just getting better “puck luck”.

He’s a new man. Or rather, he’s becoming the man he was born to be, the natural extrapolation of the player he was in junior.

I attribute his quotes on the matter to typical hockey cliche.

Well, I've called Reino the slowest player on the team because he is in fact the slowest player on the team, both in tight and in longer runs.

I agree that he uses his vision, anticipation, hockey IQ and passing skills to make plays -- but those factors don't make him not slow -- they allow him to play at the NHL level, which he would otherwise be unable to do.

To be clear, I agree that he looks reborn over the past month or so, and I am glad to see it (and I will note that GAFan noted Reino's proclivity for slow starts and strong 2nd halves several times -- so good on him for that one). However, no one should forget that he AGAIN didn't show up this season until the horse had left the barn and gone to the glue factory. All the pressure is off, both on Reino and on the team as a whole. They aren't getting the opponents' A games, or even their B games.

I'm pretty far away from assuming that either the Sabres or Reino will start off next season looking like they do right now.
And I sure as heck don't want to give Reino a fat contract this summer.


And there’s wisdom here, too. Particularly the bolded.

The Sabres looking better right now is great. It’s what we want and could bode very well for next season and beyond. But it’s not a guarantee of anything.

But hey, putting together good games against weaker opponent efforts is better than not doing so. Can only play the teams they put in front of you.

Also, Larsson is slower than Sam, probably among others.

Edited by Thorny, 15 February 2018 - 07:28 AM.






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