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Old
12-01-2011, 01:42 PM
  #76
Zip15
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Yet despite being the worst player in the history of hockey, he currently leads the team in +/-. However limited you believe that stat to be, teams simply aren't scoring that frequently when he's on the ice. Whether it's by witchcraft, luck, or whatever, his gaffes aren't ending up in the net. And the QOC is close to Leo and Rej(min. 5gp):

Ehrhoff (.009)
Regehr (-.003)
Myers (-.017)
Sekera (-.050)
Gragnani (-.054)
Leopold (-.065)

He's playing third-pairing minutes and getting offensive zone starts during somewhat sheltered minutes. He's a rookie. Why is this surprising? It's interesting that in other contexts (Miller) people want to talk about production/performance vis-a-vis compensation, but when a guy's play is commensurate with his compensation, nobody gets into that conversation.

Look, I understand his lack of physicality is frustrating, but he is far from the biggest problem on this team. Wasn't our offensive depth supposed to be the keystone on which this forward corps was built? Weren't we going to have like seven or eight 20+ scorers? Yeah, well, we have four on pace for more than 15. Let's not blame those guys. Let's blame the guy making $550k to play third-pairing minutes for many of this team's problems.

The GDT's have become almost unreadable because of him. Don't score on a PP? Gragnani's fault (well, or Roy's). Pass to Ehrhoff hits a rut in the ice and goes over Ehrhoff's stick? Bad pass, Gragnani. I'm almost to the point where I'm hoping the guy comes out of the lineup just so that I don't have to read it anymore.

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12-01-2011, 01:42 PM
  #77
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And Kronwall's spot on that list is iffy cause of the lockout.

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12-01-2011, 01:59 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by punkr0x View Post
Absolutely. You have to go a whole three years back to find a defenseman on that list who got significant minutes on a cup winning team.
LOL bringing up Boychuk just hurts your argument.
He has a job in the NHL right now because he's a cheap, serviceable, physical defenseman, not because he scores points.
He won the Eddie Shore Award because he scored 65 points that season, but he will never come close to that in the NHL.
Gragnani is cheap and that's it.
Since he's not capable defensively or physically, it means that he's more likely to be like almost every other defenseman on that list and not an exception like Boychuk.

As Chain said, Boychuk and Kronwall are the exceptions to the rule and the only defenseman to win it who has been able to contribute offensively in the NHL is Kronwall.
And as struckbyaparkedcar mentions, Kronwall played in the AHL during the lockout and would have likely been with the Wings that year as he played a quarter of the previous season with them, so counting him is kind of iffy.

All that winning this award does is basically solidify your place as a AHL/NHL tweener that eventually goes to Europe.

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12-01-2011, 02:38 PM
  #79
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I'm with Zip on this. I guess it's easier to blame the regular scapegoats (Gragnani, Ruff, Connolly, etc.) for all of the team's problems than to actually do any critical analysis. That's just lazy. Again, I'm not a member of the MAG fan club, but I feel like I'm being forced to defend him a bit based on the ridiculous level of criticism against him. By reading this board, you'd think he was firing 2 shots a game directly into his own net.

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12-01-2011, 03:28 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by dire wolf View Post
I'm with Zip on this. I guess it's easier to blame the regular scapegoats (Gragnani, Ruff, Connolly, etc.) for all of the team's problems than to actually do any critical analysis. That's just lazy. Again, I'm not a member of the MAG fan club, but I feel like I'm being forced to defend him a bit based on the ridiculous level of criticism against him. By reading this board, you'd think he was firing 2 shots a game directly into his own net.
I don't blame him for our problems.
He makes plenty of mistakes that don't always cost us and is force fed power play time and doesn't do much with it.
He's just kind of there.
I just hate seeing people think that since he won the Eddie Shore Award he'll become a great NHL defenseman or that he's the next Brian Campbell.

Also, might as well mention it here:
Anyone else remember that feature on how the Sabres were using heart monitors at practice?
It was either on their website or on one of the pre-season broadcasts, but I swear I remember Gragnani's heart rate being by far the highest on the team, which is just great for a defenseman.

