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Sabre trio fits in with big boys

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Old
09-21-2011, 11:17 AM
  #1
joshjull
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Sabre trio fits in with big boys

Line of Foligno, Adam, Kassian is man-sized

http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/sa...icle564218.ece


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There's a tendency during training camp to call anyone who's not a veteran a "kid." As in, "Wow, that kid looked good," or, "Man, that kid has a lot to learn."

There is one exception to that in Buffalo Sabres' camp. It's the line of center Luke Adam, left wing Marcus Foligno and right wing Zack Kassian. They're essentially new -- Adam played 19 games for Buffalo last season as a rookie, while the other two are entering their first seasons as pros -- but no one is calling them kids in First Niagara Center.

"They're a man line, they're not a kid line," coach Lindy Ruff said.

The three have been inseparable for the past couple of weeks, skating together on the ice, joining each other for film sessions or walking the halls to get ready. Averaging over 6-foot-2 and weighing more than 210 pounds, they certainly stick out despite their youth.

Quote:
"They did some good things," Ruff said Tuesday. "There were some plays inside the game that you'd like them to be harder on as a big line. They were in on two two-on-ones, and both Marcus shot. One created a pretty good rebound for Kassian.

"Overall, I thought they were good. They can be better than that, though."

Quote:
"I've just got to show that I can play both ends of the rink," Adam said. "I learned a lot last year in my 19 games, whether it was playing away from the puck or D-zone coverage or offensive zone. I'm real grateful for the opportunity that I'm going to be given, and hopefully I take full advantage of this and make this hockey team."

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The Sabres gave Kassian a good look last preseason before sending him back to juniors. The 6-foot-3, 214-pounder feels he's better prepared to make an NHL push this year.
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Foligno continues his rapid ascension. Selected as a project in the fourth round of the 2009 draft, he's become a top prospect.

"You're talking about two players that got here different ways," Ruff said. "Marcus has got here probably purely on hard work. He became a better skater and realizing that he's got to be a banger and going through people.

"Zack's ... got a tremendous amount of skill, can play in the special teams situations, power play especially, fighting-wise was one of the toughest guys in the Ontario League, so they've gone down different paths. I think it's easier to say Marcus is more adaptable or a little bit ahead because his game would probably be a little bit on the simpler side."

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09-21-2011, 11:27 AM
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flyingpig
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Right now, they only fit in size wise. They really need to wratchet up their play to make a legitimate impression on the coaching staff, particularly Adam who has the only true chance to make the big squad as we presently stand.

They looked dominant in Traverse City, but looked slow (and almost disinterested) with the increased speed of the pro game agaisnt the Canes on Monday.

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09-21-2011, 11:56 AM
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SiriusBizinuez
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One season in the AHL together and I think this line can be dynamite. As long as they keep pushing one another and being pushed to the next level (which I think they will, development seems to be tantamount to this team) this line will be awesome for years to come. Just not quite yet.

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09-21-2011, 12:24 PM
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dire wolf
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Even if he doesn't make the team out of camp, I'll be very surprised if Adam doesn't wind up spending most of the year with the big club, so I don't think that line will play together all year. However, if the Traverse City tourney means anything at all, I agree that this could be a fantastic line in a year or two.

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09-21-2011, 12:32 PM
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ZZamboni
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dire wolf View Post
Even if he doesn't make the team out of camp, I'll be very surprised if Adam doesn't wind up spending most of the year with the big club, so I don't think that line will play together all year. However, if the Traverse City tourney means anything at all, I agree that this could be a fantastic line in a year or two.
Enquiring minds want to know... What exactly do you see in Luke Adam that makes you think he is NHL ready to be effective? So much so, that it would be better for him to be up with the Sabres instead of developing a better game by playing in the AHL with Kassian and Foligno.

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09-21-2011, 01:02 PM
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Timbo Slice
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Give em another year and they'll be terrorizing the league together.

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09-21-2011, 01:45 PM
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GameMisconduct
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 71Zamboni View Post
Enquiring minds want to know... What exactly do you see in Luke Adam that makes you think he is NHL ready to be effective? So much so, that it would be better for him to be up with the Sabres instead of developing a better game by playing in the AHL with Kassian and Foligno.
I think expecting him to be up a lot has more to do with injuries than development preferences.

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09-21-2011, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbo Slice View Post
Give em another year and they'll be terrorizing the league together.
Pretty much. Let them terrorize the AHL for a year as a line.

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09-21-2011, 02:14 PM
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dire wolf
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Originally Posted by GameMisconduct View Post
I think expecting him to be up a lot has more to do with injuries than development preferences.
mostly this

EDIT: also, despite certain facets of his game that are not so impressive, he strikes me as one of those guys that just has a nose for the net and scores more than you would think he should (sort of a Robitaille-lite -- call him "Lucky Luke"!)

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09-21-2011, 02:45 PM
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Kruschiki
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On one hand, I'd love to see Adam make the big club as a contributor, but I'm not sure he's ready. On the other hand, it would be awesome for that line to be together for Rochester fans.

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09-21-2011, 03:15 PM
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Havok89
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Adam is close, but I think another year in the AHL with regular call ups will be better for his development.

Kassian and Foligno are not ready. Give them the year to dominate the AHL and hope they're ready for next year. This could be a deadly bottom six:

Gerbe-Adam-Kassian
Foligno-Gaustad-Kaleta/McCormick

Swap Gerbe/Foligno if need be.

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09-21-2011, 04:02 PM
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brian_griffin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbo Slice View Post
Give em another year and they'll be terrorizing the league together.
My hope as well.

I'm really torn between Adam as the 13th Sabre forward, regardless of whether he gets 60 games at <12 minutes TOI in BUF, vs. a full year of bonding / synchronizing with Kassian & Foligno in Roch.

I guess if #72's biggest need is to get experience at NHL defensive responsibilities at Center in the neutral and D-zones, and the skating those assignments require, then he needs the minutes in BUF.

But I'm intrigued by the thought of a potential Foligno-Adam-Kassian unit next season. Assume Boyes is gone and Hecht takes a Grier/Nieds role, then regardless of how Mr. Potatohead lineup is put together, 2012-13 could look like:

26-9-29
[63]-23-21
42-(28)-[36]
Kassian-Adam-Foligno
(55), 8

(UFA) [RFA] in 2012

edit: FWIW, Sabres.com current 14-forward roster has Colin Stuart and Ales Kotalik, and no Luke Adam. But they can't start the season like that.

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Old
09-21-2011, 04:14 PM
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Reacher Gilt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Havok89 View Post
Give them the year to dominate the AHL and hope they're ready for next year.
for the playoffs

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Old
09-21-2011, 09:57 PM
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Husko
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A year in the ahl before they're all in the nhl as our 4th line? I like.

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