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DBTB Podcast EP. 5: Tendy Troubles Pt. 2

The Sabres are having goaltending troubles... again.

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Josh and Luke are back with Episode 5 of the Die By The Blade Podcast! They sit down and talk about the Buffalo Sabres’ continued goaltending woes and what changes need to be made, and what changes have already been made. Is Malcolm Subban the best answer? As we saw, obviously not but at least it showed Kevyn Adams will at least do something to attempt to help.

Also featured on this episode is Luke giving his take on what he thinks some new power play lines should be. Should Dahlin be taken off of PP1 or in general? Tune in to hear what they have to say about the up and down play we’ve seen from our “generational” defenseman.

UPL got his first start of the season as we were recording so we had no idea how it was going to go, however Josh and Luke give their take on how they think it could go and what it could mean going forward.

Also stay tuned to the end for a brand new segment that Josh implements that we believe will be a fun take away from all of the negatives that is the Buffalo Sabres.

Transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors.

Luke

What is up, everyone? Welcome to the die by the blade podcast with Josh, and We sit down and talk about everything buffalo hockey. I’m your host Luke, the other guy. My screen is my co-host, Josh; we’re gonna get right into another JAM PACKED episode. Stay tuned Josh, what is up? How are you? It’s been a week. It’s been a week.

Josh

It’s been a sad week. It’s been a very sad week.

Luke

it’s been a week. It’s been a week.

Josh

The Sabres lost every game last week. I think

Luke

that’s less surprising.

Josh

It’s all a blur. We all know what happened on Monday night, and I don’t want to talk about it. I was working for that game too. Like

Luke

I was ready. I was sitting on my couch. You know, I finally have a living room. I just got a nice 65 inch TV. I’m like, Alright, let’s watch this bill’s game. You know, it’s gonna be fun. It’s gonna be great. It’s gonna be really windy. It’s gonna be, and then we know what happened. Yeah, well, we’ve been beating a dead horse with these bills. You know? They just they gotta be better.

Josh

I don’t want to talk about it anyway. Um, oh, net, though. Aside from the Sabres sucking in the bills, sucking. Um, we decent week. I got to go skating at canalside for the first time this year. That was fun. But get my Christmas tree this weekend. I’m excited for that.

Luke

Oh, yeah, you do a real tree, don’t you?

Josh

Yeah, cuz I’m an American.

Luke

Too much work.

Josh

I’m just kidding. Anyway, no, no one cares about my life. No one cares about your life either. So I’m just.

Luke

I mean, I mean, I made some cookies all day on Sunday. That was oh, yeah, that’s right. That’s right. That’s fun. Has a nice nice, nice family time Christmassy vibe. slaving over a batter all Day It was fun.

Josh

God I started this off hot with the whole no one cares about your life thing. Everyone cares about everyone. But we’re really here because we care about hockey.

Luke

That is true. We’re gonna go from one unfortunate buffalo team to the other as we talk about the Sabres

Josh

they addressed the goalie situation. You could say that

Luke

Did they though? Because now he is he is hurt.

Josh

Well, yeah.

Luke

He was skating today at morning skates. That’s a good sign.

Josh

I would say that our podcast facilitated a trade. Like we posted that show. And then they made a trade for a goalie. Now any of the not any of the goalies that we mentioned. But they traded for goalie nonetheless, the Sabre obviously as everyone knows the Sabres traded future considerations for Malcolm su ban, which honestly, fine, like that trade is really good in my eyes, because you’re at least not tone deaf, like the rest of the GMs that this organization has had. You’re making moves that this team needs. Now, are they the right moves? No. But are you giving up anything for a bad goaltender? No. Like? It’s not like like, we can’t go out there yelling at Kevin. I was like, Oh, why did you go out and get Malcolm Sue ban? You didn’t give anything up? You literally didn’t? Yeah, thing. Like you basically just went out and said, hey, I’ll give you a bag of chips or Malcolm Sue Ben. And he came in, he got hurt in his first game, which is unfortunate, but he’ll be back. He’ll be fine. And he’ll get us problems through the rest of the season.

Luke

I’m hoping that Malcolm Sue ban can get over this injury if we see him again in Sabres jersey and play like he did in that first period.

Josh

Yeah, I mean, he played great in the first period. What’s really funny is Malcolm Soobin. Is Oh, wait, no, nevermind. Oh, actually, no, he is the highest paid goaltender on this team right now.

Luke

Yep, he is the highest paid goaltender after that trade. Oh, no. I saw I saw good things in the first after the first period, not so much. Not such good things as he saw,

Josh

but I bet you he got injured before he actually came out.

Luke

maybe but the way his skate hit that post it kind of just looks more like a calf injury loosely kind of strained it by hitting that post like that. So who knows? Maybe he’ll come back and do something maybe we don’t see him in the Sabres Jersey again. But moving on to tonight’s game.

Josh

Hold on real quick. I doubt that. He will never play in the Sabres jersey. I doubt they’re gonna trade him. No one’s gonna take him. No one’s gonna take him for anything.

Luke

No, but if Tokarski comes Back depending on what all happens who knows what this lineup is going to look like for golden years?

