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Krueger, though I like him, must go now. And some of these lazy overpaid players must go


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You might think my weekend was a bad one. It was far from it.  You know I play the horses right?  I hit the pick 4 at Gulfstream in Florida, races 5-8, a nice 4 digit score.!!!

The Sabres, I did not get to see the games but saw a few minutes here and there, at a restaurant on Saturday.   No effort.   Krueger has lost them.  Losing Ullmark is something they cannot overcome.  And I think the players know that.  I saw no effort.  Like they did not care. Guys joking on the bench. Sad for Kim and Terry Pegula.  But things like this they are not going to stand.  Krueger.  I like the man.  But he has to be fired. They have to do it. Its not all his fault for sure. But that is the way it goes in the NHL.  When you have Eichel, Hall, Skinner, Olofsson, and Reinhart, and do not score in two games, something is going on.  NO EFFORT AND NO CARE.    I am not sure if they are trying to get Ralph fired?  Who knows.  But Eichel has not given 100% and the only game he played decent was the win vs NJ  or maybe the game before.  Cant remember.  But lack of effort is there. I would put the interim coach Smith in for now.

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Pegula has owned the Sabres for a decade. They've sucked every year he's owned them. All the guys calling the shots are his hires. They're on 6 coaches and counting, 4 gms. in 10 years.  They've picked top 8 in the draft every year for the last 8. The only 2 seasons they were over .500 were the first two he owned them...which was clearly a carry over.    If he's a "hockey guy" then I'm an astronaut. 

Adam Larsson, asked about Taylor Hall after the trade to New Jersey:   @jammer2:   Andrew Ference (not naming names, but later admitted by Hall himself that he was one of the guys in question):    

Did you color that photo in? 🤣   Honestly, I can't talk too much ...1975 was a hell of a long time ago, also.

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1 hour ago, Hockey Junkie said:

Eichel, Hall, Skinner

 

I'd blame the front office before blaming the coach, but I agree that it will be the coach that ultimately takes the fall 

 

You can add Mittelstadt to the list, although in his case I don't think it's lack of effort (possible); I think it's stupid player.

 

Hall and Skinner were frankly horrifically bad signings (and predictably so). Skinner is even worse than expected but even in Carolina there were stretches in which you wouldn't ice him on a bad AHL squad.  This is now extended, and he doesn't have to care because he's getting paid. That's all it's ever been about with this guy.  

 

Hall had a good year in New Jersey.  Almost an ego thing in response to being dumped by Edmonton.  There's a reason why the Oilers dumped him.  There's something significantly motivationally wrong there and I think he's contagious.

 

Which brings us to the guy that I think I'll upset you with:  Eichel.    I'm sorry, but the guy is a coach killer. At this point, I don't know whether it's nature or nurture. Clearly the guy has the ability, but he seems to lack either the attitude, the interest, or both. I say nature vs nurture because I don't know if it's in response to the several seasons of losing (understandable) or if that's just him and now he's a cause of perpetuating it.

 

The nature of the stops and starts of this season due to COVID, injury (1C, now starting goalie), etc. would hurt any team. And that's certainly a huge contributing factor.  I honestly don't know whether Krueger is a good coach or not, because all the above factors obscure a clear picture.

 

But let's face it, your front office has a Howie Rosemanesque penchant for predictably bad signings/acquisitions/trades (Okposo, Hutton, the above names--NOT Eichel-- trading Reilly away for used tampons, etc.).  That's not your current GM's fault but he continued it with Hall.

 

I don't know what the answer is.  I just don't think firing the coach (again)  is the answer.  There's been some musical chairs at GM, so that may not be the answer either.  It seems like an organizational thing, but I don't have any good answers to fix that.

 

It's a shame, because Buffalo fans deserve a good team.

Edited by ruxpin
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38 minutes ago, ruxpin said:

Which brings us to the guy that I think I'll upset you with:  Eichel.    I'm sorry, but the guy is a coach killer. At this point, I don't know whether it's nature or nurture. Clearly the guy has the ability, but he seems to lack either the attitude, the interest, or both. 


⬆️This all day long and twice on Sunday’s 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Hockey Junkie said:

Sad for Kim and Terry Pegula.


HJ don’t feel sad for them! When they first bought the franchise they seemed to want to change the culture and make the Sabres competitive again. Then the bought the Bills and all of their focus went there. It is more prestigious to own an NFL team  apparently and that’s where all there time, effort and money have gone.
 

Now that the Bills are successful and the up and coming darling of the league, they are the Pegula’s only priority. They couldn’t give a rats ass about the Sabres or Rochester Amerks any longer. 