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12-01-2011, 03:30 PM
  #81
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Originally Posted by jfb392 View Post
I don't blame him for our problems.
He makes plenty of mistakes that don't always cost us and is force fed power play time and doesn't do much with it.
He's just kind of there.
I just hate seeing people think that since he won the Eddie Shore Award he'll become a great NHL defenseman or that he's the next Brian Campbell.

Also, might as well mention it here:
Anyone else remember that feature on how the Sabres were using heart monitors at practice?
It was either on their website or on one of the pre-season broadcasts, but I swear I remember Gragnani's heart rate being by far the highest on the team, which is just great for a defenseman.
You're way overstating my point. All I said was that based on the Eddie Shore award, I doubted that most people thought he had no chance at an NHL career. Very different point.

Do you have a link for the HR monitor article? would be interested to read that.

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12-01-2011, 03:33 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by dire wolf View Post
You're way overstating my point. All I said was that based on the Eddie Shore award, I doubted that most people thought he had no chance at an NHL career. Very different point.

Do you have a link for the HR monitor article? would be interested to read that.
Sorry about that then, but some people (punkr0x) seem to think that it matters.

I don't and that's why I mentioned it.
I'm pretty sure it was a video feature but can't remember if it was online or during a game (and if it was, there's probably no chance that we'd get to see it again).

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12-01-2011, 04:15 PM
  #83
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Sorry about that then, but some people (punkr0x) seem to think that it matters.

I don't and that's why I mentioned it.
I'm pretty sure it was a video feature but can't remember if it was online or during a game (and if it was, there's probably no chance that we'd get to see it again).
I'm not saying the Eddie Shore award means he's an All-Star but I do think it means something that he was named the best defenseman at the level below the NHL. I admit the award winners don't have a great track record but surely that has to be coincidence, there's no reason for players to consistently be the best in the AHL and completely useless at the next level. It's the same game, just a different skill level. It's not like he dominated his local broomball league or something.

This is pretty much make or break for Gragnani. He has nothing left to prove at the AHL level. Lindy Ruff seems to be giving him every opportunity to prove himself at the NHL level and I applaud that. Let him get accustomed to the pace of the NHL game, give him a chance and at the end of the year if he didn't develop into an NHL player, fine, don't resign him.

Everyone seems to agree he's not costing us games so why are we in such a rush to bench him? We want the best team possible in April, and that means in November we need to let guys work on their games. Obviously Ruff and Regier feel that Gragnani will develop into a good player for us and for that reason they're giving him a lot of leash, and I agree with that approach. I feel like some of you would be crying for him to be benched even if we were 24-0 because McNabb throws more hits.

I don't think Gragnani is doing great on the power play right now, I don't even think he's living up to modest expectations. I only feel he's doing well enough that his game is really not worth commenting on. The only reason I defend him is because of the overwhelming and undeserved criticism I see of him after every loss.

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12-01-2011, 04:24 PM
  #84
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Gragnani is basically receiving the Campbell treatment right now. It may or may not work out in the end, but right now he is killing our PP with his slow decisions, poor passes, and refusal to shoot.

Also if you actually watch him play defense, its pretty obvious how much easier a time opposing forwards have against him than any of our other guys. That he has the best +/- on the team is just about the strongest evidence I've ever seen that the +/- stat is meaningless.

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12-01-2011, 04:50 PM
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dire wolf View Post
I'm with Zip on this. I guess it's easier to blame the regular scapegoats (Gragnani, Ruff, Connolly, etc.) for all of the team's problems than to actually do any critical analysis. That's just lazy. Again, I'm not a member of the MAG fan club, but I feel like I'm being forced to defend him a bit based on the ridiculous level of criticism against him. By reading this board, you'd think he was firing 2 shots a game directly into his own net.
And I guess it's just easier to paint everybody with the same brush saying they're pinning the teams problems on poor Marc rather than actually read the reasoning from people. Where exactly is the "critical analysis" you've done enough to stay in the line-up when healthy. And please god don't bring up his +/-.