Josh

That’s true, I guess I don’t know because as you’re about to get to tonight’s game,

Luke

yes as we were recording 12/7 the Sabres take on the red hot Anaheim Ducks coming off a loss last last night to the capitals and overtime I’m Buka Pekka Luqman will get his first start of the season the fifth of his career he was 1-3 with a .906 save percentage and in .388 goals again so it goes against is very bad to say percentage hates least at least it’s over .900 is NHL career. Um, however on the season in the A, he’s sitting at eight,

Josh

so but

Luke

he’s had a very up and down season this to say the least. And the A,

Josh

I had a thought the other day about who could pick a look at him. What if he plays at the level that his competition plays out? Does that make sense? I

Luke

see. I wouldn’t like

Josh

Like, like, what if he plays like shit in the A because the A isn’t as good as the

Luke

see. I mean, I don’t think so. I

Josh

I don’t think so either. But it’s a thing. It’s I’ve seen it, like in other sports with. I mean, obviously, goalies, as we’ve said are weird. But other sports. Sometimes you see it where guys will play like absolute garbage. And then they’ll come to the big leagues for some reason. And they’ll be really, really good. It’s like they’re, it’s like they’re influenced by their atmosphere and like them. Yeah, around them. Like their competition makes them better. I don’t know, some athletes are just like that. So maybe UPL can be like that. I mean, I would think so. But

Luke

I would love to see him come in and just post like a 40 Save shut out or some dumb shit like that. Because that’s

Josh

what happened with neighbors. Well, now it’s not gonna happen. So thank God,

Luke

no, it’ll be a 40 Save to one loss. You

Josh

know, it’s like, I just I guess you could just try with the kid because like, as we’ve been saying, you have Devin Levi, you have Eric Portillo, you have money in the bank? Well, I shouldn’t say money in the band, you have stock options that are trending upward. Your bitcoin is rising.

Luke

Coin is your crypto is very well right now

Josh

your crypto is off the charts. But will it converted anything in real money? Who knows? We don’t know yet. But the point is, is you got to try this kid in the NHL sooner or later. I mean, he is only 22. But you gotta you can’t baby him for the first four or five years of his career in North American Hockey. I mean, some goalies thrive when you thrown to the wolves like a Jordan Binnington. Look at even Ryan Miller and in a way I mean, not to say threw him to the wolves really. But you threw Ryan Miller in there.

Luke

My thing is, in a sense, we kind of did last season when he played and we saw a happy one in three granted, yes, he had a 906 a percentage. So that’s that’s over 900.

Josh

This is also a team that couldn’t play defense this team. It can play defense, but enough focused on it. Its defense is offense. Yes. Which is something we haven’t seen from a Sabres team in a long time.

Luke

But I will talk more on that defense coming up. Right.

Josh

But but in years past, though, offense as defense has worked. You just need a good goalie to come in and back you up. And if UPL can be that good goalie, then you might have a winning formula right there for at least a little bit. I don’t think you can rely on him. But if Tokarski can get healthy and get off the COVID list, then I think you can look at a tandem of UPL and Tokarski if EPL looks good, because as we’ve said before, Tokarski is very good in short spurts. He can’t do three, four or five games in a row but he can do two three games in a row, take a couple games off, come back in and go crazy. You know what I mean? So it’s like you kind of just got to experiment with a goalie tandems a little bit here and like I said, you have some stock options coming up you got some guys that look like they’re gonna be legit. So why not try out who kopek a Luke and and find out if he’s going to be the real deal before you sign him to a possible long term deal that jams up the goalie pipeline and stunts the growth of Portillo or Levi, you know, I’m saying

Luke

yeah, it’s I mean, for me at this point, it can’t get worse can Yeah.

Josh

Well, you can you can have Carter Hutton and whatever the hill the other guy’s name is in Arizona.

Luke

I mean, versus like a K or something. Isn’t that basically what we have here at this point the way our goaltender has been playing yet Yeah, yeah, yeah,

Josh

but But what do you what

Luke

is the way that’s the way it’s been this year our goal setters just have not been up to stuff Tokarski has played decent.

Josh

What do you have in in Buffalo? You don’t have an Arizona. You have Dylan cousins. Yeah, you have awesome. You have. Kyle Okposo, who we both just found out is leading the team with 17 Points. Kyle Okposo. Six years after he signs that $6 million deal. He finally performs up to the numbers that we thought he was going to playing fourth line minutes swing for Klein minutes. Exactly. I mean, this man has an average of 15 minutes on ice per night.

Luke

Okay, that’s like middle six minutes. I’ll give him that.

Josh

That is in fourth line minutes. But still, like he’s playing with Cody Eakin. And?

Luke

Well, John, actually, actually past couple of games. We’ve seen him with cousins of Brett Murray.

Josh

That’s so true. That line for some reason works like they’re all big. And

Luke

Brett Murray can figure out how to skate an AHL level and not be a step behind the play. It could be better.

Josh

Honestly, Brett Murray could be a very serviceable fourth or third line player if he could skate. Like yeah, I

Luke

don’t, I don’t know, I’ll see watching his game. But if you look at the way, the way he is on the ice, compared to where the puck is, he’s always just behind where the play is gonna be in. That’s what he likes to see.

Josh

It’s weird, because he’s got the positioning. When it comes to like the offensive zone, it looks like he has positioning down in the sense of like, where to be and when to be there. But when it comes to neutral zone and defensive zone, he just looks lost. I mean, it feels like he knows where to be, but he doesn’t know where to be until two steps later. You know, like he he can’t figure out how to cut down the angles and things like that in the defensive zone and in the neutral zone. And that’s where you lose that step. And they then the other team creates a three on two or a two on one opportunity. And your team’s hung out to dry. But if he can figure out the positioning all over the ice, then I mean, he could like I said he could be a third or fourth line guy, a semi dependable third or fourth line guy.

Luke

Yeah. And you’d love to see it. You know, one of those good stories.

Josh

Brett Murray is only

Luke

2024 25. I think

Josh

he’s 23. I thought he was like, 30. I’m not gonna lie. I really thought he was like 30.

Luke

Now he’s that old. He’s younger, but he was drafted in

Josh

2016. He’s pretty much just played in the NCAA drafted in the fourth round. At 76 points in the USHL and 2018 19. Wow. That’s pretty good. I mean, he’s looked great in Rochester. In the three seasons, he’s been there. He’s been getting better and better as he’s going on down there. So honestly, like I said, if he like, like you said, Luke, if he can get those, if he can get his skating better. He could be a good player. And that line could look that much better.

