Challenge #28 - Buffalo Sabres - Discussion Thread

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Challenge #28 - Buffalo Sabres - Discussion Thread

Post by bruins72 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:04 pm

Post all of your talk about the Buffalo Sabres challenge here!

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smokey
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Re: Challenge #28 Discussion

Post by smokey » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:17 pm

Alright, been waiting for this new challenge ever since I was fired from the Leafs some months ago. Can't wait for a first look to see if it's in any way possible to mold a play off team -let a lone a cup winner- out of this Buffalo group. Game on!

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Re: Challenge #28 Discussion

Post by jesterx7769 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:57 pm

I think its a good challenge team just because there will be different ways to build this team. The Maple Leafs were not a bad team overall, they just lacked a goaltender which with how they were rated and the game mechanics really devastated them and showing how one player could take them from last to the playoffs. This forced everyone to get a goalie in season 2 (or suffer another bad year) where with the Sabres we will have more diversity.

The Buffalo team will get more wins overall at the beginning due to Ryan Miller who thanks to him has the Sabres 18th in the season preview in my game. However the team lacks scoring options and Kaleta is the only forward with aggression so they aren't big physical aggressive defensive team either. The lines lack offense, defensive, and toughness, not a good thing to have no identity.

The bright spot for Sabres is they have a good amount of prospects where the Leafs barely had any (Rielly and Kadri but thats it), throw in the extra draft picks and this team should be stacked in 3 to 4 years from internal talent alone. Some good young defensive players, some good young forwards, I'm not super knowledgeable about them in real life but if you were coming in as a new GM this team is a dream (chalk up first year to former regime while you get the future and draft picks)

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Re: Challenge #28 Discussion

Post by Prowl » Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:07 am

I won't have to rush through this challenge. I can enjoy this and build the team around Miller and yes, it should be fun :)

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Re: Challenge #28 Discussion

Post by batdad » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:06 pm

Here is the thing. Every time we do a challenge with a good goalie already on the team...it becomes easy way too fast. Yeah It is a nice change, but I always find once I have the goalie I dominate. That makes things boring for me...I mean I have won Stanley Cups with the likes of Budaj, Mason, and a couple of other sieves in net. But I would lose too. When I have the premier goalie...I rarely have lost in the challenges.

But...I have no time to play right now...so I don't really have a say. Just found that in the past that as soon as we did a team with a good goalie it got too easy.

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Re: Challenge #28 Discussion

Post by Manimal » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:24 pm

[quote="jesterx7769"
The bright spot for Sabres is they have a good amount of prospects where the Leafs barely had any (Rielly and Kadri but thats it),[/quote]

The unsigned draft picks are mostly rubbish, though. Only Armia looks good in my save.

I signed a good trainer that was born in Buffalo!

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Re: Challenge #28 Discussion

Post by jesterx7769 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:37 am

The unsigned draft picks are mostly rubbish, though. Only Armia looks good in my save.

I signed a good trainer that was born in Buffalo!

I didn't mean the unsigned prospects (just about all are garbage for every team) I meant just young players not currently playing too much but will in just a few seasons.

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Re: Challenge #28 Discussion

Post by bruins72 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:13 am

20 games in and we're doing pretty well. Vanek has 15 goals in 20 games. Stafford is right behind with 14. Leino is our assist leader with 21. Those guys are my top line. I've got Hodgson centering Ennis and and Gerbe. I'm not really satisfied with Hodgson as my 2nd line center. I think Luke Adam might have better upside but he's really more of a 2-way, 3rd line kind of guy. Then I've got Hecht between Ott and Kaleta. I really don't like Kaleta though. This team needs toughness but he just doesn't do anything for me. Maybe Luke Adam will replace Hecht in a year or two? Miller and Enroth are a great tandem. Obviously, we're set in net for the foreseeable future. The defense needs some work. I thought about bringing up McNabb but I thought it would be better for his development to stay in the AHL for at least another year.

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Re: Challenge #28 - Buffalo Sabres - Discussion Thread

Post by coombs14 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:28 am

First time trying the challenge. We shall see how this goes. I was going to do it last time but I just couldn't bring myself to play as the leafs.

