Player Discussion Casey Mittelstadt (2017, 8th) - Signed, #37 - Part II

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  1. joshjull

    joshjull Registered User

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    Couple of things in response to the direction your response took.

    1) You seem to have taken my post to be some sort of defense of Mitts. It wasn’t. Not really sure how it could be with me posting “there is PLENTY to be disappointed about Mitts this year”. He certainly hasn’t lived up to expectations at all.

    2) I’m calling out the idea that Mitts was expected to be a top 6 center. He wasn’t. How Housley prefers to deploy the lines in his system explains this. *** later in post***

    3) Sam’s role/usage at center to start last season is the exact manner Mitts has been used this year. Offensively skewed minutes (roughly 70% OZS%) as the the bottom 6 secondary scoring line center.


    *** Housley’s prefered line deployment***

    Top 6
    - a line with offensively skewed usage
    - a line with defensively skewed usage.
    Bottom 6
    -a line with an offensively skewed usage
    - a line with a defensively skewed usage

    Last year that is exactly how the season started

    Jack’s line with an offensively skewed usage
    ROR’s line defensive
    Sam’s line offensive
    Josefson’s line defensive

    Once they gave up on Sam at center combined with Josefson constantly being injured. We had a hodgepodge of bottom 6 centers getting a crack at 3rd and 4th line center (including Josefson when healthy). But the basic usage held. Because the bottom 6 lines sucked so bad at their respective roles/usage Jack and ROR were leaned on heavily in minutes played in their respective roles.

    This year we’ve have had the exact same deployment with

    Jack’s line offensive usage
    Sobotka (Erod/Berglund) -defensively skewed usage
    Mitts -offensively skewed usage
    Larsson - defensively skewed usage.

    The lines that have the most direct impact on another’s ice time in Housley’s set up are the top 6 and bottom 6 lines that have the same role/usage. Because we had no effective bottom 6 lines last year it led to Jack and ROR playing as much as they did.

    Jack still doesn’t have an effective supporting secondary scoring line because of how poorly Mitts has played. It’s why Jack plays same amount at ES this year as he did last year (15:37 last year/15:36 this year). The top 6 defensive line (Sobotka now) actually has a strong compliment in the Larsson line. Thus their respective ice times have come closer and closer to each other. At the start of the year it was the top 6 defensive center getting 13:30-14mins at ES a night and Larsson at around 10. That gap has steadily closed as the season progressed and the Larsson line has played so well. To the point that there is roughly a 1min deference in their season averages.

    All of the above matters in the context of Mitts and his role. He was never going to center either of our top 6 lines (offensive or defensive). We don’t use two top 6 offensive lines and I don’t see Housley changing the basic foundation of his line deployment (he is very stubborn). What Mitts playing well could have provided (aside from much needed offense) was give Jack a little drop in ES minutes. But thats hasn’t happened. Instead Jack went back up to his season average from last year (15:36). I feel quite comfortable saying an effective 4th line like we have this year would have taken some of the ES minute burden off of ROR.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
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  2. sabrebuild

    sabrebuild Registered User

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    1) I apologize if it came across poorly, no I don’t think your defending Mitts with the top 6 center talk, I just don’t see how it has inappropriately skewed people’s posts on how he has played, both poorly or well.

    2). I think in general it’s a fair statement regarding the zone starts, but I don’t think Housley has shown a particularly rigid guideline to that structure.

    For example, if that is a true plan, then why did Okposo play with O’Reilly? Wouldn’t it have made sense to put him with Reinhart so that line might actually produce? And put Girgs or Larson with O’Reilly.

    I’m not saying I disagree that you could look at Housley’s plan, but to me it looks like that plan was always not trusted by committing lines to their explicit roles. And last year it was foreseeable with their wing depth that loading up the top 6 was the only reasonable way to score. I believe that to be the same this year as well.

    So to me, realistically if they were planning to win games as their main goal, they had to expect Mitts to be able to handle 15-18 minutes a night. At least that was their plan if he came into camp and showed he was ready for prime time.

    Forget about trade bias, I refuse to believe that Botts actively wanted Sobotka or Berglund to get a heavier dose of minutes than a 50-60 point Mitts.

    If Mitts comes in and provides the kind of impact of rookie Reinhart to rookie Jack, 40-50 points, 20 plus goals, and Botterill left him with less minutes than Sobotka people would freak out.

