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Old
07-02-2011, 06:19 PM
  #1
Cannonball0828
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Toughness and Leadership

John Buccigross from ESPN said this in a tweet a couple days ago

Quote:
Love the Ehrhoff signing, Sabre fans, but I still think you need more tougness and leadership. Power play should be lights out
I agree with Bucci here, I think in order to have a really deep, perhaps even a Stanley Cup run in the near future we will need to add more toughness and leadership. Toughness right now comes in the form of Regehr, Gaustad, Kaleta, and McCormick. I believe if Kassian is ready to play in the NHL this year that would be a huge boost for our toughness, and perhaps helps solve that problem.

We don't have one true leader on our team, which is why I think we should still try and sign Chris Drury, if, and this is a big if, he can be healthy and be ready to play a full season. He would instantly solve our leadership issue, and would fit in perfectly as a 3rd line center in my opinion.

Thoughts?

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07-02-2011, 06:26 PM
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Stone87
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The Sabres have enough toughness when it comes to their depth players, but have been lacking in their top six and top four. Regehr certainly helps, but look around the league at some of the physical guys who got contracts. Almost all of the guys are way overpaid and most would not play in our top six/top four. Wisniewski is the obvious exception. They're trying to fix this through the draft; we'll get there.

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07-02-2011, 06:53 PM
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Beerz
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Don't forget Weber.... i think he belongs in the "toughness" group .... I would've loved to see them get a physical skilled forward .... but.. reality is ... just not many of those out there.

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07-02-2011, 06:59 PM
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Zip15
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Winning the Cup is a process. We are not going to go from not winning a playoff series since 2007 to winning a Cup in 2012. Keep building. Keep adding talent and stockpiling assets. Keep developing the size and toughness on the farm. Do those things and they'll get there.

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07-02-2011, 06:59 PM
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From the Philly series I think we can bring the toughness when needed just fine.

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07-02-2011, 07:02 PM
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Ted Black
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerz View Post
Don't forget Weber.... i think he belongs in the "toughness" group .... I would've loved to see them get a physical skilled forward .... but.. reality is ... just not many of those out there.
Weber is a boss. I'll never forget when he let Crosby have it this past season. I'm not a Crosby hater, but it takes balls to do it to him. I love Weber though. He goes to bat for everyone, especially Ryan Miller. Overall the Sabres were a lot more protective of Miller this past season than the couple before it and adding Regehr will only help. Having Kaleta around more will help too. And don't forget Myers, he transformed into a beast the last third of the season/playoffs and I think that is going to continue.

We did lose Nieds and Griersy though; two guys always willing to go to the tough parts of the ice and get dirty:/

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07-02-2011, 07:04 PM
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Ted Black
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Originally Posted by Zip15 View Post
Winning the Cup is a process. We are not going to go from not winning a playoff series since 2007 to winning a Cup in 2012. Keep building. Keep adding talent and stockpiling assets. Keep developing the size and toughness on the farm. Do those things and they'll get there.
This. I know Pegs has a three year plan (I guess if this counts as year one I could definately see it happening by year three) but it might take a bit longer.

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07-02-2011, 07:21 PM
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Grinder44
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Toughness on the way: Kassian, Foligno, Boychuk.

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07-02-2011, 07:54 PM
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mechaphil
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Buccigross should learn when FA begins before he criticizes the Sabres on what needs they haven't filled yet

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07-02-2011, 08:14 PM
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Rob Paxon
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Most important aspects of 'toughness' in top 6 players are: the ability to remain effective and unintimidated in the face of physical/rough play, the ability to persevere in the face of adversity. I'd put the ability to "push back" slightly behind those two. I think this team showed great growth in all three regards last year. While I'm not opposed to working more 'toughness' and physicality into the top 6 (really the top 9), I don't think it's something they necessarily need to or should go out and get in the marketplace. I'm more concerned with toughness being in the defense and bottom 6; the bottom 6 looks pretty good in that regard and the defense has been addressed this offseason. Prospects are poised to bring such a dynamic to the top 9 by next season. Until then, I wouldn't consider it a pressing need unless it shows to be a big issue during the season.

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07-02-2011, 08:40 PM
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Cannonball0828
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Paxon View Post
Most important aspects of 'toughness' in top 6 players are: the ability to remain effective and unintimidated in the face of physical/rough play, the ability to persevere in the face of adversity. I'd put the ability to "push back" slightly behind those two. I think this team showed great growth in all three regards last year. While I'm not opposed to working more 'toughness' and physicality into the top 6 (really the top 9), I don't think it's something they necessarily need to or should go out and get in the marketplace. I'm more concerned with toughness being in the defense and bottom 6; the bottom 6 looks pretty good in that regard and the defense has been addressed this offseason. Prospects are poised to bring such a dynamic to the top 9 by next season. Until then, I wouldn't consider it a pressing need unless it shows to be a big issue during the season.
Thing is, it doesn't really start to show until late season/playoffs, by that time it'll be too late to address.

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07-02-2011, 09:02 PM
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Rob Paxon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannonball0828 View Post
Thing is, it doesn't really start to show until late season/playoffs, by that time it'll be too late to address.
I don't think that's totally true but yes, you can mask problems in the regular season that get exposed when playing a team in a 7 game series with upped intensity. The thing is, though, the team identified some major issues from the Philly series and did their best so far to address them:

#1 Physicality/toughness + Stability + Too Young on the back end: Brought in Regehr, brought in Ehrhoff. Ehrhoff can get pretty testy though he's not a physical player, Regehr is self-explanatory. Back-end gets more experienced, poised.