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Re: Challenge #28 - Buffalo Sabres - Discussion Thread

Post by Vanaja » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:52 pm

My first challenge game too. I think I did try too aggressive and defensive tactic first half of season = lots of injury and PIM's. I have bad habit always trade small players out and bring new fat people in, so I can use more hit & grind style tactics. Now I have to try something else. :-k
Probably need to take Ennis and Gerbe to the McDonalds to eat more often... ;)

Q3 went quite well, improving rank from 13 to 10.

Q4 was :joy: . Ended 5th with 93p. all teams 5th-8th have 93p and 9th have 91p. Getting to playoffs was close call. before last game we did have chance to miss playoffs or climb 5th with some help from others.

Playoffs Sabres 0 - Rangers 4
Last edited by Vanaja on Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:42 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Challenge #28 - Buffalo Sabres - Discussion Thread

Post by jesterx7769 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:11 pm

Just finished season 1 and I'm surprised that the season went how I predicted it.

I finished with the 7th seed (just missed the 6th) and lost in the first round of the playoffs. However the teams core is still a ways away from making it further in the playoffs.

As I thought this team will get more wins due to Miller and how important goalie is with the game mechanics. However scoring is a serious problem (at least for me) which is really challenging coming off the Leafs challenge who were all offense and would lose in 7-6 type games. Sometimes I would go on streaks of scoring well but had way too many shutouts against which makes me mad as I was priding myself on scoring well before and my goal was to play defenseive and get a 20%ish PP line but using almost exact tactics as with the leafs left me with a 14% PP.

After getting 12 wins in Q1 I got cocky and happy then Miller was out for 10 days providing my horrible 7 game win Q2 (I forgot to put Ehroth as my goalie first game out so the random fill guy played, lost 9-0).

Stafford was the only forward that played well for me, Vanek and Ennis have some big holes in their game and hurts. The good news is LW is stacked (lots of guys that can play it) and Foligno did great for me (38 pts, 7ish rating) despite being ranked so low on the view team report which I hate.

Defense is also a big problem but its more of an even balanced out problem and can just plug and play guys right now. Myers is great (over 8 rating), the rest were disappointing.

Draft was good for re-stocking 14 and 16 in round 1 ended up drafting Lazar, Zykov, Slepyshev, Stetsenko and some others of course.

I wasn't going to post my lines from a competitive standpoint but I like reading what other people are doing so I should return the favor

Vanek-Leino-Stafford
Ennis-Hodgson-Ott
Foligno-Hecht-Kaleta
Gerbe-Larsson-McCormick (gerbe replaces Ott on PP)

Ehroff-Myers
Sekera-Pardy
Weber-McNabb

I will just edit this with I sign/trade for once that happens.

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Re: Challenge #28 - Buffalo Sabres - Discussion Thread

Post by smokey » Wed May 08, 2013 9:41 am

A few points after 13 games.

Despite having Miller injured for 5 games, Vanek injured for 9 games, Mayers gone for 8 and Kaleta, Weber, Ott out with injuries as well, I'm still 2nd in the east. So very pleased with how the team has struggled through all these injuries.

Anything that has been said about Ryan Miller and how helpful it is for a team to have proper goaltending is true. He's won 7/8 games and has a 1.78 GAA, 2 SO's with a .951 SV% and a 9.38 AvR. Got seleceted as the defensive player for the month of September, despite only playing a handful of games due to injury.

Ennis and Gerbe are way too lightweight for this league. Can't seem to get proper production out of them, despite having them on offensive lines.

Alex Sultzer has five points (2+3) in his 8 games played, being my best offensive D.

John Scott has three points (2+1) and is a +3 in his 8 games!

All my C are disappointing, except for Leino and Adam. Larsson and Hodgson have way too many off nights compared to good ones. Ott has been playing C every once in a while, but Ennis, Hecht and McCormick are just too bad at taking face-offs. This is something that has to be addressed in the off season.

Anyway, enjoying this challenge so far, expecially after a very problematic Leafs challenge.

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Re: Challenge #28 - Buffalo Sabres - Discussion Thread

Post by Apollo » Wed May 08, 2013 1:15 pm

I had a tough time at the beginning trying to be offensive as I have never been good with defensive teams. I tried using the lines of others then changed it up and used

Vanek-Leio-Stafford
Ott-Hecht-Kaletta
Ennis-Hodgson-Gerbe
Foligno-Larsson- Porter

Third line is offense with second line defensive and it seemed to help with proper line matching. I was 3rd until a slump in the final stretch but lost in first round anyways.