    He would still have gotten the zone starts he does now. But he not as severe due to extra shifts wherever he could get them. Honestly given how Larson and Girgs took over I suspect the line strategy would have shredded Sobotka’s minutes and redistributed how the O’Reilly minutes were allotted, as they should have been last year.

    Something like

    Eichel with a minute more than last year and tougher matchups as top dog. A fair amount of O’Reilly’s minutes go to Jack.

    Mitts gets some cushy zone starts, but is still productive enough that they get them out there as much as they can.

    Larson gets what he has gotten, horrific zone starts and as many matchups against the best as they can get.

    Sobotka gets the least ice time, but is trusted to not give up soft points. And you can bring your rookies in thru that line without being liabilities to the team.

    Look at it this way, Mitts has been unacceptable from an offensive point of view all year. And he still is only getting a minute less of even strength time a game. Do you honestly think they would have not bumped his even strength minutes up if he was even on pace for 40 points? That would make him fourth on the team at forward.

    Oh and to not completely derail this thread, too late I know, I have been quite impressed with Mitts on defense. He stays in the dirty areas and stays with his mark.

    Looking forward to a big jump for him next season after a steroid binge this summer!
     
  3. joshjull

    joshjull Registered User

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    Why are you pushing against the reality of how Housley likes to deploy his lines? It also sounds a lot like you’re blaming Mitts’ struggles for our lines being used the way they are?

    I say that because your entire counter argument above is listing how YOU wanted to see the lines deployed if Mitts had a strong rookie campaign. As if his struggles are the singular reason our lines are deployed in the manner that they are. Your desired line deployment is also complete departure from how Housley has deployed his lines since his arrival. It also uses Jack in a very different way. I’m not for or against your thoughts on this. Just pointing out how much of a departure they would be.

    The most probable difference between right now and a season where Mitts was having a strong rookie campaign would be on the PP. Mitts would have forced himself onto PP1 early on and would be getting 3+mins a night there along with the other PP1 regulars. Add that to the 12-13mins he would be getting at ES and there is the arbitrary 15+mins you want him to play.

    I feel fairly comfortable saying the far more likely outcome of a strong season from Mitts is him getting a big uptick in PP ice time (and the likely production that goes with it) while holding his initial ES ice time (maybe a small uptick). As opposed to Housley completely changing his approach to line deployment and how Jack is used as you are suggesting.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  4. Sabre the Win

    Sabre the Win #WeTheNorth

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    This right here shows the problem on this board. Favoritism gets painted as an opinion often far too much that we start making up excuses for Mittlestadts rookie season compared to Reinharts.
     
  5. Beerz

    Beerz Registered User

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    A lot has to do with draft position. Top 3 picks need to be impact money picks.

    Reinhart had the better rookie year to this point but he was suppose to from the get.
     
  6. Buffaloed

    Buffaloed webmaster

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    The real problem with Mittelstadt is he needs to change his number. The smart move would be to grab #15. Some opposition players will mistake him for Eichel and give him more room. He should also tell the media his name is pronounced Littelstadt to lower expectations.
     
  7. Aladyyn

    Aladyyn counting stats are the devil

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    I know this post isn't serious but 37 is such a trash number. Jack and Sam need to prove themselves as proper leaders and teach others how to pick a good looking number (looking at you, Jeff Skinner).
     
  8. slip

    slip Registered User

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    upload_2019-1-6_14-38-28.png
     

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  9. coastal

    coastal Registered User

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    This is a rockstar post.

    The Sabres have awesome D, workable goaltending, and maxing 1st line and great 4th line.

    Our 2nd and 3rd lines are trash.
     
  10. sabrebuild

    sabrebuild Registered User

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    I find this a very confusing post. I have said repeatedly I don’t think his “role” has anything to do with his lack of success. I think what you term his line is completely immaterial to the fact that he is just not operating at nhl speed. He can’t create space with any kind of regularity and his top end speed has made it difficult for him to be a dangerous transition option.

    What I’m saying is his actual play has dictated how the coaching staff had to deploy their lines, Eichel loaded, and then yikes, let’s spread the minutes and hope for the best.

    I’m not telling you my preference. My preference would have been to hold onto O’Reilly into the season waiting for an offer worth taking and letting Mitts be the third best player on that line with Reinhart. And we would have two filthy lines.

    What I’m saying is what Housley has shown. And you are certainly reasonable to think that putting Reinhart at 3C had an idea that he would get gm favorable matchups, but there is a significant talent gap at those possible 3 centers and Eichel Mitts and Sobotka.