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12-01-2011, 04:55 PM
  #86
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Originally Posted by dire wolf View Post
He was the AHL defensemen of the year last year, so I doubt that "almost everyone" thought he didn't have an NHL future.

I guess I still don't get the gluten free thing, but then again, I'm a California weirdo now, and half of my family is on a gluten free diet (and a lot of it is pretty tasty if you know what you're doing). This is starting to remind me of the Roy in flip-flops pic. Oh well.
Almost everyone did think he didn't have an NHL future because he was 23-24 years old and terrible in his own end. That hasn't changed.

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12-02-2011, 09:37 AM
  #87
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Originally Posted by Zip15 View Post
Yet despite being the worst player in the history of hockey, he currently leads the team in +/-. However limited you believe that stat to be, teams simply aren't scoring that frequently when he's on the ice. Whether it's by witchcraft, luck, or whatever, his gaffes aren't ending up in the net. And the QOC is close to Leo and Rej(min. 5gp):

Ehrhoff (.009)
Regehr (-.003)
Myers (-.017)
Sekera (-.050)
Gragnani (-.054)
Leopold (-.065)

He's playing third-pairing minutes and getting offensive zone starts during somewhat sheltered minutes. He's a rookie. Why is this surprising? It's interesting that in other contexts (Miller) people want to talk about production/performance vis-a-vis compensation, but when a guy's play is commensurate with his compensation, nobody gets into that conversation.

Look, I understand his lack of physicality is frustrating, but he is far from the biggest problem on this team. Wasn't our offensive depth supposed to be the keystone on which this forward corps was built? Weren't we going to have like seven or eight 20+ scorers? Yeah, well, we have four on pace for more than 15. Let's not blame those guys. Let's blame the guy making $550k to play third-pairing minutes for many of this team's problems.

The GDT's have become almost unreadable because of him. Don't score on a PP? Gragnani's fault (well, or Roy's). Pass to Ehrhoff hits a rut in the ice and goes over Ehrhoff's stick? Bad pass, Gragnani. I'm almost to the point where I'm hoping the guy comes out of the lineup just so that I don't have to read it anymore.
I'm still gonna blame Gragnani.

Yes our entire team is underachieving except for Vanek and Pominville.

The +/- means nothing, I guess we shouldn't put Regehr on the ice, because he's a -5. Just play Gragnani 20 minutes a night because pucks don't go in when he's on.


Last edited by Stop Winnin: 12-02-2011 at 09:43 AM.
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Old
12-02-2011, 09:58 AM
  #88
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Originally Posted by punkr0x View Post
I'm not saying the Eddie Shore award means he's an All-Star but I do think it means something that he was named the best defenseman at the level below the NHL. I admit the award winners don't have a great track record but surely that has to be coincidence, there's no reason for players to consistently be the best in the AHL and completely useless at the next level. It's the same game, just a different skill level. It's not like he dominated his local broomball league or something.

This is pretty much make or break for Gragnani. He has nothing left to prove at the AHL level. Lindy Ruff seems to be giving him every opportunity to prove himself at the NHL level and I applaud that. Let him get accustomed to the pace of the NHL game, give him a chance and at the end of the year if he didn't develop into an NHL player, fine, don't resign him.

Everyone seems to agree he's not costing us games so why are we in such a rush to bench him? We want the best team possible in April, and that means in November we need to let guys work on their games. Obviously Ruff and Regier feel that Gragnani will develop into a good player for us and for that reason they're giving him a lot of leash, and I agree with that approach. I feel like some of you would be crying for him to be benched even if we were 24-0 because McNabb throws more hits.

I don't think Gragnani is doing great on the power play right now, I don't even think he's living up to modest expectations. I only feel he's doing well enough that his game is really not worth commenting on. The only reason I defend him is because of the overwhelming and undeserved criticism I see of him after every loss.
There have been a lot of guys over the years who have been very good to great at the AHL level who couldn't translate the abilities they showed, particularly scoring, to the next level. A couple of tremendous Amerks come immediately to mind -- Chris Taylor and Jody Gage. Both guys were tweeners and that seems to happen with the Shore more often than not. There are plenty of reasons why it happens, typically it has to do with something the player does not have compared to the rest of the guys making the transition like footspeed or physical engagement or shot release. It puts them behind just enough to take away what they were good at down one level because everyone is faster/quicker/stronger. Gage was a tremendous scorer but too slow at this level. So too was Taylor not quick enough to be a scorer in the NHL.

