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With Adam's emergence be happy with the center situation. Its what we've wanted.

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Old
10-20-2011, 01:12 PM
  #1
joshjull
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With Adam's emergence be happy with the center situation. Its what we've wanted.

For years I've read post after post lamenting that we didn't have center depth. That we needed another top 6 center, preferably one with size, that could gel offensively with Vanek. Many wanted to see Roy as the 2nd line center because they felt he would be a great 1b or 2nd line center. We also need more size at center.


Folks thats exactly what we have right now.

-Adam is the big center (6'2" 215lbs) thats clicking with Vanek (and Pommer) and adding size to the top 6.
-Roy is centering the 2nd line.
-Goose is essentially our 3rd line center playing in key situations. That gives us two pretty big top 9 centers (Adam 6'2" 215lbs and Goose 6'5" 212lbs). Leino isn't exactly small either at 6'1" 190lbs. I can't recall us having that much size at center in a long time.
-We've adding Leino, who up until the Montreal game, was giving us solid center play.
-When Hecht is healthy that will give us yet another top 9 center option. By my count thats five top 9 center options.

Everyone is so focused on Leino and his struggles that they've overlooked such a positive situation developing at center this year. Even looking forward we have two kids in Catenacci and Sundher tearing things up in juniors right now.

Leino's situation is actually a product of something positive at center. We have better options at center right now. Who thought we would be able to say that this year? Adam was given a chance in camp between Vanek/Pommer and he ran with it. He has been fantastic offensively. Granted he needs work in other areas of his game but no one expect this from him at this point. Even me, who was his biggest advocate in the summer. I think folks are missing the fact that Adam took the spot Leino was likely to get. Its not like Leino played like crap between Vanek/Pommer and they had to replace him or try someone else there. Its also not like Leino was playing bad in camp or early in the season. Thats not the case at all. Until the Habs game he was playig solid and at times very good hockey at center. Its just a numbers game right now.

Be happy that our center situation is stronger than we hoped it would be coming into the season.


Last edited by joshjull: 10-20-2011 at 01:40 PM.
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10-20-2011, 01:19 PM
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(PS. I agree with you.)

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10-20-2011, 01:37 PM
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I only have a hint of worry, it's too early, if it's like 40 games into the season, and he's got like 20 points, I'd be a little disappointed.

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10-20-2011, 01:40 PM
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joshjull
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Originally Posted by Kishire View Post
I only have a hint of worry, it's too early, if it's like 40 games into the season, and he's got like 20 points, I'd be a little disappointed.
This isn't really about Leino. Its about the center situation and Adam's emergence. I'm going to edited the thread title to reflect that. my bad.


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10-20-2011, 01:53 PM
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The funny part is that even if Adam regresses or can't keep up as the season goes on, it just opens up an opportunity for Leino to step in there. I'd actually be interested in seeing what Leino could do between Vanek and Pominville. You still have Roy who will put up 70+ points playing anywhere, so I'm pretty comfortable with our center situation overall. Obviously I'd like to have a premier center, but I don't think it's ultimately necessary to have one in order to succeed.

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10-20-2011, 01:56 PM
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joshjull
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Originally Posted by Beechsack View Post



(PS. I agree with you.)
I'm shocked more than anything.


In the summer had someone said we would be getting a 6'2" 215lb center to play with Vanek/Pommer. A center that doesnt play a perimeter game and thrives in traffic and should mesh well with those two. Fans would be besided themselves with excitement that the type of center we've wanted for years is finally coming. Well he's here and no one seems to realize it or they're having a hard time believing its true.


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10-20-2011, 02:00 PM
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I agree that it's way too early for people to panic.

This team is deeper than it's been since the days of Drury and Briere. Sabres are winning now and don't need Leino to do a whole lot. Eventually, players will start slumping and the lines will get mixed up and Leino will get a bigger opportunity.

He's on a new team, playing a new position in a new system with new linemates. Takes time to get comfortable with everything and adjust.

Pretty nice luxury to have players like him and Boyes on the 4th line ready to jump up and take on bigger minutes whenever they are needed.

If you really wanted to get Leino going, they could move him up to one of the top two lines but how do you bump down Adam right now? Right now, this looks like a good problem to have. More top-6 players than we have space for.

If we reach the midway point or later and Leino is stuck on the 4th line and not showing much, that might be a bigger concern. But it might also mean that Adam has really established himself as a core player on this team, which would be pretty nice.

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10-20-2011, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
Fans would be besided themselves with excitement that the type of center we've wanted for years is finally coming. Well he's here and no one seems to realize it or they're have a hard time believing its true.
That's it for me. Five games is too small a sample to judge anyone. I love what Adam has done so far, but he needs to keep doing it for me to believe it's real. If it is, the Sabres are golden.