Luke

As we said, I’m excited to see UPL see what you can do. Maybe he’ll be better that he’ll probably hopefully I don’t know, we said this about su band when we got him he’ll be better than Dell. But

Josh

like we said su ban was good in the first period. But he just I mean, to be fair, if we’re going to get into it, the defense has been absolutely god awful. So

Luke

so the defense itself has been okay. It’s the consistent turnovers that we’ve seen. And it’s because the defense is trying to do trying to do too much with the puck in the in their own zone. They’re trying to be too fancy with the even Jacob Bryson, I’ve loved all his moves this year. He’s, you know, putting some players on ice hot, brightly.

Josh

Jacob Bryson has been the most consistent defender that the Sabres have had this season,

Luke

which is concerning, based on the defenders that we have. Yes and

Josh

no. It’s concerning when you’re talking about guys like Darlene and Yoky Haru, who you want to be your future. But it’s not concerning when you’re talking about guys like Colin Miller, who’s been who was on a 55 point pace. And now Jacob Bryson is looking to be more consistent than him. You know what I’m saying? Like, like, in some cases, yes. It’s concerning. Like I said, when you’re talking about Darlene and yo Yoky Haru. But when it comes to everyone else on this team, I think on a when they’re all like when they’re all on, I think Jacob Bryson is the third best defenseman on this team. But that’s okay, because like, that also shows that he’s stepped in stepped up his game. I mean, last year, he played 38 games at nine points this year in 23 games. He’s got At six points, he’s obviously step stepping up offensively. And, I mean, I think he’s stepping up defensively too. But

Luke

I mean, we saw a few games where he you know, he took away McDavid on the breakaway. And that’s hard to do for anyone in the league and bracing. Did it like some no name for H Scholler.

Josh

For New York Rangers couldn’t do that. And they’re all untouchable. So I mean, I mean, those four New York Rangers aren’t worth one Jack Eichel. So I don’t know. I just I like, allegedly.

Luke

Yeah, I know, I’ve liked a good Bryson’s game. He’s, he’s doing too much. It’s just, it’s just consistent turnovers and you see it a lot in the neutral zone as well. Yeah.

Josh

Well, it was weird because like, you think back to how they played in the beginning of the year, the defense was quarterbacking everything. You know, like the defense would, it wasn’t that stupid shit where the Sabres would pass the puck back in the defensive zone, while the other team was changing. I mean, the defense was leading offensive rushes like, probably like six or seven times out of 10. Which I loved it because it was such a fast paced game, that defense would just pick the puck up and go, they wouldn’t care about trying to make that crazy threaded past to the forward, right on the blue line, they would just take it in themselves and create an offensive chance well, and

Luke

I’m okay with that transition offensive, you know, trying to feed someone at the blue line. You got to make the proper pass and not completely force you can force it to an extent. It is a game that you can force things,

Josh

right. It’s a situational game, like yeah, see the defenseman on the Sabres right now need to understand in what situation to like, that’s really it’s situational awareness, whether to dump the puck, pass the puck, or carry it in themselves. And yeah, it’s really just that, that that right, at least in the neutral zone defense. In the defensive zone. It’s just,

Luke

it’s so the biggest the biggest the biggest thing, the biggest issue that I have seen in the defensive zone in general, is puck control itself. We saw Joker and then Bryson both mishandled the puck that led to one of the Carolina goals. You can’t you can’t have that when you’re basically in front of your own net, especially a team like Carolina, they’re going to capitalize on that, right?

Josh

Gotta keep the puck out of the middle of the ice and defensive zone unless it’s like just you. Like, exactly if it’s only you, you’re fine. But if there’s four other guys there, don’t try to go to the middle of the ice, like keeping the outsides

Luke

whenever they you just got to have these kind of the awareness of like, okay, where’s the player going to probably go if I hit the puck this way, if I pass the puck this way, where’s the four checker or defender? Whatever gonna go? If I do that, and we saw some of those mishaps in the Carolina game, right? Joker’s swung it around the board’s at one point and it went right on to the stick of Carolina offender and then Joker fell in the middle of the ice I granted I get it you fall sometimes it happens.

Josh

Yeah, but when you’re an NHL player, exactly. But

Luke

even you know the way that it happened, it was it was caught Oh, Harold Carolina was probably sitting there laughing like it was it was comical. He just falls tries to spin the puck Lanza braces stick and jumps over his stick it kind of bounces off and lands ran out approach I say for a wide open net. Right? It just things like that just cannot happen if you want to be a team

Josh

just gotta think though some of that’s puck luck. I mean, yeah, a lot of hockey is puck luck. And that is something that the Sabres had a lot in the first like 10 games or so. And now it’s kind of running out as we see most seasons.

Luke

But a lot so so. You got to think about it in this way to where we was it potluck. And this is how they actually are though. Yeah, that’s that’s the big thing. And we see this year after year we start off, you know, like, oh, okay, like, okay, these guys maybe can come together and then 1520 25 games into the season. It’s like, Ah, yes, this is what we were expecting.

Josh

Right? It’s, it’s, it’s so hard like you can’t like like you said, we see this every year and you’re beating a dead horse because we can’t seem to get past that hump and it’s like, there’s no explanation for it. You have superstars on your team doesn’t work. You have rookies on your team doesn’t work. You have literally anybody in the NHL that is begging for a contract. It doesn’t work. So it’s like, what more do you do at this point? You know, I don’t know, I don’t mean to sound so negative. It’s just like, what else can you change?

Luke

There’s there’s not much aside from adding, you know, some of these quote unquote legitimate NHL caliber players.

Josh

Right? Like if you could take last year’s team and put it on the ice right now, with Don Coronado as coach, I think this is a 500 level team. A little would be, I think it’s a little above 500 Actually,

Luke

I think I think it should be a little above 500. And I think even this year’s team should be just below 500. But instead we’re seeing loss after loss after loss because of goaltending.