I agree that he's getting forcefed minutes. As a specialist, and a cheap one at that, he is ok and yet there is a lot of room for improvement. Much like any bubble guy, and right now he is a bubble player, there is enough missing from his game to make someone who offers what he does not much more appealling to many.

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12-02-2011, 11:06 AM
  #89
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Originally Posted by Zip15 View Post
Yet despite being the worst player in the history of hockey, he currently leads the team in +/-. However limited you believe that stat to be, teams simply aren't scoring that frequently when he's on the ice. Whether it's by witchcraft, luck, or whatever, his gaffes aren't ending up in the net. And the QOC is close to Leo and Rej(min. 5gp):

Ehrhoff (.009)
Regehr (-.003)
Myers (-.017)
Sekera (-.050)
Gragnani (-.054)
Leopold (-.065)
Thats not what that stat means and I know you know that. All that means is he has been on the ice when we've scored more than the opposition. It doesn't tell us why. Is it due to offensive production by Grags? Offensive production from his teammates? Is it strong defensive play by Grags or his teammates? or a combo of both? Thats before you factor in who a player is out against. Are they in a checking role out against the other teams top offensive players, are they in an offensive role, etc.

An example of how little that stat can tell us about a player's individual defensive play was our 06-07 team. Vanek was a +47 and Drury was a +1. We all know Vanek's plus was so high due to offensive production not defensive play. We also know Drury was frequently out against the top offensive players on the other team.

Quote:
He's playing third-pairing minutes and getting offensive zone starts during somewhat sheltered minutes. He's a rookie. Why is this surprising? It's interesting that in other contexts (Miller) people want to talk about production/performance vis-a-vis compensation, but when a guy's play is commensurate with his compensation, nobody gets into that conversation.

Look, I understand his lack of physicality is frustrating, but he is far from the biggest problem on this team. Wasn't our offensive depth supposed to be the keystone on which this forward corps was built? Weren't we going to have like seven or eight 20+ scorers? Yeah, well, we have four on pace for more than 15. Let's not blame those guys. Let's blame the guy making $550k to play third-pairing minutes for many of this team's problems.

I agree.

Fair or not, I think Grags gets hammered as much as he does because he seems to have a free pass with Ruff. He has also become a symbol for many of the soft defensive play many loathe and he is redundant. When you put all these things together you get a whipping boy.

Quote:
The GDT's have become almost unreadable because of him. Don't score on a PP? Gragnani's fault (well, or Roy's). Pass to Ehrhoff hits a rut in the ice and goes over Ehrhoff's stick? Bad pass, Gragnani. I'm almost to the point where I'm hoping the guy comes out of the lineup just so that I don't have to read it anymore
But many times it is his fault. The fact that Ruff still uses him in key PP situations when he has repeatedly shown he can't deliver makes him a target for frustration. It would be one thing if he was Ehrhoff, Leopold and to a lesser extent Myers. Guys with proven track records on the PP. You could understand the coach letting those guys play through their issues since they've had success in the past. But Grags has no such pedigree.


Last edited by joshjull: 12-02-2011 at 11:36 AM.
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12-02-2011, 11:11 AM
  #90
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You could understand the coach letting those guys play through their issues since they've had success in the past. But Grags has no such pedigree.
In before someone mentions the Flyers series as an argument to this.