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Re: Challenge #28 - Buffalo Sabres - Discussion Thread

Post by bruins72 » Thu May 09, 2013 6:42 pm

I just wrapped up my 3rd quarter of season 1. Right at the end of it, I started running into some injuries. I lost Ott for a couple weeks with a hip flexor strain and then Myers for 2 weeks with a thigh muscle strain. Both of these happened in the last few games of the third quarter of the season. So I guess I'll see their real effects over the first handful of games in the final quarter of the season. I brought up Pysyk to fill in for Myers and I brought up Foligno to cover Ott's injury. Both look promising.

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Re: Challenge #28 - Buffalo Sabres - Discussion Thread

Post by bruins72 » Thu May 16, 2013 6:52 pm

So I just wrapped up season 1. We made it to the playoffs and had to face the Devils in the first round. Brodeur played like his old self and they beat us in 5 games. We just couldn't figure out Brodeur. The Stanley Cup Finals ended up being an Original 6 match-up between the Blackhawks and the Rangers. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup.

One thing that really disappointed me (and boggled my mind) was the Bruins. Of course I always watch what they're doing, because I'm a Bruins fan. They were still in playoff contention (somewhere between 6th and 8th place in the conference) when they went into "Sell Mode". They traded away most of their best defensemen. FIrst they shipped out Seidenberg to the Predators for prospects (and not very good ones, IMO). Then they shipped out Boychuk to the Blues for the rights to some 19 year old d-man I never heard of (and didn't look that great). And finally, they shipped out Chara to the Coyotes, again for a couple unimpressive prospect and this time a 2nd round pick to boot. What the Dickens? Were they just looking to save money? They still made the playoffs, despite these moves but I'm sure they would've gone farther with them.

So the awards came around. Ennis got the Byng. Vanek got the Rocket Richard. Myers was named to the Second All-Star team. Overall, not that much.

The draft came around and we had the 17th overall pick. Somehow Seth Jones dropped out of the top rankings. He lasted all the way to the 15th pick. If just 2 more teams passed on him, he would have been ours. When our pick came, my staff wanted Jordan Maletta but he didn't really look that great to me. I passed on him and went with a big Russian winger by the name of Nichushkin. The rest of my picks were also Europeans, with the exception of David Hunter (a 6'7" defenseman) in the 5th round.

I've fired the head coach right around the draft and promoted Bobby Carpenter (one of my assistants) to head coach. I almost went with Gretzky (one of my other assistants).

Now I've just got to click through until July 1st so I can get my last screenshot.

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Re: Challenge #28 - Buffalo Sabres - Discussion Thread

Post by coombs14 » Sat May 18, 2013 5:57 pm

Just finished my first season. Playoffs are still going on but I'm out, having finished 14th. This was by far my worst season ever playing but I suspect that is because I couldn't trade to remedy holes in my line-up. As well I lost Leino for 3 months, Hodgson for a month, Hecht for 4 months and Myers for a month. Buffalo just doesn't have the depth to cover those loses.

Vanek - Leino/Hodgson - Stafford
Foligno - Leino/Hodgson - Ott
Gerbe/Ennis - Adam - J. Larsson
Gerbe/Ennis - Hecht - McCormick

I could not get Ennis to play well. I had him on the PP, in the first line centre spot when Leino went down for three months, on the wing on a scoring line and nothing worked. He is going to be my trade bait to upgrade my blue-line in the off-season.

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Re: Challenge #28 - Buffalo Sabres - Discussion Thread

Post by kabbott50 » Tue May 21, 2013 3:22 pm

Ugh. I lose so many one-goal games. Not to mention I'm on a solid 10 game losing streak...FML.

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Re: Challenge #28 - Buffalo Sabres - Discussion Thread

Post by bruins72 » Tue May 21, 2013 4:03 pm

So season 2 is much easier than season 1 in this challenge. I'm only 9 games in but so far I'm 7-2. Our PK is at 89% (and I always seem to have a bad PK). Our PP needs a bit of work. We're a much more physical team. I feel I have 4 balanced lines. Also, Ryan Miller has gone from the good but not great goalie attributes that we started with to having insano elite attributes.