Josh

Right and mean this team just kind of kind of has to find a way to put a stake in the ground and just stop you know, I mean, they’re just just falling in every aspect. I get it. Joker fell. Yep. But but like when your team scores 16 goals in about four games and you lose all four games. There’s a problem and that problem is goaltending. We did here. I don’t know if this was before we got Sue ban. But we did hear that the Sabres are going after Anton KHUDOBIN I wouldn’t mind it again you’re trying to address a problem which you can’t fault Kevin Adams for but

Luke

I think it was just before Sue ban and the not that the deal like fell through they just couldn’t figure anything out for it.

Josh

Right. I mean, Dallas probably wanted a considerable chunk for

Luke

you know, I mean, they probably wanted at least like a fourth or a fifth or something. And maybe something else. I don’t know. Think about it right now he’s down he’s down in the A right now. That is true, man. Bishop both are in the A right now. It’s more of a conditioning.

Josh

Yeah, cuz it’s ginger. And

Luke

he Dobbins coming off an injury as well. Yeah,

Josh

right. Well, right now, the cap friendly has it listed as Jay Gettinger ginger, however you say it Raiden Hopi and Anton KHUDOBIN this year for the Dallas Stars. You know, woman has played seven games with a 373 and an 873 save percentage.

Luke

So in reality, is that any better than what we’ve seen so far this season?

Josh

No, not at all. But at the same time, again, change of scenery. Maybe? I don’t know. Yeah. You

Luke

never you never know. Especially with goaltenders. You never know. Because Dallas

Josh

themselves haven’t been the grouse team. I mean, you look at Braden Holtby. Braden Holtby has 12 Well, okay, Braden. All right. Well, all right, I stand corrected Braden hope he has 12 games played at 218 and a nine to eight save percentage. So maybe it is that cute omen is actually bad.

Luke

Exactly. That’s why they sent him to the aidid you know it’s kind of a conditioning kind of a figure it out.

Josh

Jake got injuries here. And he is ready 1.41 goals against na point nine five say percentage in six games. Exactly. That’s yeah, KHUDOBIN is definitely I’m actually now that I’m looking at all that. I’m glad that they didn’t trade for

Luke

and that might have been a determining factor for Kevin Adams. Yeah. Because then he can be picked up Malcolm Sue ban so who knows? Right? But I think I think everyone is waiting for us to address the elephant in the room on this team.

Josh

There’s an elephant in the team.

Luke

What now there’s a dog there’s a dog on the team that there

Josh

is a dog that could be the size of an elephant because he’s a he’s a big floppy boy.

Luke

I’m know the elephant in the room on this team is Rasmus Darlene and what is happening this season to him.

Josh

Like I said before, Jack Eichel Sam Reinhart and Rasmus Ristolainen are gone. So the microscope is now on. Dylan cousins, Casey mittelstadt Erasmus Tallinn and I get that and does that give him an excuse to play bad No. But at the same time, it’s

Luke

it’s more of a it’s less than the microscopes on them. Like I get it the maestro’s on him even more and more so now than it was years past. Especially because he’s now 21 He should be starting to come into his own as a defenseman. This is fourth year in the league. He should be able to figure it out. And defensively he’s been okay in the defensive zone. But he is not able to control the puck we saw it again in the Carolina game. He lost the puck of the blue line gave up a breakaway and then instead of staying in front of the net, he followed the player into the corner. He’s just making some decisions that don’t make sense. That quote unquote, generational talent defenseman want to be making,

Josh

but you got to think about it because Ralph Kruger

Luke

made him broke that man’s right?

Josh

He made him play a specific type of hockey that Darlene had never played in his entire life. So naturally raspa stallion is going to play to his instincts and play how he has played his entire life. Kruger is going to yell at him, Hey, play the way I want you to play or you’re benched. So then d’alene is going to get this weird. It’s a psychological thing. As stupid as it sounds. It’s a psychological thing he’s going to try to play because I, I don’t know if I could really compare myself to this. But when I played college, when I went from high school, soccer to college soccer, I had the college soccer coach telling me to play a way I’d never played before in my life. And then I was trying to combine my brain was combining the way I had always played to the way I was now being told to play and it was just God awful, because the way I was being told to play was a great like, format and system. And the way I used to play the way I played like my whole life was a great way to play. But putting them together didn’t work. Now transfer that the rest was tallien I think wrasse was Darlene had played that way his whole life. What Krueger was telling him to do is a fine way to play if you’re a defensive defenseman. But you can’t put those two together. Donnelly has to just be allowed to go back to what he was doing. And like I said before, he needs to play only on his specific defensive pair and maybe on three V three in the overtime, no other lines no penalty kill no power play nothing.

Luke

So So speaking to that we we’ve talked about you’ve seen all over you know savers, Twitter savers fans have been clamoring for Darlene to get bench which I don’t want you to only get benched. Do I want to see him taken off the powerplay for a few games? Yes. Yeah. I want to see him off the powerplay take his figure out his game, right.

Josh

Sit him down and be like, Look, we’re gonna take some of your eyes time away for just a little bit just to give you time to get comfortable. Because that’s another thing. You’re basically like, just telling this kid to be your number one defenseman, which he can be with. He’s

Luke

away and you shouldn’t be able to if he’s this quote, unquote, generational talent, right, but he’s

Josh

21 years old. He he has time to be your generational defenseman if you don’t push him too hard, ie Casey mittelstadt McKell Gregor Ranko zemgus Girgensons. Now McCargo Grenco ends I’m just gonna say

Luke

let’s let’s not push it with the least well, with those two.

Josh

They’re obviously not your generational type players, but you did force them into an uncomfortable situation. Casey mittelstadt, I think can be as we’ve said, and 80 point score for a few years ago, but you pushed him into a very difficult situation that he was not ready for. And I think you’re kind of doing the same thing with Rasmus tahleen, but a little bit less, because there’s a lot less focus on defenseman than there is forwards but still. Yeah, but honestly, though, like, I’ve been trying to think about what you would do with the powerplay without Rasmus tahleen, and I don’t really know who would slot in for him. I don’t know if you have any ideas.