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12-02-2011, 11:16 AM
  #91
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This is a blog I wrote early last season about the relevance (or irrelevance) of the +/- statistic and I think it's relevant to this discussion since +/- keeps being brought up:

Quote:
Parros (+4) vs Chipchura (-2)
Satan (+8) vs P Bergeron (+6)
Vanek (+9) vs Grier (-4)/Gaustad (-7)
Kostopoulos (+4) vs B Sutter (-1)
P Kane (+16) vs Bolland (+5)/Madden (-2)
Wolski (+15) vs anybody else on Colorado roster (way ahead of everybody else)
Dorsett (+6) vs Pahlsson (-9)/Chimera (-7)
Fistric (+27)/Benn (-1)/Ribiero (-5) vs Lehtinen (-8)/B Richards(-12)/Robidas (-10)
Penner (+7) vs Moreau (-18)
McCabe (-4) vs Ballard (-7)
Purcell (-1) vs D Brown (-6)
Latendresse (+1) vs M Koivu (-2)
Hornqvist (+18) vs Arnott (E)
Christensen (+14)/Gaborik (+15)/Redden (+8) vs Callahan (-12)/Drury(-10)/Higgins (-9)Carcillo (+5) vs M Richards (-2)/Gagne (-1)
Lepisto (+14) vs Z Michalek (+5)
Vrbata (+6) vs Hanzal (E)
Downie (+14) vs anybody on TB roster (NOBODY in the plus except him)
Phaneuf (-2) vs Komisarek (-9)
Wellwood (+6)/Burrows (+34)/Demitra (+3) vs Kesler (-1)

Does that mean all of these players are better defensive players? Or better players at even strength in general? I don't think so...


In summary, the plus/minus statistic has very, very little relevance to defensive ability or overall effectiveness at even-strength rendering it one of the more useless "primary" statistics tracked by the NHL.
http://www.thehosers.com/2010/10/rel...statistic.html


I think I'm going to write a follow-up to this in the next week or two touching more on some of the specifics than can sway a +/- rating.

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12-02-2011, 11:27 AM
  #92
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My favorite part was when we were 5 on 4 vs the Isles the other night Ehrhoff was the only defenseman on the ice, then we draw another penalty goto 5 on 3 and Lindy throws Gluten-Free out there with Ehrhoff.

Absolutely no reasoning whatsoever.

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12-02-2011, 12:56 PM
  #93
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Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
Thats not what that stat means and I know you know that. All that means is he has been on the ice when we've scored more than the opposition. It doesn't tell us why. Is it due to offensive production by Grags? Offensive production from his teammates? Is it strong defensive play by Grags or his teammates? or a combo of both? Thats before you factor in who a player is out against. Are they in a checking role out against the other teams top offensive players, are they in an offensive role, etc.

An example of how little that stat can tell us about a player's individual defensive play was our 06-07 team. Vanek was a +47 and Drury was a +1. We all know Vanek's plus was so high due to offensive production not defensive play. We also know Drury was frequently out against the top offensive players on the other team.
Gragnani has the lowest GA/60 mins at 5-on-5 of any player on the team (min. 10 games). Some of that comes from his higher rate of offensive zone starts. Some comes from playing 3rd pairing competition. But teams aren't really scoring when he's on the ice. And since you asked, Buffalo's 5-on-5 score with Gragnani on the ice is 17-8


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I agree.

Fair or not, I think Grags gets hammered as much as he does because he seems to have a free pass with Ruff. He has also become a symbol for many of the soft defensive play many loathe and he is redundant. When you put all these things together you get a whipping boy.
I think that's one thing when he was playing over Weber and everyone was healthy, but of course he's going to play when the blueline is depleted.



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Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
But many times it is his fault. The fact that Ruff still uses him in key PP situations when he has repeatedly shown he can't deliver makes him a target for frustration. It would be one thing if he was Ehrhoff, Leopold and to a lesser extent Myers. Guys with proven track records on the PP. You could understand the coach letting those guys play through their issues since they've had success in the past. But Grags has no such pedigree.
Grags is second to Ehrhoff amongst defensemen in pts/60 mins at 5-on-4. I'll be the first to say the guy has to shoot more on the PP. When he really gets into one, his shot is pretty good and can create rebounds. I also don't think he should be on the 5-on-3. But Ruff likes his patience (posters call it hesitation) and his puck-moving on the PP, that's why he's there.