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10-20-2011, 02:17 PM
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Given these two options, which one would you rather have:

A: Players are fighting for icetime because the team is fairly deep at every position. Individual players may have a couple bad games now and then, but someone else usually steps up, and the team still wins.

B: Top line players are logging the most icetime. Two or three guys are relied on every game, and if they have an off night, it's a good chance the team will lose. Younger guys are pressed into service too early, and end up over their head with the speed of the NHL game.

I'll take situation A every day of the week and twice on Sunday, and that's basically what we have here now.

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10-20-2011, 02:20 PM
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I have actually started to want to see Roy back with Vanek. That is unless Adam can continue to find ways to get to the net and cause a disruption down the middle.

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10-20-2011, 02:35 PM
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I'm just cautious, I guess.

Adam hitting a wall, losing confidence, etc etc... Isn't out of the realm of possibility, he's a rooke.

And IMHO Leino just isn't a top-6 center (top-6 winger, yes, but not center).

And if that happens, we're back where we were last season.

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10-20-2011, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabres57 View Post
That's it for me. Five games is too small a sample to judge anyone. I love what Adam has done so far, but he needs to keep doing it for me to believe it's real. If it is, the Sabres are golden.
Same here. If Adam is the first line center we've been looking for to pair with Pommer/Vanek, then our C issues are over.

Big-first-line-C
Roy
Goose
Leino

Hell yes.

I'm just not sure after 5 games if Adam is "Big-first-line-C".

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10-20-2011, 02:37 PM
  #13
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Originally Posted by ImpressedDAHagent View Post
I have actually started to want to see Roy back with Vanek. That is unless Adam can continue to find ways to get to the net and cause a disruption down the middle.
Why would you want to break up a line that has combined for 20 points in five games? You don't screw with what's working.

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10-20-2011, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Sabres57 View Post
Why would you want to break up a line that has combined for 20 points in five games? You don't screw with what's working.
because they were outplayed against carolina and montreal


I enjoy the line.

I just think we could get more from the line if Adam skated hard to the net. We need someone to cause a disruption and he is really good at passing and shooting from in close. Adam's ability to cause a disruption down the middle is as noticeable as Gaustad and we need that.


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10-20-2011, 03:00 PM
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I think that Adam has pleasantly surprisesd so far. He was sort of lost last year in his games up here and I expected that his development at this level would take longer.

Thanks to ShaMo for knocking Hecht out and allowing Adam to move away from Kassian and Foligno in the last fewe pre-season games.

I love Adam and Roy as top two centers if Adam can adequately continue his play.

The only thing I disagree with in the original post is that I do not think that Leino is a "fourth line" center, at elast not in teh traditional fourth line way. He is a top 9 player whether at center with the proper wingers or playing at wing. The problem is that if Leino is top 9 and Gerbe plays with Goose and Kaleta, he becomes a "fourth line" player.

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10-20-2011, 03:16 PM
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good highlights so far

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10-20-2011, 04:08 PM
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joshjull
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Originally Posted by Sabres57 View Post
That's it for me. Five games is too small a sample to judge anyone. I love what Adam has done so far, but he needs to keep doing it for me to believe it's real. If it is, the Sabres are golden.
Even if he doesn't stay with Vanek/Pommer. Adam has still changed the dynamic at center.


What was the thinking on Adam coming into camp?

Hopefully he plays well enough to make the team but we're not sure if he is NHL ready. If he made it, most felt he would be the 3rd line center or part of a 3a/3b set up with Goose. If he didn't make it he would continue to develop as the #1 center in Rochester and on call ups.


But instead of that we've seen Adam build off of his Traverse city success and earn a shot with Vanek/Pommer. He then took that opportunity and turned in a level of play none of use saw coming.

Adam now has us worrying if he can sustain a ppg pace as our top line center. Thats a far cry from worrying if he is ready for regular NHL duty. Did anyone realistically think that was in the cards before camp?

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10-20-2011, 05:01 PM
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Hey, I'll be one of the first to admit, I thought Adam wasn't NHL ready. I thought he needed more time in the AHL. He's not fast, and seemed a little clumsy to me. I am certainly not on the "Adam is an awesome addition" boat. Buuuuuut I do have a foot on the dock and slowly walking toward the boat.

Like Gerbe last year, I want to take a good chunk of games before getting on the boat or not. I am slow to warm up to players, especially unproven NHL rookies. But so far Adam has done well as an NHL center. I hope he improves even more throughout the season.

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10-20-2011, 05:12 PM
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If 5 games is enough to convince you've Adam is the #1 center this team has been crying for since 2007, Phil Kessel is this season's MVP.

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10-20-2011, 05:15 PM
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joshjull
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Originally Posted by haseoke39 View Post
If 5 games is enough to convince you've Adam is the #1 center this team has been crying for since 2007, Phil Kessel is this season's MVP.
I've made several posts in this thread trying to further flesh out my point and thats not it.