Luke

So I mean, I have my own idea. So so let me pose the question to you. You take dollying out, what do you want? What would you want to see? Um, PB one PP two.

Josh

Oh, I mean, given Collin Miller’s season as a whole, I would want him on one of the power plays probably Power Play number two, considering how he’s been playing lately. I mean, the past few games he hasn’t looked like he has all season. But I definitely want to see Jacob Bryson on the first power play. Just to see, I would want to see a defensive pairing on the first power play of Jigga Bryson and Paige Thompson. So and then have Olafson Skinner and cousins on your first power play

Luke

so yes, but all of a sudden will probably be your defender on that. Just because of where he slots in Yeah,

Josh

yeah. But I was I was thinking to age with size and

Luke

yes, but Tasia there’s trying they’re trying to run the ICO power play without having a go and that’s that’s the biggest issue and now it I mean, there’s no there’s special teams has been so god awful over the past two weeks that this something they need to change the system for it.

Josh

It works in the sense of you can set up either Olafson or Thompson for that one timer, but it’s harder to set them up because they don’t create space like Jack Eichel did

Luke

exactly. I want to see a pirate populate one of Tomer Skinner all of sin Asplund and Bryson. You have asked when it’s fader going back and forth, back and forth as a net front presence. They’re little, but they’re aggravating. Yeah, I

Josh

get that. I would like that.

Luke

And then I want to see a PP to have cousins, myths. I’m Bozo Okposo, probably weirdly enough Girgensons. Just Yep. He he, for some reason. Oh, he

Josh

has a very good net front presence as well. Him and Matt

Luke

Girgensons on a power play.

Josh

But yeah, no. Hey, I mean, if it works, it works. And then I think your fifth would probably be you probably it would probably

Luke

have to be called Miller or Henri jokiharju. Depending on how much you trust him.

Josh

I don’t know what I’d see. I don’t. I I was really excited for Henry OERu. But for the past two years, I’ve not liked how he’s played.

Luke

Well, his injuries is has also gotten the best of him recently. Right. That’s true. And that’s has not helped. And, you know, consistently changing D pairs, right? Yeah, you’re right. And occasionally playing the offsides. We had so many rhps for so long.

Josh

So let me play some more devil’s advocate here. Fast forward a month and a half. Rasmus tahleen has refound his game. What do you do with your power play both Power Play units on fire.

Luke

You take Miller off move Bryce into the second power play and you put dolly back on the first or vice versa and let Darlene run the second power play if Bryson’s run in that first one well enough.

Josh

That’s right. Yeah,

Luke

I personally I don’t know. I’ve seen the second power play unit come out. It’s what a postal Girgensons and I think cousins. Yeah, yeah. And then it’s Bryson and Miller. I’m sorry. I am not a fan of the two defenseman power plays

Josh

no you need to have for for you on the advantage on the powerplay get a bigger forward and put him on defensive spot because like get one of your like, get like a good shot at least. Yeah. And then that’s why I said have Thompson at the point on the first power play because if you win the faceoff back Thompson he can just rip a one timer from the past and takes the face off but Oh, you’re right. I forgot he’s playing center No, like like he always should have

Luke

says that’s the thing. That’s why I want that’s why I’ve been pushing for Miller to come off of the power play. Right? I want Miller off the parkway so that it’s Darlene and Bryce and Ryan the power plays and you just insert another forward into that second power play. It’s as simple as that, in my opinion. I don’t like this two defenseman thing that Coronado has been trying to go with with Bryce in the Miller. Miller shot. It’s a hard shot. Yes, but it is accurate. So inaccurate is one of the most inaccurate shots in the NHL. Hmm, it’s bad. See, and

Josh

I like how I like how Girgensons has been lately. Not just completely switch. I know. That was a very big switch there. But Girgensons lately has been very scrappy in front of the net. You know, so that’s why I like seeing him 10

Luke

seconds into that Carolina game him in chat field. We’re going at it 10 slides in right

Josh

that’s why I like him in the face off or in the face cheese. Wow. I am. That was weird.

Luke

I mean, that was the center for a minute, but we

Josh

I liked him. I wonder I liked him in the powerplay conversation because he’ll be he’ll get in the front of the net and just wreak havoc. I mean, I think mittelstadt can do the same thing. mittelstadt and Girgensons could be like what Skinner and Aspen would be on your well

Luke

I want I want I don’t know if I want mittelstadt For the night on that. So if Girgensons or Girgensons powerplay is going to have a post so on it Oh, that’s true. Oh cosa ergotism post so we’re going to be the ones flipping in front of the net and a post those probably going to be ironically enough Olafson spot Yeah, yeah, he’s always in the right he’s a right shot. And he always sends a left but for some reason a poster was so much better on that short side than to I’ll post Oh, can’t isn’t really one timer.

Josh

No, but he’s got a one time shot. It’s got a crazy Russia and Casey mittelstadt is showing that he can be a little like in three games so far. I think he’s shown he can be more playmaker. Yeah, then a

Luke

well that’s why you have mates and cousins together on that second power play. Because they’re just feeding each other at that point,

Josh

right? Yeah. Yeah, cuz cousins is also that setup guy.

Luke

Cousins and setup guy, but he’s he’s got a scary shot. He can pinpoint a shot, huh? Yeah, no, we’ve seen that over the past three, four games. He’s had a few beauty shots that you know, why aren’t we playing him more with guys that can set them up?

Josh

Huh? Yeah. But at the same time, it’s also because he can also like, I think cousins is showing that he can really be that all around centerman where he can score and he can set up you know, like he’s that like, ideal power forward I guess you could say where he scores he passes he plays defense like he’s really showing that he’s that all around player that we would be when we drafted him

Luke

Yeah, I just I don’t know I need to I need changes in this powerplay we the Sabres need change to change up the powerplay to get something going we haven’t scored. I want us except for that Girgensons school and the five minute major on that Carolina game. I don’t think we’ve scored in their past like 10 powerplay attempts. It’s bad. The system that Coronado has does not work, because it’s a cycle system.