Leopold has had his chances on the PP this year but hasn't produced. He's played close to 36 mins at 5-on-4, and doesn't have a single point. That includes some time on the first unit. That's why he isn't there. Rej has had his chances on the PP over the last few seasons, but never really produced there, either. That's probably why he isn't there.

He's a depth defenseman. He's performing like the depth defenseman he's paid to be. He's not hurting the team--unfortunately, many would rather see Weber flub a breakout and have it end up in the back of the net, or wilt like like a flower in heat under a forecheck than to see Gragnani stick check the whole night--and until he is, he's probably going to be in the lineup more times than not.

I really hate being cast as the guy who defends him, but this has become a runaway train.

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12-02-2011, 12:59 PM
  #94
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My favorite part was when we were 5 on 4 vs the Isles the other night Ehrhoff was the only defenseman on the ice, then we draw another penalty goto 5 on 3 and Lindy throws Gluten-Free out there with Ehrhoff.

Absolutely no reasoning whatsoever.
And I bet you'd still be complaining about that if Vanek hadn't missed from in close or Roy didn't miss his great chance. Gragnani wasn't the only thing holding back that 5-on-3. They missed two good chances, and their strategy was horrible--really, they called a timeout for that?

They have two 5-on-3 plays:

1) Gragnani to Pominville to Vanek in front.
2) Ehrhoff one-timer.

That's it. Until they start integrating some movement into their 5-on-3, these will be the results regardless of personnel.

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12-02-2011, 01:30 PM
  #95
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And I bet you'd still be complaining about that if Vanek hadn't missed from in close or Roy didn't miss his great chance. Gragnani wasn't the only thing holding back that 5-on-3. They missed two good chances, and their strategy was horrible--really, they called a timeout for that?

They have two 5-on-3 plays:

1) Gragnani to Pominville to Vanek in front.
2) Ehrhoff one-timer.

That's it. Until they start integrating some movement into their 5-on-3, these will be the results regardless of personnel.
Yes, so who is it that is moving the puck on the power play? Gragnani and Hoff. Opposing D men know to shut down Hoff's shot, so what does Gragnani do when he gets the puck? Oh, he passes it, usually to a tightly checked Ehrhoff. He's as much to blame if not more than the forwards, he needs to create the opportunities instead when the puck hits his stick, he just kills any offense we have with his predictable puck movement. I understand putting him out there now, we're down multiple regular blue-liners. He didn't deserve as much ice time as he got when we had a healthy d corps. His game just makes me sick to my stomach.

When Ehrhoff gets the puck, what is he supposed to do? Pass to Gragnani, oh wait it's going to come right back to me or he's going to make some stupid pass that handcuffs our forwards. At least shooting the puck opens up some opportunities. Gragnani is like a black hole on that power play.

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12-02-2011, 01:35 PM
  #96
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Yes, so who is it that is moving the puck on the power play? Gragnani and Hoff. Opposing D men know to shut down Hoff's shot, so what does Gragnani do when he gets the puck? Oh, he passes it, usually to a tightly checked Ehrhoff. He's as much to blame if not more than the forwards, he needs to create the opportunities instead when the puck hits his stick, he just kills any offense we have with his predictable puck movement. I understand putting him out there now, we're down multiple regular blue-liners. He didn't deserve as much ice time as he got when we had a healthy d corps. His game just makes me sick to my stomach.
You speak in such absolutes that it diminishes some of the legitimacy to your argument. Roy sometimes shoots into opponents' shinpads; should he be taken off the PP, too? (Don't answer that, Jame.) Ehrhoff has an erratic shot; should he be taken off the PP, too?

I said Grags needs to shoot more on the PP, because even the threat of a shot will keep guys off Ehrhoff. But I don't think he's been nearly as bad on the PP as a lot of people want to believe. Interestingly, we're getting next to nothing from our 2nd PP unit. The only guys who are getting PP points are Vanek, Pommer, Boyes, Grags, and Ehrhoff. Pretty much everyone else is invisible at 5-on-4. They need more from Leino, Staff, Roy, Adam, and Ennis when he returns. That'll make our PP better, too.

