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Sabres undone by losing mentality

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Old
04-15-2012, 12:18 PM
  #1
Sabretip
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Sabres undone by losing mentality

Stuff we all observed and know but Vogl does a nice job summarizing the statistical realities:

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There are few things worse for professional athletes than being called mentally fragile. It means opponents and fans view you as weak-minded pushovers who can be intimidated into submission rather than world-class, highly talented, physically fit competitors.

What's worse than that? Knowing it's true.
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So what did happen to sap their psyche? What drained their mental state so much that the Sabres would admit to being fragile?
Quote:
* They couldn't stay focused during the most important 60 seconds.

The Sabres allowed a goal in the final minute of a period 13 times. It forced them to trudge into the dressing room or overtime feeling down, as the results show. Of the 12 games in which it happened (Colorado struck late twice in one game), the Sabres won just three (3-5-4).
Quote:
* The Sabres got crunched in crunch time.

Until the penultimate game in Philadelphia, which Buffalo lost, 3-1, despite having a 1-0 edge in the third period, the Sabres were solid at holding onto late leads. They were terrible at taking them.

The Sabres skated into the third period tied or trailing in 54 games and won just 14. They went 4-24-2 when trailing and only 10-7-7 when tied.
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* Roadkill along the Thruway had a better time away from home.

The ability to travel to hostile environments and quiet rowdy fans is an important trait of a successful team.

Buffalo was historically bad, setting a franchise record by losing 12 straight road games. The 0-12-0 skid from Dec. 17 to Jan. 24 turned their minds to mush.

The Sabres scored 17 goals during the 12-game debacle. They finished with just 90 goals on the road, which ranked 27th in the 30-team league
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* They failed to handle the pressures of being Cup contenders.

With back-to-back playoff appearances, including a Northeast Division title season, on their resume, the Sabres were expected to excel. They finished last year 16-4-4 and added several key pieces. Instead, they were an also-ran organization.
http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/sa...icle811255.ece

I remember their penchant for giving up late goals but had no idea it was 13 times - nor that they were so inept when trailing (4-24-2). At first, my knee-jerk reaction was to blame the coaches for not preparing the players for those two kinds of situations - but then I think back to the 2005-07 seasons and realize it's more to do with the core players who were expected to lead after 2007. I know it's beating a dead horse but those two traits (giving up leads and being unable to rally from deficits) are the opposite of what the 2005-07 teams (led by you-know-who) were known for. Those two teams not only could protect leads and close out games but very often rallied to come back from deficits in games - with the same coach.

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04-15-2012, 12:29 PM
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Takeo
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They were undone by a lack of talent in the forward ranks. The mental stuff is gimmicky conjecture.

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04-15-2012, 12:49 PM
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Obviously it's not the only reason for the breakdown, but I'm surprised he didn't mention Miller being bulldozed. That symbolized our team for the next 35 games and made opposing teams look down on us.

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04-15-2012, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Takeo View Post
They were undone by a lack of talent in the forward ranks. The mental stuff is gimmicky conjecture.
I don't agree. The mentality of this team on that road trip was the most pathetic thing I have ever seen. They played with ZERO HEART and MOTIVATION. These are two of the most important things in professional sports. Without them you can possess all the talent in the world but just be dam lazy....Very few players work as hard as they can on each and every play in every game. Those that do are stars....Those that have skills and work hard each game are super stars...Lindy Ruff has been unable to get any motivation out of this team in the middle of the season. I remember watching the bench during that road trip with Ruff screaming at them and Stafford looking like he would rather be in hell then on that bench....Mentality is huge when it came to this team this year. Ruff needs to go....

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04-15-2012, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Takeo View Post
They were undone by a lack of talent in the forward ranks. The mental stuff is gimmicky conjecture.
Certainly talent and the health of said talent are contributing factors to a teams confidence, but the brutal truths that are pointed out above tell me that there's something more attitude related at the root of the problem.

Seems like they can't find their true potential until they have nothing left to lose, and even then the he will of this team seems easily broken during games. They need more bullheaded players, and better leadership from their core guys. Ennis displayed the kind of gusto that I'm talking about. It's time to look to our youth and Holmgren the core.

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04-15-2012, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post
They were undone by a lack of talent in the forward ranks. The mental stuff is gimmicky conjecture.
I could argue that some of the players on this roster being more mentally tough would make them more talented.

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04-15-2012, 01:03 PM
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We don't have enough talent to win on talent alone.

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04-15-2012, 01:16 PM
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We actually have a good amount of talent. We just don't have a system for talent to thrive on. Drew Miller had 4 less goals than Roy....you're telling me these players are even close on a talent basis? Lindy better change something with his system or we aren't going anywhere.

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04-15-2012, 01:27 PM
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Buncha losers. Rochester core will never lead a team to a cup.