Josh

Well, right now, not I mean, not to throw water on your work. wet blanket. That’s what I

Luke

know. I know where top I know, we’re top 15 power play. And that’s been raised because of the beginning of the season when we were just ripping the powerplay

Josh

Yeah, I mean, we’re on 20%. Right now. We have 13 power play goals in 63 opportunities. And then on the penalty kill, that’s really bad.

Luke

That’s that’s a whole different story that dolly also needs to get out. Get off of. But yeah, that story for another time, because I’m really focused on the offense right now. Yep. Yeah, no, I just because, you know, another new goalie in the fifth sabres, goalie of the season. It’s I don’t know, there’s, there’s so many question marks with this team. And what we can be and what we are, right.

Josh

And I think like, another thing is, is, like we said, at the beginning of the season, Granado just needs to experiment. Like he can’t just kind of like if something’s not working, just mix it up. Like, try everything you can, you know, because this is not a throwaway year, but this is your year to try stuff out with some of the guys that are going to be here forever, or hopefully forever. I mean, of course, you’re going to have guys like ministros, Eakin, Poso, who aren’t going to be here for very long, but you’re going to have you have guys that you need to work on stuff with. Like cousins and mittelstadt. And Darlene, you need to like, start figuring out what you want to do with those guys and how you want to utilize them. Because like Renato always said, you can’t if your system isn’t working. It’s not the players is you. I mean, remember when he said that when he first came in? He I’m not saying I’m not saying

Luke

as his first as his first of many digs at Ralph Kruger.

Josh

Yes. But and I’m not saying that, that. Don’t Granados system doesn’t work. But it’s just he needs to tweak it or tweak something in it. You know what I mean?

Luke

Yeah, something something needs to change, maybe even you know, pull one of those guys from that first power play, put them on that second power play to get either Kamala Jacob rice out of there. If you really want to have Darlene still on that power play one. You know, pull one of those guys switch it up a little bit, get different chemistry or something. Anything at this point, to get something going

Josh

chemistry is the other thing is that a lot of these guys like they a lot of them have never played together. I mean, Darlene and cousins never played together. mittelstadt and cousins never played together. So it’s in but then you’re looking at the guys, we lost Risto, Reinhardt, Michael, like they were here, when all of these other guys were talking about came through. I mean, I posted a good chemistry with like all that we have heard of anyway, Darlene probably had pretty good chemistry with one of the big three, if not more than one of them.

Luke

Well, I mean, him and resto are partners for a long time. Yeah, we saw that experiment when

Josh

for some reason, but what I’m saying is, is these guys aren’t comfortable with each other yet they gotta just kind of get used to each other and learn how each other play

Luke

on I’m hoping for something you know, we see. I mean even look at look at look at the farm look at Rock.

Josh

We know they’re not doing much right now.

Luke

They aren’t they are not doing much. They’re they’re sitting in a COVID week off basically due to other teams.

Josh

Yeah, it’s not even their fault, which is I mean, that’s good. You know?

Luke

And obviously, you know, that gives us a chance to bring up UPL and have him play any game for the Sabres and you know, maybe stay up here, maybe go back down. Who knows but right. You remember we had Jack Quinn Payton crabs, JJ Patrika these guys that are, you know, probably, in a sense kind of ready to come up, but we’re letting them play down there to get them get them the chemistry and look what they’ve done.

Josh

Yeah, I mean jack Quinn leads the HL and scoring stuff. Well, he’s, he might have fallen off a little bit just because of

Luke

2024 points 70 games UPL talks wonders about him too, huh?

Josh

Yeah, so it sounds like there’s good locker room guys coming up, as well as good players. Because that’s the other thing that every good hockey team needs is a guy in the locker room that’s just gonna, you know, bring everybody together. Object Quinn can be one of those guys. That’s friggin awesome.

Luke

I mean, I mean, it’s it’s up. UPL was saying that, you know, he wants to score he wants to contribute. He wants to help. And that’s all that’s all you want from you know, a top 10 Pick. Someone that can help someone that can score and contribute to your team. We’ve talked about before how we have quote unquote, young leaders on this team and Dylan cousins and Peyton Krebs. So, you know, the locker room is there it’s just a matter of transferring it to the ice and it’s it’s a matter of just getting them continuing to get them playing time.

Josh

It’s hockey culture. You got to bring it back somehow, because it left with Darcy regear and Lindy ruff.

Luke

Yeah, yeah, pretty much. Yeah. But yeah, like we said, Rochester not playing this week. Unfortunately. They have been in COVID purgatory due to another team’s issues.

Josh

Yeah. That’s kind of sucks. I think they play tomorrow, though. Correct.

Luke

I believe I believe Rochester plays tomorrow. Do not quote me on that. I’m not 100% on that. I believe that’s what I saw.

Josh

Yes. Wednesday, December 8, as far as as long as it doesn’t. Nothing comes up. The I believe Emirates will Utica Yeah, in Rochester against the Eureka comments who they broke the streak of a couple weeks ago, which was funny, but they did have games against the crunch. And Thunderbirds postponed I think they also had one at the tail end nope, nevermind they did not have one at the tail end of November. So they’ve only had three postponed it’s to get to against the crunch one against the Thunderbirds, but to see when they make those up. But a busy week for Rochester coming up they got 1234 games in the next week. So give those young guys

Luke

some wins. You know Michael Houser will be in that for them. They call it up another toy from from Cincinnati. I don’t remember what his name is, but he’s gonna get his chance in the A do to UPL having to come up

Josh

Matt Robson. Yes, he is your age. I think born in 1996 20 So

Luke

he’s 25 he gets a chance in the UAE with the Congo anyway

Josh

with the Iowa wild last year. I think that’s the Iowa while he had 26 games played a 901 save percentage 10 wins or 11 wins 10 losses, five ot losses to shut out losses.