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12-02-2011, 01:40 PM
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You speak in such absolutes that it diminishes some of the legitimacy to your argument. Roy sometimes shoots into opponents' shinpads; should he be taken off the PP, too? (Don't answer that, Jame.) Ehrhoff has an erratic shot; should he be taken off the PP, too?

I said Grags needs to shoot more on the PP, because even the threat of a shot will keep guys off Ehrhoff. But I don't think he's been nearly as bad on the PP as a lot of people want to believe. Interestingly, we're getting next to nothing from our 2nd PP unit. The only guys who are getting PP points are Vanek, Pommer, Boyes, Grags, and Ehrhoff. Pretty much everyone else is invisible at 5-on-4. They need more from Leino, Staff, Roy, Adam, and Ennis when he returns. That'll make our PP better, too.
Yep you're right, everyone needs to be better. The entire squad - Vanek and Pominville is underachieving. I would argue that Gragnani's decisions on the PP are absolute. How many shots has he taken on the PP total this year, like maybe 3 total? He's going to pass the puck, teams are catching on, it severely limits the rest of the team, and unless he changes it the power play will suffer. Nobody respects Gragnani's shot because he never takes one.

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12-02-2011, 01:43 PM
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There have been a lot of guys over the years who have been very good to great at the AHL level who couldn't translate the abilities they showed, particularly scoring, to the next level. A couple of tremendous Amerks come immediately to mind -- Chris Taylor and Jody Gage. Both guys were tweeners and that seems to happen with the Shore more often than not. There are plenty of reasons why it happens, typically it has to do with something the player does not have compared to the rest of the guys making the transition like footspeed or physical engagement or shot release. It puts them behind just enough to take away what they were good at down one level because everyone is faster/quicker/stronger. Gage was a tremendous scorer but too slow at this level. So too was Taylor not quick enough to be a scorer in the NHL.
But if there are guys in the AHL who do have the footspeed to play in the NHL, why aren't they winning the Eddie shore award? Tyler Myers is the exception to the rule, but most NHL players spend at least a year or two in the minors. Is 24 too old to make the jump? A seasoned veteran in the AHL, too slow for the NHL? Since most hockey players hit their prime between 25-30 I would think he's still got some time to improve (although less than other players who get called up earlier).

As far as +/-, even if he's getting put out there in favorable situations, doesn't being a + player at least prove his line has a better goal differential than the other team's worst line? Isn't that all you want from a cheap third pairing defenseman?

I think Gragnani is just an easy target because he's the lowest guy on the totem pole. I see the same kind of hate on these boards for Matt Ellis lately. Matt is a perfect 4th line player, but he's not going to score 20 goals or beat up Milan Lucic so apparently he's a waste of space. How about holding some of the guys who are making $5+ million dollars this year accountable when the team scores one goal? Putting Brayden McNabb in for Gragnani on the power play isn't going to make a bit of difference.

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12-02-2011, 03:13 PM
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Gragnani has the lowest GA/60 mins at 5-on-5 of any player on the team (min. 10 games). Some of that comes from his higher rate of offensive zone starts. Some comes from playing 3rd pairing competition. But teams aren't really scoring when he's on the ice. And since you asked, Buffalo's 5-on-5 score with Gragnani on the ice is 17-8
None of this disputes my point that +/- does not tell you, as you put it, that teams simply aren't scoring that frequently when he's on the ice. Thats not what that stat means and that was my point. Its a huge pet peeve of mine and I probably should have been clearer about that.


But your response is a good arguement that he doesn't hurt the team defensively as much as some have argued.


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I think that's one thing when he was playing over Weber and everyone was healthy, but of course he's going to play when the blueline is depleted.

I'm refering to the PP. His ES ice time has been pretty much par for the course for a bottom pairing dman. But his PP ice time has been #1 among the dmen until recently. Its still at the top just not #1.