I wasn't able to sign a UFA. I tried for both David Clarkson and Troy Brouwer at close to our $2M per season max. Somehow the Wild got them both for under $1M each. Go figure. We're 1st in the East right now and they're 8th in the West. :razz: I ended up making a waiver claim on Lennart Petrell and getting him. He's my 3rd/4th line RW. He switches back and forth. I also made my 1 for 1 trade in the July trade window. I sent Hecht to Vancouver for Zack Kassian. So Kassian is back with the team that drafted him. I wanted to ship out either Kaleta or Gerbe but they wanted more. I had planned on trading one of those two for a player and then shipping out Hecht for a draft pick. I wanted Kassian though and they were eager to take Hecht. I liked Hecht but I wanted to have both Luke Adam and Johan Larsson playing this season. Hecht needed to go. Now, I don't know if I'll make a trade involving a pick. I don't really have any holes in my lineup to fill with a veteran and I don't have any players old enough to trade for a pick. Oh well!

So he're my lines at the moment...

Vanek - Leino - Stafford
Ennis - Hodgson - Kassian
Gerbe - Adam - Petrell
Ott - Larson - Kaleta

McNabb - Ehrhoff
Sekera - Myers
Weber - Pysyk

Miller - Enroth

Players from my 3rd and 4th lines are pretty interchangeable. Also, sometimes I go with normal line usage and sometimes I go with equal line usage. I feel this team is good enough that I can really roll 4 lines.

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Re: Challenge #28 - Buffalo Sabres - Discussion Thread

Post by kabbott50 » Tue May 21, 2013 4:41 pm

Easier? I'm 9-21-1 as of this writing. Obviously, I suck at this game.

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Re: Challenge #28 - Buffalo Sabres - Discussion Thread

Post by bruins72 » Tue May 21, 2013 6:29 pm

I think this team is pretty well stocked with prospects and a few might have been ready to use in season 1 but I kept them in the AHL for most of that first season. Now I've got them on the big team in season 2. I probably could have brought up Foligno too but I really didn't have a spot for him.

My main goal has been to make this team bigger and tougher. They were just too small and soft before.

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Re: Challenge #28 - Buffalo Sabres - Discussion Thread

Post by jesterx7769 » Wed May 22, 2013 4:13 am

I usually don't have a hard time getting the UFA's I want but had trouble with Buffalo as well for some reason.

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Re: Challenge #28 - Buffalo Sabres - Discussion Thread

Post by kabbott50 » Tue May 28, 2013 4:19 pm

Can anyone help me with a PK setup? My penalty killing has been awful since season one, and nothing I try works!

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Re: Challenge #28 - Buffalo Sabres - Discussion Thread

Post by Daelh » Wed May 29, 2013 4:39 pm

This team seriously lack toughness, size and agression. Trying to figure it out but not the easiest. I however traded Ehrhoff for Zach Kassian to bring some toughness into the team. This is my lines heading in to third season, and hopefully first playoffs:

Foligno - Adam - Stafford
Vanek - Hodgson - Kassian
Ott - Larsson - Grigorenko
Ennis - McCormick - Kaleta
(Gerbe, Ellis)

Hjalmarsson - Jones
Sekera - Myers
McNabb - Pysyk
(Weber)

Miller(Enroth)

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Re: Challenge #28 - Buffalo Sabres - Discussion Thread

Post by kabbott50 » Wed May 29, 2013 7:26 pm

I have run into, what I assume, is a bit of an issue. Grigorenko's entry level contract is about to expire (he'll be an RFA anyway), but he's asking for $35,000,000 for one year. This has to be a mistake, right? What should I do here?

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Re: Challenge #28 - Buffalo Sabres - Discussion Thread

Post by Nuno » Wed May 29, 2013 7:39 pm

Interesting... i'm about halfway through my second season and my lines are very different. Ennis for me is very important, even tho he's physically my weakest player. He has 59 points in 59 games so far. On the other hand, i simply cant get Adam to play well... he has not scored a single goal for over 20 games. I tried him on the second line and on the third as well but nothing worked. He has 7 points in 59 games, average rating 6.22. Already gave up on him since he doesnt want to renew his contract anyway...

Is that Seth Jones in your first defensive pair?? How is he doing?

By the way, i'm not doing the challenge but i'm following similar "rules". Is it still ok for me to post here?

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