Luke

Isn’t a you know whatever. Hey, in reality, we’ve seen it already in the A we’ve seen how UPL has struggled so you know they all the all they’re all Rochester really needs is someone that can stop most shots or maybe only allow like three maybe four goals a night and they can still win those games because they have crabs per Turco Quinn mersch who is having a monster year in the A right now. And even their defenders in Matisse Amis and skelaxin are having this as a pretty good year so

Josh

yeah, but like the thing is with I mean with these goalies, it’s just like they’re just I don’t want to say they’re just placeholders but I mean they kind of are yes and no because the way I’m looking at it is if if this Matt Robson guy comes in and lights it up and Michael Houser lights it up. It’s then that’s going to add more question marks to UPL in my I mean,

Luke

I don’t think it as question marks I think it just means we keep UPL up here is our third or center down and whichever goalie is the worst of the two gets is the one that gets benched. You have to keep UPL playing it’s only way you’re going to progress him if you still want him to progress and you’re gonna try to have him progress as well as Levi and Portillo

Josh

Right? Right? Wait a minute, no, no way. Yes, what is S O percentage? Oh shoot out this okay. I was looking at some of this Amridge stats and it had 100% for Quinn Patrika and Krebs on S O percentage. And I thought that was shooting percentage and I got very excited For a second

Luke

I will be like concerned loci that wouldn’t make sense

Josh

no yeah, we would have already talked about that if that was Yeah, but anyway,

Luke

but all blocked Rochester is a face Utica tomorrow, but real quick before we you know it’s gonna be a little shorter episode is we’re getting towards the end of this dabei the blade podcast episode a look ahead at the Sabres week. They got Anaheim tonight UPL gets his first star of the season fifth of his career as previously mentioned, hoping for the best 730 Start.

Josh

Former Sabre Trevor’s egress we’ll

Luke

see Sabres legend Trevor Z grass probably will have a sick goal on UPL unfortunately, I mean, orchards everywhere will one of the two will

Josh

or or both? Why not? Let’s say both. Just for fun.

Luke

Yeah. Anyway. And then we have backed backs Friday, Saturday taking on the Rangers at home and then the capitals at home so this week isn’t easy for Buffalo again, another hard week, Anaheim top near top of their division. Rangers are playing extraordinarily well and Washington’s Washington I hope Ovechkin score is on us to continue his gold streak. I hope we beat them. But I hope he scores.

Josh

Scores one goal every game this year just because

Luke

he’s the first player. He’s already at 20 goals. I know. Already at 20. He is 36 years old. Yeah.

He has 20 goals. He’s the first one to 20 this year at 36, one of the oldest in the league nonetheless.

And then next Tuesday, we’re taking a Winnipeg in Winnipeg little road trip next week. So we’ll see what happens. This schedule is not easy. Coming up this next two weeks is not an easy schedule. So I’m hoping for one win, at least in these next three games.

Josh

You got to break the streak. I mean, you gotta Yeah. You’re currently sitting

Luke

at a four game losing streak. Since Detroit, overtime laws and it’s a win win. Win. Last one was Montreal on Black Friday and a four one victory. And before that was Pittsburgh on November 16. So yeah, so they needed they need to figure it out. And I’m hoping one of these three games there’s a win. I’m hoping the Rangers just

Josh

because there’s because the Rangers Yeah, we’re gonna hopefully win tonight.

Luke

I mean, I also do well, I hope they win. And I hope UPL comes out and plays lights out. But who knows? That’s our look ahead. And we’ll wait and see. With that we’re gonna jump into the end of our show here is I believe Josh has three stars

Josh

for Yeah, so I’m gonna do kinda like what the NHL does where they do their three stars of the week, but I’ll do our three stars for the Sabres of the week. And also do the three stars of our entire prospect pool because I know you know I like I like giving you guys a little update on the Prospects but it kind of gets a little wordy if we repetitive if we go over every single prospect every single week. So start off Sabres three stars the week as picked by Luke and myself. Started off at numbers Well, honorable mention Casey mittelstadt came in and his first game back scored a heck of a goal. I mean, he’s looked great in his first two games back so far, but couldn’t give him a third star status because of the three stars we picked this week. I mean, they’ve been all on a tear. Dylan cousins has three goals and one assist and his last five games coming in at Star number three. He’s looked fantastic. He as we said has just been kind of a setup guy, but also a shooter at the same time. So it’s a great Jeff Skinner in at Star number two with three goals and three assists in his last five games. He’s not on a five he’s not on a five game point streak. He did have one game where he didn’t score.

Luke

Yeah, he was a three game point streak did not score against Florida and then

Josh

scored against Carolina. No, he got an assistant against Carolina got a point at least whatever, whatever. And then coming in at number one, Mr. Kyle Okposo who is on a sixth game point streak with one goal and five assists in his last five games. I as I said, I don’t care where it comes from at this point. I’m just happy to see somebody scoring

Luke

I just don’t understand. I don’t either. I mean, this. Remember to this was a guy who we weren’t sure was gonna play again in the NHL. Right because due to his injury last year. Mm

Josh

hmm. But hey, that buffalo medical staff got one thing right. I guess. I’m speaking of medical staff real quick. Craig Anderson is now month to month. So it looks like he’s getting that age Thompson sold shoulder surgery treatment.

Luke

He’s just old at this point.

Josh

Yeah, I mean, it’s Fine, it sucks, but it’s fine. But anyway, so yeah, those are your three stars of the Sabres for the week. Now we’ll do our quick three stars of prospects hasn’t been great for the top savers prospects in the last week or so. Coming in at number three we got Eric Portillo, two wins and one loss with equals allowed in three games. I know it doesn’t sound great. But Michigan’s been playing pretty well. So far this year. Portillo has gotten most of the stats, or most of the starts Excuse me.