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Grags is second to Ehrhoff amongst defensemen in pts/60 mins at 5-on-4. I'll be the first to say the guy has to shoot more on the PP. When he really gets into one, his shot is pretty good and can create rebounds. I also don't think he should be on the 5-on-3. But Ruff likes his patience (posters call it hesitation) and his puck-moving on the PP, that's why he's there.
Not sure why its viewed as patience when he makes the same predictable play 90% of the time. He either passes it to the winger on the wall in front of him or back to Ehrhoff. Neither play takes much patience or creativity. Its not like he is waiting for a play to open up and is making amazing passes that thread the needle. As you pointed out he rarely shoots, when combined with his predictable passing tendencies, you have PKers cheating to Ehrhoff or trying to jump the passing lanes. Its something that hampers the top PP unit, especially on 5on3s. He certainly isn't the only reason the top unit struggles at times but he certainly isn't helping matters.


Quote:
Leopold has had his chances on the PP this year but hasn't produced. He's played close to 36 mins at 5-on-4, and doesn't have a single point. That includes some time on the first unit. That's why he isn't there. Rej has had his chances on the PP over the last few seasons, but never really produced there, either. That's probably why he isn't there.
Not really. You're also comparing apples to oranges when you compare Leopold and Grags on the PP this year. Grags (63:10 total minutes on PP) has played almost twice as many minutes on the PP as Leopold (34:39). Roughly 90+% of that time Grags was with the top PP unit paired with our best PP point man (Ehrhoff) almost exclusively. He should have more points than Leo on the PP.

When Leo got a shot on the top unit for a few games it was with Myers, his partner on the 2nd unit. Why hasn't Ruff tried Leo with Ehrhoff? Or if he did for a game why not give that pairing more time than that?

In light of the above I would argue that Leo has not all been given a chance. Certainly not the repeated chances Grags has gotten.

If you flipped Leo and Grags ice time, roles and partners to this point on the PP. I think Leo would at the very least have as many points as Grags does on the PP. He did lead our dmen last season in PP goals with 5 and had 11pts on the PP. But more importantly I think Ehrhoff would be more productive. I think Grags holds him back on the PP.

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He's a depth defenseman. He's performing like the depth defenseman he's paid to be. He's not hurting the team--unfortunately, many would rather see Weber flub a breakout and have it end up in the back of the net, or wilt like like a flower in heat under a forecheck than to see Gragnani stick check the whole night--and until he is, he's probably going to be in the lineup more times than not.
Sort of. He is being used as a PP specialist and gets a lot of minutes on the top PP unit. Because of that there is a level of expecation of him offensively thats above what you would expect of a 3rd pairing depth dman. If he wasn't getting fed top PP minutes then I would agree he was just a depth dman.


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I really hate being cast as the guy who defends him, but this has become a runaway train.
Stop it. You love going against the crowd and arguing


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12-02-2011, 04:23 PM
  #100
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But if there are guys in the AHL who do have the footspeed to play in the NHL, why aren't they winning the Eddie shore award? Tyler Myers is the exception to the rule, but most NHL players spend at least a year or two in the minors. Is 24 too old to make the jump? A seasoned veteran in the AHL, too slow for the NHL? Since most hockey players hit their prime between 25-30 I would think he's still got some time to improve (although less than other players who get called up earlier).

As far as +/-, even if he's getting put out there in favorable situations, doesn't being a + player at least prove his line has a better goal differential than the other team's worst line? Isn't that all you want from a cheap third pairing defenseman?

I think Gragnani is just an easy target because he's the lowest guy on the totem pole. I see the same kind of hate on these boards for Matt Ellis lately. Matt is a perfect 4th line player, but he's not going to score 20 goals or beat up Milan Lucic so apparently he's a waste of space. How about holding some of the guys who are making $5+ million dollars this year accountable when the team scores one goal? Putting Brayden McNabb in for Gragnani on the power play isn't going to make a bit of difference.
Ellis is similar to Gragnani in that they're cheap filler. They serve a purpose. The top line guys have their tows in the fire most of the time -- Miller in particular, even in games where the team only scores one goal and plays louzy D in front of him. Roy? People want to trade him in any of a variety of lateral moves. Pominville has his haters who will come out when if he starts to slump. Vanek too. They all get thrown under the bus all the time. In a thread about Adam and Gragnani, most of the talk is going to be about them.

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