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38 minutes ago, Samifan said:


HJ don’t feel sad for them! When they first bought the franchise they seemed to want to change the culture and make the Sabres competitive again. Then the bought the Bills and all of their focus went there. It is more prestigious to own an NFL team  apparently and that’s where all there time, effort and money have gone.
 

Now that the Bills are successful and the up and coming darling of the league, they are the Pegula’s only priority. They couldn’t give a rats ass about the Sabres or Rochester Amerks any longer. 

 

I agree for the most part, and I guess it's understandable.   I'm not sure "the money" part is fair.   I mean, they haven't spent the money wisely, but it's not like they've been penny-pinching either.   They've gone out and gotten people, but I'm not sure their pro-talent scouts are doing an effective job.   I mean, really, watching Skinners career, the result isn't terribly surprising.  This is his history (again, degree and length of ineptitude have increased, but I think in proportion to the paycheck).   I guess because he played well they chalked it up to "fresh start."    I think it was clear then and abundantly clear now, it was more "cash register" than anything else.

 

Hall also.  And they ponied up to Eichel and gave Okposo an inexplicably huge raise.   So, they're throwing money around.   I don't know how much the talent/scouting department has turned over while the GMs have ridden the revolving door, but I think maybe the time and effort is lacking there.   Arguably both pro and amateur. Cozens seems like a good pick (time will tell) but Mittelstadt seems like a wasted pick.   Blind squirrel and all that.

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I won't add a ton here, but I will say this bit more:

Before any coaches get canned, the players who are being paid a crap-ton of money need to look themselves in the mirror.

Also, while the GM HAS gone out and gotten players, as was already stated, you have to wonder if the RIGHT players were gotten....and there is always the matter of overall team depth, which I think Buffalo still lacks.
Team loses a guy here and there (albeit, key guys like Eichel and Ullmark), and there is simply no one there to step up.

Frankly, even if the coach WASN'T using his lines effectively, fact remains there are many players on this team that are massive disappointments, bottom line, that had they been playing like their pay says they should, they could overcome even "inept" coaching to a large degree.

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1 hour ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

I won't add a ton here, but I will say this bit more:

Before any coaches get canned, the players who are being paid a crap-ton of money need to look themselves in the mirror.

Also, while the GM HAS gone out and gotten players, as was already stated, you have to wonder if the RIGHT players were gotten....and there is always the matter of overall team depth, which I think Buffalo still lacks.
Team loses a guy here and there (albeit, key guys like Eichel and Ullmark), and there is simply no one there to step up.

Frankly, even if the coach WASN'T using his lines effectively, fact remains there are many players on this team that are massive disappointments, bottom line, that had they been playing like their pay says they should, they could overcome even "inept" coaching to a large degree.

Agreed.  

 

It seems to me it's top heavy and with pieces that don't seem to fit cohesively.  Within that, there's top-heavy pieces that aren't performing for various--but alarmingly similar--reasons (Hall & Skinner).  And then surrounded by people who are unable to step up either by ability or by affect of the contagion from the non-performing "stars."  

 

I don't know how the coach or the GM get out of this, actually.   They've steered the organization into a hostage situation in which they have huge contracts with players that know they aren't going anywhere and know there's little to nothing the team can do about it.    So, the coaching/GM treadmill continues.  I mean, can you imagine the dead cap space if the team started buying people out?   That's setting aside even the financial handicap of it, especially at a time where there's no gate coming in.   I know Pegula can "afford it," but not even people that can afford it want to swallow that kind of cash.

 

Again, what really sucks about it is that fan base really does deserve better than this, IMO.    I don't want to blame Pegula in the sense that he's not trying.   But I don't know from where I'm sitting in the cheap seats that there's been enough focus on the data collectors.

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6 hours ago, ruxpin said:

They've steered the organization into a hostage situation

 

That's wonderful description. 

 

For me, this all starts and ends with Hall. I think he's toxic in the room. Losing will follow him wherever he goes.

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Adam Larsson, asked about Taylor Hall after the trade to New Jersey:

Quote

"Taylor has been our best player in recent years, but it's also hard to tell what he has contributed. He never played his best games against the tougher teams, which we really needed it. However, he was fantastic when we met the little inferior teams."

 

@jammer2:

Quote

" Everyone knows I watched almost all of Hall's junior career. Klef might have stated it a bit to strong, but there is probably some truth to it. In Windsor, they basically put up with his showboating etc...Even though coach Bob Boughner ran a tight ship, Hall got away with a lot of stupid stuff.....for instance, double shifting without permission....doing some fancy dipsy doodle on the penalty kill when it was not necessary. I think Boughner knew if he outright confronted him, Hall would sulk and cause a major disruption at a time when they were going for their first of 2 Memorial Cup Championships. My buddy at work had his kid playing on the 09 Spits....and he told us what we already knew, Hall could be a diva at times....and didn't always put the team first. I thought it might have been just some immature stuff from a young kid...but this new info....not really a shocker."