Luke

I believe he started all but one game. I yeah, I

Josh

think so he did get pulled against Minnesota when they lost five one. He got pulled, going into the third period. But so far this year, the team is doing pretty well. On power. I think I was looking at his stuff. He hasn’t had a great last few games. But he does have I think 30 points on the years when I saw the hockey team if my laptop will load is playing Ohio State next on Friday, December 10. And so far on the gear again, I’m sorry, my laptop is not loading. I don’t want to buy tickets. They are 13 Five, oh and Oh, six and four in conference on a one game win streak. Um, so yeah, they’ve been playing very well. But obviously against the big schools like Minnesota and things like that, not so much. I’m moving on to our friend Olivier Nadeau, who Luke still believes will never be good in the NHL. He has seven ever be good. Okay, fine. Well, we please in the queue is not going to be good. He has seven points and three games so far in just December. The Shawnigan. Cataracts played three games so far in December, early on here, and he has one goal and six assists in those three games. Pretty good. He has me now the best prospect of the week and I saver system and in the Sabre system minus own power, maybe

Luke

I’ll Empower

Josh

Devin Levi, has won his last three games with only two goals allowed in those three games, and just recently tied a school record at Northeastern with six shutouts on the year. Mind you, Devin Levi is 19 years old and has played how many games has he played this year? I

Luke

think I want to say is that 19 now?

Josh

Yeah, I think he’s played most of the games. Yeah,

Luke

he as well as only only not played I believe. I think he’s at like three or four games he hasn’t played?

Josh

Yeah, Northeastern is at 13 four and one. On the year seven, three and one and conference.

Luke

I’m pretty sure that’s Devon Levi’s record right now.

Josh

I can see if I can find it on elite prospects here. Yeah, I think

Luke

so. Like did we win that trade? Or?

Josh

I mean, we draft with the first round pick. I think the Sabres definitely win that.

Luke

I mean, I don’t think we won the tray because we lost Ryan Hart. But

Josh

Devin Levi is played 18 games and the records 13 foreign one. So yes, he has played every single game this year. So his record is 13 foreign one. Pretty good. And so half of his wins are shutouts. I’ll take it. I’ll take it.

Luke

I mean, I guess that’s good.

Josh

Yeah, but so there’s your quick little three stars of the week. Probably do mean

Luke

I think you should have more shout outs but

Josh

I wish but yeah, so we’ll do those regularly. Just kind of keep you guys updated a little bit on we’ll do a deep dive and prospects here and there but

Luke

keep an eye out for Devin Levi for Hobey Baker. first glance 13 would be one

Josh

would be the first goalie to do it. Since that one guy named Ryan Miller. He did pretty good in the NHL. So

Luke

keep an eye keep an eye on that race. That shutout race. Yeah, he is. He’s already at six on the year they still got plenty of games to go I believe as well. There’s like usually like what 30 ish? Yeah, something like that. college games a season 30 to 40. And I believe Mel. Speaking of the same same goalie I believe Brian Miller holds the record for most shutouts in the NCAA in a season. Yeah, leave 11

Josh

I think so.

Luke

I want to say was 11 So he’s already at six through 18 games.

Josh

Um, no senior goaltender Dryden McKay was out perfect for the 27th time in his four year college career, and in doing so became the NCAA record holder for most career shutouts as Minnesota State down. Oh, this was this was October 30 of 2020. So, Minnesota states goaltender has 27 shutouts in his four year

Luke

career. I’m saying I’m saying out of season now. Oh, I’m saying out of season because he’s closing in on the season record.

Josh

Ryan Miller had 10 shutouts. He is second best behind Greg Gardner who had 12 in 1999 2000.

Luke

So keep an eye out on that race to see if Devin Levi can maybe break that record your nose.

Josh

I mean, right now he’s

Luke

six out of 18. So it’s every three games.

Josh

Yeah, he’s more than halfway there. Actually, it’s halfway there for the for the record, he’s more than halfway there to beat Ryan Miller. Korean career Miller is also in second with 26 shutouts. Ahead of him is that Dryden McKay, who now has 30 shutouts. Wow, Who is this kid? And is he draft? Is he signed by anybody? Because if he’s not, hey,

Luke

hey, he might be better than Aaron Dell.

Josh

Let’s make a phone call. See if he wants to play some play some NHL hockey? Um, he, as I said plays for Minnesota State. He is not Oh my God. He is not drafted by any NHL team.

Luke

What are his actual stats though? That’s the real question. Very

Josh

good. In his first year, he had 34 games played a 176 goals against average and a 927 say percentage with four shutouts and a record of 24/7 and two

Luke

why I’m looking at stats Now,

Josh

why is this kid not in the NHL

Luke

goalie go college goalies go very unnoticed. Usually that’s the thing put.

Josh

Good Lord Kevin Adams. Make a phone call, please.

Luke

Especially when they don’t make any kind of like you like nationals, especially us goaltenders when they don’t make any kind of US national team. Or you 18 team. That is

Josh

true. He was coming up the same time as Spencer Knight, so probably got a little overshadowed there. But anyway, regardless, we’re kind of rambling here so yeah, yes. I’m nerding out over goalies, again,

Luke

as you usually do, but with that as we’re coming to a close here and the guy by the way, podcast. Josh, what is one thing you’re looking forward to in this upcoming week?

Josh

Getting my Christmas tree as I said in the beginning of the episode, it’s always fun time in the year I love decorating. We usually make a day of it. We go up, get up pretty early in the morning and go get our tree and then decorate all afternoon. So yes, nice. Hello, you. Oh, yeah. It’s like your cookie sundae. But with a tree.

Luke

I mean, we just decorated the tree on Black Friday. Me and my mom do that’s cool. Ah, for myself. I mean, this Saturday, I got the I got my military ball that my the lady is coming to and it’s kind of a little send off kind of thing for some of our guys, so it’s gonna be a nice time. And I for some reason, I’m gonna be part of the color guard. So that’ll be fun.

Josh

Ooh, that’d be cool.

Luke

But other than that, the Sabres got some games coming up. So go check them out. And it’s been another great episode here at the Die By The Blade podcast. Thanks for listening.