#2 Getting the puck out of the defensive zone / puck movement: Ehrhoff is a big addition here

#3 Depth - Particularly down the middle: Well, they haven't really addressed this one yet. Depth collapsed in the Flyers series as injuries finally mounted too high. They're going to start pretty deep this season (at forward, not center) and having Leino rather than Connolly minimizes the chance of that 'slot' being injured. Adam and Kassian may be capable of filling in. If that's the case, then it goes a good ways towards improving depth, especially with a healthy Roy (who has typically been quite durable). Kotalik, if he's still around, provides another depth option on the wings. This, however, is the major unaddressed issue from the past postseason.

Again, I agree that you can get by with certain problems in the regular season that you can't in the playoffs. Those problems are usually evident to viewers, but it's easy to fall into the trap that the problem isn't so big if the team is still playing well (in the regular season). Regardless, we do have LAST playoffs to go by and, as I illustrated, they have done a good job so far addressing the problems they identified there.

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07-02-2011, 09:04 PM
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ZZamboni
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Leadership I would agree that the Sabres don't have that as much as I would like.

Toughness... McCormick, Weber, Regehr, Kaleta, and to a lesser extent but still tough .. Gaustad and Myers (developing toughness nicely)

yea we are lacking toughness

Bucci = not worth my time

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07-02-2011, 09:13 PM
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Afino
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Bucci should pay more attention to hockey instead of all those hipster bands he enjoys.

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07-02-2011, 09:32 PM
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Moskau
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Originally Posted by 71Zamboni View Post
Leadership I would agree that the Sabres don't have that as much as I would like.
We added two players who went to the cup finals the past 2 years and one who was a game away from winning the cup in 2004.

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07-02-2011, 09:46 PM
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5 Minute Major
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This team is plenty tough enough.

Compared to the 2005-06 Buffalo Sabres, who had the best shot at winning a Cup this past decade, the 2011-12 version will be down right scary.

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/l...000332006.html

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07-02-2011, 09:55 PM
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Sabretip
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Originally Posted by 5 Minute Major View Post
This team is plenty tough enough.

Compared to the 2005-06 Buffalo Sabres, who had the best shot at winning a Cup this past decade, the 2011-12 version will be down right scary.

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/l...000332006.html
Agreed - 1/4 of their roster (Regehr, Gaustad, McCormick, Kaleta, Weber) plays it tough/physical and prospects like Kassian and McNabb will add to that. If they add any more, of course it helps - but I don't see this team being anywhere near as soft or unwilling to step up to the challenge of a physical opponent as they used to be 3-4 years ago.

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07-02-2011, 11:43 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabretip View Post
Agreed - 1/4 of their roster (Regehr, Gaustad, McCormick, Kaleta, Weber) plays it tough/physical and prospects like Kassian and McNabb will add to that. If they add any more, of course it helps - but I don't see this team being anywhere near as soft or unwilling to step up to the challenge of a physical opponent as they used to be 3-4 years ago.
Don't forget Myers. He started bringing the mean last year...1 more offseason bulking up and look out.

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07-03-2011, 12:09 AM
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Dubi Doo
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Don't forget Myers. He started bringing the mean last year...1 more offseason bulking up and look out.
I have HIGH expectations for Myers this season. Last year I cut him a lot of slack early on because it was his second year in the league. I still expect a bit of inconsistency and youngin' mistakes. He;s no where close to his prime.


I really want to see his physical play continue. He was playing VERY well to close out the year. Especially in Overtime. He would just take them over. A very special player indeed. He went from an abysmal(sp?) first quarter of the season to a whisper in the Norris conversation. He really stepped his game.

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07-03-2011, 12:30 AM
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JPurp26
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Jason Arnott anyone?

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07-03-2011, 12:44 AM
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Slapshot85
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I wish Chris Drury would retire so I don't have to keep hearing about him coming back.

I think the team showed a lot of leadership and toughness in the second half of the season and in the playoffs. When you add in a guy like Regehr, a guy like Vanek who seems ready to assume the leadership role, an off-season where the owner back his words of winning, I think we are fine on that front.

We'll finally have a real captain this year as well, which will help. I know Vanek should get the C, but would it possible to see Regehr get it? Do you think it will be a player's vote for the captaincy?

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07-03-2011, 07:14 PM
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CriminallyVu1gar
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I think there are different kinds of tough. There's being willing to go into corners, being willing to take a beating crashing the net, being willing to block shots and hit, and being willing to take a fist to the face to stand up for a teammate.

I think we have plenty of that in McCormick, Kaleta, Gaustad, Hecht, Vanek, and Gerbe up front (hell, even Brad Boyes, Jason Pominville, and Drew Stafford have fights to their names), and Regehr, Weber, and Myers in back.

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07-03-2011, 07:24 PM
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TehDoak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imagining Defeat View Post
From the Philly series I think we can bring the toughness when needed just fine.
Nieds, Montador, and Grier are gone

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07-03-2011, 07:29 PM
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Jason Arnott anyone?
Yes please!

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07-03-2011, 08:23 PM
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Ron Barr
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We have some toughness and leadership in our line-up now, and we're stocked with it in our prospect pool with Kassian, Foligno and McNabb. I'm not too worried about it.

Regehr, Myers and Weber are all tough on the back-end (Myers is still young and a bit green, but honestly, who the hell is gonna step up to him besides Chara?). Stafford is underrated in the toughness and physicality department IMO. He's not a bruiser but he is a really strong player and he does finish his checks most of the time (and I love watching little guys try to take a run at him and just get knocked back 5 feet, like Skinner last year). After that we have Gaustad, McCormick, Kaleta, and even Hecht is pretty tough. Nathan Gerbe is a beast of a little man as well, and just annoys the HELL out of any team he's playing against, because of his ridiculous strength for his size, and his tenacity and elite work ethic.

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