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04-15-2012, 01:38 PM
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Stats are useless unless compared against the norm?did they give up more goals in final minute vs. rest of league, previous years. Did they fail to come back more than most teams.
Article is superficial amd a pile on after season.
Not disputable is finishing 9th with our payroll. How we got there, you can argue. Bottom line is questions have to abound about this group.

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04-15-2012, 01:42 PM
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No kidding. They were unbearable to watch before February because nobody on the team cared or tried. Whether that was more the coach's fault or the players', I don't know, but something major has to change with the culture of this team.

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04-15-2012, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post
They were undone by a lack of talent in the forward ranks. The mental stuff is gimmicky conjecture.
They also did a terrible job of playing the talent they had. Is there any reason your leading scorer and only constant offensive forward should be sixth in ESTOI (and he was averaging less during the slump)?

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04-15-2012, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by struckbyaparkedcar View Post
They also did a terrible job of playing the talent they had. Is there any reason your leading scorer and only constant offensive forward should be sixth in ESTOI (and he was averaging less during the slump)?
One reason could be because he played hurt a lot. But, he's always only averaged around 16 total TOI because he never kills penalties.

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04-15-2012, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Sabretip View Post
I remember their penchant for giving up late goals but had no idea it was 13 times....
Maybe I'm approaching this the wrong way, but 13 all season doesn't strike me as terrible.

You have 246 minutes all season played under that condition -- the last minute of a period (3x82). That's the equivalent of about four games. They allowed a little less than three goals a game -- so you'd expect to see about 11 goals scored in those four hypothetical games.

The argument can be made that there's more emphasis on preventing a goal in the final minute, I guess.

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04-15-2012, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Play4Miracles View Post
One reason could be because he played hurt a lot. But, he's always only averaged around 16 total TOI because he never kills penalties.
I was talking about Pominville...

And Vanek's healthy TOI is still too low as well. Torts and Gaborik have about as contentious a relationship, but he still gets his 18 minutes a game.

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04-15-2012, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by struckbyaparkedcar View Post
I was talking about Pominville...

And Vanek's healthy TOI is still too low as well. Torts and Gaborik have about as contentious a relationship, but he still gets his 18 minutes a game.
Holy crap, I had no idea pominville's ESTOI was sixth. although then again some of the people ahead of him are defensemen, but who the **** would be ahead of him among the forwards only?

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04-15-2012, 08:20 PM
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Holy crap, I had no idea pominville's ESTOI was sixth. although then again some of the people ahead of him are defensemen, but who the **** would be ahead of him among the forwards only?
Roy, Leino, Foligno, Stafford, Hecht.

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04-15-2012, 08:29 PM
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Roy, Leino, Foligno, Stafford, Hecht.
...**** you lindy

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04-15-2012, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by kirby11 View Post
Holy crap, I had no idea pominville's ESTOI was sixth. although then again some of the people ahead of him are defensemen, but who the **** would be ahead of him among the forwards only?
Its really not a big deal when #1-7 in ES ice time averaged between 14:59 (Roy) and 14:10 (Ennis).

That tends to happen when you roll your lines.



Pommer averaged 19:40 a night this year. That was #1 among forwards and #4 overall on the team. Only Ehrhoff, Myers and Leopold played more.

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04-15-2012, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by struckbyaparkedcar View Post
Roy, Leino, Foligno, Stafford, Hecht.
That doesn't count. There should be a minimum of 40 gp for a realistic ESTOI.

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04-15-2012, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post
They were undone by a lack of talent in the forward ranks. The mental stuff is gimmicky conjecture.
interesting comment coming from one of the few posters who recognized the flaws in the 05-06 team (that being a lack of grit, size, strength, etc... the "non talent" make up of a team)

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04-15-2012, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
Its really not a big deal when #1-7 in ES ice time averaged between 14:59 (Roy) and 14:10 (Ennis).

That tends to happen when you roll your lines.



Pommer averaged 19:40 a night this year. That was #1 among forwards and #4 overall on the team. Only Ehrhoff, Myers and Leopold played more.
But why roll your lines when only one of them is scoring, especially when it means that your two best forwards don't play comparable minutes to other top forwards....

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04-15-2012, 10:30 PM
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More than anything, this article shows how lame Sully's, Bucky's and Mikey's rants were/are...all pissing and moaning and no research.

It's nice to see a well thought out article that reminds me of how much I miss Jim Kelley--and how much I despise the three stooges that have taken his place today...

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04-15-2012, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jame View Post
interesting comment coming from one of the few posters who recognized the flaws in the 05-06 team (that being a lack of grit, size, strength, etc... the "non talent" make up of a team)
You could call it that, or you could call it being a pessimist at all costs. Blind squirrels, nuts, all that.

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04-15-2012, 11:30 PM
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Takeo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jame View Post
interesting comment coming from one of the few posters who recognized the flaws in the 05-06 team (that being a lack of grit, size, strength, etc... the "non talent" make up of a team)
I don't see the connection. There's a difference between physicality and Vogl's sorcery and witchcraft.

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