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10-20-2011, 05:23 PM
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It will be interesting to see if Adam can keep it up all season. I think anyone could play well between Vanek and Pominville for a short while, I really hope this is a result of Adam elevating his play and not just good luck or some lucky bounces. We know Lindy will be quick to bump him down if he starts to falter, so Luke needs to seize this opportunity and keep playing the way he's started.

It will be interesting to see if other teams start trying to intimidate him. I haven't seen him play real physical in his first two years here even though he's a big guy, I think if teams start hitting him every time he touches the puck they may be able to take him off his game.

I picked him up in my fantasy hockey league so I'm rooting for him to stay on the top line all season!

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10-20-2011, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haseoke39 View Post
If 5 games is enough to convince you've Adam is the #1 center this team has been crying for since 2007, Phil Kessel is this season's MVP.
The point is right now he is that number one center. Him staying there or continuing to get better is debatable, but for the time being he is the center most people wanted to get in free agency.

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10-20-2011, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
I've made several posts in this thread trying to further flesh out my point and thats not it.

Even if he pans out and is a competent top 9 center this year, our depth is still lacking.

Sure we have a bunch of guys who CAN play center, but none of them play center well (Hecht, Boyes, and so far, Leino).

We also have NO ONE on the farm who could come up and produce for even a short period of time.

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10-20-2011, 05:44 PM
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joshjull
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Originally Posted by Mergus merganser View Post
Even if he pans out and is a competent top 9 center this year, our depth is still lacking.
No it isn't. You're arguing about too different things and merging them as one. Depth is one thing and the quality of the players is another.

We have plenty of NHL center depth with Roy, Adam, Goose, Leino, Hecht, McCormick and Boyes able to play center in the NHL.

Quote:
Sure we have a bunch of guys who CAN play center, but none of them play center well (Hecht, Boyes, and so far, Leino).
You left out Roy who without question can play center very well. You also are ignoring the fact that the driving force of our top line is Vanek/Pommer. They have been humming along since the middle of last year regardless of who centers them. So we don't need a superstar between them for them to be as good as they've been since the middle of last year.

Quote:
We also have NO ONE on the farm who could come up and produce for even a short period of time.
If we have so many injuries that we need center help from Rochester then we are screwed regardless. Next year we should have Sundher there and Catenacci the year after.


Last edited by joshjull: 10-20-2011 at 06:06 PM.
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10-20-2011, 05:52 PM
  #25
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Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
For years I've read post after post lamenting that we didn't have center depth. That we needed another top 6 center, preferably one with size, that could gel offensively with Vanek. Many wanted to see Roy as the 2nd line center because they felt he would be a great 1b or 2nd line center. We also need more size at center.


Folks thats exactly what we have right now.

-Adam is the big center (6'2" 215lbs) thats clicking with Vanek (and Pommer) and adding size to the top 6.
-Roy is centering the 2nd line.
-Goose is essentially our 3rd line center playing in key situations. That gives us two pretty big top 9 centers (Adam 6'2" 215lbs and Goose 6'5" 212lbs). Leino isn't exactly small either at 6'1" 190lbs. I can't recall us having that much size at center in a long time.
-We've adding Leino, who up until the Montreal game, was giving us solid center play.
-When Hecht is healthy that will give us yet another top 9 center option. By my count thats five top 9 center options.

Everyone is so focused on Leino and his struggles that they've overlooked such a positive situation developing at center this year. Even looking forward we have two kids in Catenacci and Sundher tearing things up in juniors right now.

Leino's situation is actually a product of something positive at center. We have better options at center right now. Who thought we would be able to say that this year? Adam was given a chance in camp between Vanek/Pommer and he ran with it. He has been fantastic offensively. Granted he needs work in other areas of his game but no one expect this from him at this point. Even me, who was his biggest advocate in the summer. I think folks are missing the fact that Adam took the spot Leino was likely to get. Its not like Leino played like crap between Vanek/Pommer and they had to replace him or try someone else there. Its also not like Leino was playing bad in camp or early in the season. Thats not the case at all. Until the Habs game he was playig solid and at times very good hockey at center. Its just a numbers game right now.

Be happy that our center situation is stronger than we hoped it would be coming into the season.
I agree. It's nice to have some stability down the middle finally. Adam was drafted to fill that slot and he's progressed faster then I thought he would. You definitely were the main advocate for Adam and even you didn't have him playing at a first line level.

Adam's play is coming at a perfect time as Leino continues to get more comfortable within Lindy's system.

You should talk to your son however. He was texting me today saying Leino should get a shot playing between Vanek and Poms. I don't think that should happen unless Adam goes through some rookie struggles.

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