 

Andrew Ference (not naming names, but later admitted by Hall himself that he was one of the guys in question):

 

Quote

 

“We had other guys that had been on playoff teams, and they had the same frustrations. They’d come and practice hard and there’s a group of guys there that had ‘Too cool to try hard.’ They had derogatory terms for trying too hard in practice. That’s the culture, right... So your voice only goes so far with people that only respect how good your toe drag is and whether or not you’re out partying."

 


 

 

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Keith Jones noted that Krueger made no effort to pull the goalie and endeavor to score in the last few minutes.  He thought it was a bad decision and white flag waving.

 

This franchise is going through its walk in the desert.  They've had some good picks.  Nothing gels.  

 

If there's a blow-up, would you want a Dahlin or Ristolainen?  Maybe?  Would a Claude Julien or other 1-A coach want to right the ship?  That might be the big Q?  I feel sorry for the fans, who've been devoted through a bankruptcy and had a tradition of good play for many years. They deserve better.  And I have to wonder if Bettman and the general staff of the league will eventually pull strings for management improvements, behind the scenes?

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16 minutes ago, Podein25 said:

 

That's wonderful description. 

 

For me, this all starts and ends with Hall. I think he's toxic in the room. Losing will follow him wherever he goes.


While I too agree with the "hostage situation" description, I do NOT agree it starts and ends with Taylor Hall.

Granted, I am not privy to what is said in the locker rooms, or what he is like in there, but if he REALLY is allowed to dictate the culture of the room, then the Sabres have ZERO locker room leadership (cough...Okposo...*cough Ristolainen.....**COUGH!!!** Eichel...) and that in itself might be the main problem.

I DO agree that Taylor Hall was brought in there to bolster the team offensively and for the money he is making, he has become the equivalent of buying a used Lumina "as is", from Crazy Bubba's Guaranteed Used Car Lot.
BUT, he is only there for the one year.

So the 'hostage situation' really sits squarely on the shoulders of the big dollar, long term players....such as the afore-coughed up names, and others, such as Jeff Skinner, who really do look like they are stealing a paycheck at this moment.

Hall will make his 8M this year, and if the Sabres are smart, they will let him walk at the end of the year (though pouting as if they really wanted him to stay, while letting Hall thinks its HIS idea to walk), and let him become someone else's likely very high priced problem.

He is still a great talent, as I know you know, but his 'bang for the buck' factor is extremely low.
Tell me someone will sign Hall for around 4M a year, and I will tell you that team may be getting a relatively low risk, high reward player.

But Hall probably thinks he is still worth 7-9M AAV, and worse yet, some wacky GM will think the same, and he will be locked in, somewhere, for a ridiculous amount and whomever did so, will get less for what they bargained for out of him.

Why o WHY do I get the feeling someone like the Rangers will sign him................................
You Philly fans would have collective aneurisms if it were the Flyers...that I am pretty sure of. :shifty: 

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2 minutes ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

You Philly fans would have collective aneurisms if it were the Flyers...that I am pretty sure of. :shifty: 

 

Yes, I would drive to Buffalo which, let's be honest, nobody wants to do, and kidnap him to prevent him from getting on the plane.

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5 minutes ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

You Philly fans would have collective aneurisms if it were the Flyers...that I am pretty sure of. :shifty: 

You only say that because it's true.

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12 minutes ago, ruxpin said:

You only say that because it's true.

 

Over the years I've come to understand you Flyer fans, even if just a bit, to know that a long term 8M AAV contract in Philly for Hall may very well have you guys "do a Vancouver" and start burning stuff all over the metropolis... 

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40 minutes ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

and start burning stuff all over the metropolis.

That's your average Wednesday.

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1 hour ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

 

Over the years I've come to understand you Flyer fans, even if just a bit, to know that a long term 8M AAV contract in Philly for Hall may very well have you guys "do a Vancouver" and start burning stuff all over the metropolis... 

we are that predictable... huh  🤔... 😉

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2 hours ago, JR Ewing said:

Adam Larsson, asked about Taylor Hall after the trade to New Jersey:

 

@jammer2:

 

Andrew Ference (not naming names, but later admitted by Hall himself that he was one of the guys in question):

 

 

Those quotes say a lot....

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2 hours ago, Podein25 said:

 

That's wonderful description. 

