Forums/Buffalo Sabres

I've Changed My Mind

Sep 3, 2017 at 11:20
#1
Blues GM v4
Joined: Nov 2016
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As I've been thinking about my predictions for the upcoming season, I'm going to be bold and say that the Sabres make the playoffs this season as the #3 team in the Atlantic, behind Tampa and Toronto. A couple of reasons for that, and I'll explain in depth why I see Buffalo being playoff-bound.

Up front, we all know Eichel is a generational talent. Him and Ryan O'Rielly make for a fantastic 1-2 punch down the middle. I see Evander Kane putting it together for a full season, and I also think Sam Reinhart has his big breakout and gets in the neighborhood of 55-60 points. If Okposo recovers from his illness and plays 80 games, 60 points seems likely given his potential linemates. I'm a huge fan of Pominville, I think he'll be great returning with the Sabres. 50 points sounds about right for him. Matt Moulson is good for 30 points in a season, which is good contribution from the bottom six. If Larsson plays the entire season, he's another guy that could hit 30 points. I really like the forward group, especially having a 1-2 center punch far superior to that of Ottawa or Montreal (especially since Brassard is out for a while).

On the backend, I think they've made huge improvements. Acquiring Scandella seems like one of the more underrated moves of the offseason, I like the idea of him being a #2 guy behind Ristolainen. Beaulieu and McCabe should continue their development and be better this season. Antipin has some real upside to his game, and Gorges does more than fine as a 3rd pairing guy. I also see Phil Housley having a huge effect on their defense. I'm not saying he's going to turn their defense into that of Nashville, but I see massive improvements from them on both sides of the puck. I like the defense of Buffalo much better than Montreal's, especially their puck moving ability which is so important today. I think Ottawa's defense is slightly better than Buffalo's, but only because of that Karlsson guy. Heard he wasn't too bad.

In net, Robin Lehner is one of the most underrated goalies in the league. He's put up good numbers with a horrible defense in front of him. What happens this year when he gets much better defensive help? I think he'll solidify himself as Buffalo's goalie of the future without question. I don't see Anderson duplicating what he did last year, but Montreal obviously has the goaltending edge with Price. But Lehner doesn't have to be Price. An above average season from Lehner means that Buffalo is sitting pretty all of a sudden.

I'm really in love with this Sabres team. They seem like the team that people aren't going to consider legit yet, and shock everyone. All in all, I love what I'm seeing with them, and I'm one of few people who are going to predict Buffalo is in the playoffs for 2018.

Thoughts?
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Sep 4, 2017 at 12:25
#2
fence
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 323
Likes: 113
I'm on board with everything you said, except Moulson might not even crack the lineup.
Sep 4, 2017 at 12:32
#3
rangersandislesfan
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 26,882
Likes: 2,908
Quoting: krakowitz
As I've been thinking about my predictions for the upcoming season, I'm going to be bold and say that the Sabres make the playoffs this season as the #3 team in the Atlantic, behind Tampa and Toronto. A couple of reasons for that, and I'll explain in depth why I see Buffalo being playoff-bound.

Up front, we all know Eichel is a generational talent. Him and Ryan O'Rielly make for a fantastic 1-2 punch down the middle. I see Evander Kane putting it together for a full season, and I also think Sam Reinhart has his big breakout and gets in the neighborhood of 55-60 points. If Okposo recovers from his illness and plays 80 games, 60 points seems likely given his potential linemates. I'm a huge fan of Pominville, I think he'll be great returning with the Sabres. 50 points sounds about right for him. Matt Moulson is good for 30 points in a season, which is good contribution from the bottom six. If Larsson plays the entire season, he's another guy that could hit 30 points. I really like the forward group, especially having a 1-2 center punch far superior to that of Ottawa or Montreal (especially since Brassard is out for a while).

On the backend, I think they've made huge improvements. Acquiring Scandella seems like one of the more underrated moves of the offseason, I like the idea of him being a #2 guy behind Ristolainen. Beaulieu and McCabe should continue their development and be better this season. Antipin has some real upside to his game, and Gorges does more than fine as a 3rd pairing guy. I also see Phil Housley having a huge effect on their defense. I'm not saying he's going to turn their defense into that of Nashville, but I see massive improvements from them on both sides of the puck. I like the defense of Buffalo much better than Montreal's, especially their puck moving ability which is so important today. I think Ottawa's defense is slightly better than Buffalo's, but only because of that Karlsson guy. Heard he wasn't too bad.

In net, Robin Lehner is one of the most underrated goalies in the league. He's put up good numbers with a horrible defense in front of him. What happens this year when he gets much better defensive help? I think he'll solidify himself as Buffalo's goalie of the future without question. I don't see Anderson duplicating what he did last year, but Montreal obviously has the goaltending edge with Price. But Lehner doesn't have to be Price. An above average season from Lehner means that Buffalo is sitting pretty all of a sudden.

I'm really in love with this Sabres team. They seem like the team that people aren't going to consider legit yet, and shock everyone. All in all, I love what I'm seeing with them, and I'm one of few people who are going to predict Buffalo is in the playoffs for 2018.

Thoughts?


squinty smile
Pasta88Sauce, krakowitz and wojme liked this.
Sep 4, 2017 at 1:45
#4
Thread Starter
Blues GM v4
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 8,042
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Quoting: OpaqueZoo
I'm on board with everything you said, except Moulson might not even crack the lineup.


I definitely see him cracking the top 9. He's a better player than Baptiste right now, and Nylander needs more time in the AHL. Who do you see taking his place?
Sep 5, 2017 at 10:39
#5
LongtimeLeafsufferer
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 28,538
Likes: 6,555
I think they will be better than last year, but to jump ahead of Sens, Bruins, Habs....and maybe the two favourite Lightning and Leafs might be too be a jump in one year.
Sep 6, 2017 at 12:50
#6
Thread Starter
Blues GM v4
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Quoting: palhal
I think they will be better than last year, but to jump ahead of Sens, Bruins, Habs....and maybe the two favourite Lightning and Leafs might be too be a jump in one year.


This just kinda seems like the year everything comes together for them. I love Housley working with the defense, which could be all the difference for them.
Sep 7, 2017 at 3:40
#7
Hardcore Sabres fan
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 7,787
Likes: 1,117
I'm liking what I'm hearing from you Krak, I wish more people thought Buffalo wasn't still awful.

A couple weeks ago, my brother (Canadiens fan) said that he thinks Vegas makes playoffs before the Sabres
wojme liked this.
Sep 7, 2017 at 11:25
#8
@Pointerr21
Joined: Mar 2017
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Likes: 2,535
I have Buffalo on the outside looking. I have them very close though along with Montreal with Boston a bit further back.
Sep 7, 2017 at 11:50
#9
Hardcore Sabres fan
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 7,787
Likes: 1,117
Quoting: krakowitz
Quoting: OpaqueZoo
I'm on board with everything you said, except Moulson might not even crack the lineup.


I definitely see him cracking the top 9. He's a better player than Baptiste right now, and Nylander needs more time in the AHL. Who do you see taking his place?


Baptiste is considerably better than Moulson and Nylander IMO has a 50/50 chance at making the roster out of camp

I see the Sabres LW playing out like this

Kane
Nylander
Pouliot
C.J. Smith

Or if Nylander doesn't make the roster

Kane
Girgensons
Pouliot
C.J. Smith
Sep 8, 2017 at 12:08
#10
Hardcore Sabres fan
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 7,787
Likes: 1,117
The Sabres in 3 years

Nylander (22 years old) - Eichel (23 years old) - Baptiste (25 years old)

Mittelstadt (21 years old) - O'Reilly (29 years old) - Okposo (32 years old)

Kane (29 years old) - Reinhart (24 years old) - Bailey (25 years old)

Asplund (22 years old) - Davidsson (21 years old) - Pu (22 years old)

Scandella (30 years old) - Ristolainen (25 years old)

Guhle (23 years old) - Antipin (27 years old)

Beaulieu (27 years old) - McCabe (26 years old)

Lehner (29 years old)
Ullmark (27 years old)

This seems to be a really good team that IF SOMEHOW the Sabres got Tavares would be made better, O'Reilly would be shipped out for futures to make the cap work.

This team, with or without Tavares could be scary good!
wojme liked this.
Dec 17, 2017 at 10:04
#11
@Pointerr21
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 7,444
Likes: 2,535
Quoting: Zach
I'm liking what I'm hearing from you Krak, I wish more people thought Buffalo wasn't still awful.

A couple weeks ago, my brother (Canadiens fan) said that he thinks Vegas makes playoffs before the Sabres


that looks like it's going to happen... Confused
Kotkaniemi15 liked this.
Dec 19, 2017 at 11:29
#12
Hardcore Sabres fan
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 7,787
Likes: 1,117
Quoting: boltscharge17
that looks like it's going to happen... Confused


Balls

squinty smile
Dec 21, 2017 at 3:55
#13
Below Market Value
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,232
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How bout now eh?
Kotkaniemi15 liked this.
Feb 16, 2018 at 11:59
#14
rangersandislesfan
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 26,882
Likes: 2,908
I would have fallen onto the ground laughing for a week if you had told me Vegas was going to make the playoffs.

Now i'd do the same if you told me they were going to miss the playoffs.
 
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