 

For me, this all starts and ends with Hall. I think he's toxic in the room. Losing will follow him wherever he goes.

 

Could of been worse: Could have been Nail Yakupov lol.  ;) 

 

https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=130572

 

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14 hours ago, Hockey Junkie said:

You might think my weekend was a bad one. It was far from it.  You know I play the horses right?  I hit the pick 4 at Gulfstream in Florida, races 5-8, a nice 4 digit score.!!!

The Sabres, I did not get to see the games but saw a few minutes here and there, at a restaurant on Saturday.   No effort.   Krueger has lost them.  Losing Ullmark is something they cannot overcome.  And I think the players know that.  I saw no effort.  Like they did not care. Guys joking on the bench. Sad for Kim and Terry Pegula.  But things like this they are not going to stand.  Krueger.  I like the man.  But he has to be fired. They have to do it. Its not all his fault for sure. But that is the way it goes in the NHL.  When you have Eichel, Hall, Skinner, Olofsson, and Reinhart, and do not score in two games, something is going on.  NO EFFORT AND NO CARE.    I am not sure if they are trying to get Ralph fired?  Who knows.  But Eichel has not given 100% and the only game he played decent was the win vs NJ  or maybe the game before.  Cant remember.  But lack of effort is there. I would put the interim coach Smith in for now.

 

Sometimes a division is "full" in the sense that a team can't move up until someone else comes down. 

 

The Sabres are in a division with the Capitals, Flyers, Penguins, Islanders, and Bruins. The Bruins and Flyers don't rebuild, so they're #1 and #2 forever in a division like this (if it were to persist). That means you're battling the Penguins and Islanders for scraps, and that's all the Sabres will ever get.

 

The Penguins are preparing to draft the next Sidney Crosby in a few years when the lottery gives it to them again, or maybe Gary Bettman will legislate that Connor McDavid has to be traded to the Penguins "for the good of the game" in order to "save the franchise" for the ten millionth time. Your best bet is that the Islanders drop off sharply after this brief run of success. I'm confident your Sabres can climb above the Islanders someday, but they will never out-win the Bruins or Flyers.   :) 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Howie58 said:

Keith Jones noted that Krueger made no effort to pull the goalie and endeavor to score in the last few minutes.  He thought it was a bad decision and white flag waving.

 

I love it!  That sends a strong message to the team.

 

It says: "If you guys aren't going to try, neither am I." :) 

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14 minutes ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

The Penguins are preparing to draft the next Sidney Crosby in a few years when the lottery gives it to them again, or maybe Gary Bettman will legislate that Connor McDavid has to be traded to the Penguins "for the good of the game" in order to "save the franchise" for the ten millionth time.

Now you are starting to think like a Flyers fan. 😉😁

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5 minutes ago, pilldoc said:

Now you are starting to think like a Flyers fan. 😉😁

@WordsOfWisdom, I'd recommend seeking medical help now while you still have a chance 

 

Run, Forrest; Run!

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42 minutes ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

 

Could of been worse: Could have been Nail Yakupov lol.  ;) 

 

https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=130572

 

 

That's pretty different. Nail has ability, but was extremely homesick and doesn't have the best hockey IQ you'll ever see. Hall is a guy who spent years (according to guys who played with him) mailing it in for big games and belittling teammates for daring to work hard in practice.

 

 

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I'd say the GM needs to go first. I understand he was chummy with the owners, instead of being chosen out of many candidates. They need somebody who would blow everything up in the style Guerin did with the Wild.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

 

Sometimes a division is "full" in the sense that a team can't move up until someone else comes down. 

 

The Sabres are in a division with the Capitals, Flyers, Penguins, Islanders, and Bruins. The Bruins and Flyers don't rebuild, so they're #1 and #2 forever in a division like this (if it were to persist). That means you're battling the Penguins and Islanders for scraps, and that's all the Sabres will ever get.

 

The Penguins are preparing to draft the next Sidney Crosby in a few years when the lottery gives it to them again, or maybe Gary Bettman will legislate that Connor McDavid has to be traded to the Penguins "for the good of the game" in order to "save the franchise" for the ten millionth time. Your best bet is that the Islanders drop off sharply after this brief run of success. I'm confident your Sabres can climb above the Islanders someday, but they will never out-win the Bruins or Flyers.   :) 

 

 

Don’t agree with your top two assessment.  Are you kidding?  Philly has not one star, oh maybe Couturier. Do you think they are going to beat a team like Toronto or Tampa and win the Cup unless they do some rebuilding?  And let me remind you the Leafs have not won since before Sabres existed.  

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