    So I think that matters. And it puts more emphasis this year on Mitts to share the split with Eichel, more than having either or anyone play an O’Reilly role. Which they would have done if Mitts’ play warranted that decision. Again, I think it’s ridiculous to think that Mitts would get even ice time as Sobotka and Larson at even strength if he was playing at a top level. That’s crazy.

    I didn’t say 15 minutes like some minimum idiotic nonsense of what qualifies. I mean c’mon.

    I suspect if Mitts came in and played on a top prospect level that his peers with that hype came in at, you are conservatively talking about a 50 point player who can dominate a shift, situation, a period. If that is how he came out, he would consistently get 18-20 minutes a game. Barzal as a rookie last year got 17:30, Pettersson is at 18. As averages. Mitts is at 13:20. Your not making up 4 minutes on pp time.

    This doesn’t strike me as wildly changing Housley’s plan. It fits right into what happened last year, assuming your correct in your assessment of Housley’s initial setup, Housley adjusted to the talent that presented itself and fed minutes to those who played well enough to deserve the minutes.

    If anything it could be considered a positive about his coaching decisions. And this year he has just kept the lower tier fresh with even minutes. To be honest it seems an obvious move to shift some of Sobotka’s to Larson, put Sheary with Girgs and Larson and let them eat more minutes against top competition, but everyone has opinions.

    Basic point 1) i haven’t understood how Mitts’ role has had any coherent effect on how people discuss or analyze his limitations on the ice.

    Basic point 2) line structure is and should be fluid based on what your talent is capable of. Housley has shown to make those fluid changes last year, per your assessment. I see no reason why he would do it differently this year, if Mitts had been remotely up to it.
     
  11. OkimLom

    OkimLom Registered User

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    I don’t agree with this being how it should be, but I do agree this is how most fans think. But with that said, there was more hyping going around outside of the draft, and even recently Mittelstadt was considered a top 3 prospect (before the Dahlin draft) not in the NHL.
     
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  12. DJN21

    DJN21 Registered User

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    Should've been broken in on the wing and as he settled been fed offensive minutes at center. Housley's deployment, Botterill not adding another quality center, wingers like okposo and sheary being meh and unable to carry a rookie a bit, mixed with injuries to girgs and berglund quitting are all factors. There isn't one underlying thing to point at as much as people would like to use to prove their point.

    Yes he should be better, but he's had some circumstances stacked against him. And yes maybe he shouldn't be in the nhl yet...all viable.
     
  13. sabrebuild

    sabrebuild Registered User

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    I am all for patience and an understanding of development.

    But it’s not just hyped fans who think that way.

    If I pick a forward 2nd overall and another at 8, on draft day I certainly expect the first pick to be ready first. It’s part of the reason a guy goes 2nd instead of 8, he appears more ready.

    Both guys actually had similar trajectories on the ice in their d+1 year. But clearly from how they showed up at camp, Reinhart really went after building up his Pixie body and Mitts did not.

    Reinhart at Eichel’s lunch for most of rookie camp his d1 year. Mitts was struggling to keep up with Dahlin and has continued to show physical issues.

    They both seemed to follow thru on their promise so far. Mitts just will need the extra year, which makes sense for his draft slot.
     
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  14. Rasmi

    Rasmi Registered User

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    He still looks like a chubby 16 year old. I don't think we will really know what we have until he loses the baby fat and grows into his man body
     
  15. joshjull

    joshjull Registered User

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    You've gone a bit down a rabbit hole. The following is what you posted that I initially responded to starting this back and forth.........

    ......."But after the O’Reilly trade, it was an enormous ask for a sub ppg ncaa 19 year old to slide right into a top 6 nhl role."..........


    My response to that was Mitts was never going to be asked to slide right into a top 6 role this year because of.................


    *** Housley’s prefered line deployment***

    Top 6
    - a line with offensively skewed usage
    - a line with defensively skewed usage.
    Bottom 6
    -a line with an offensively skewed usage ###
    - a line with a defensively skewed usage

    ### Mitts expected role for this season. Also the same center role Sam played to start last season.

    That line deployment preference has not changed since Housley got here. He really likes it, particularly with the top 6. It’s why we've had Sobotka playing minutes he should not be getting simply because he is centering the top 6 line with defensively skewed usage. No sure why you’re suggesting I said otherwise. When Sam moved away from centering that line its role didn't change just who the centered it did.


    You've argued that Mitts poor play has made us go away from the line deployment structure we could have done and that you suggest in a previous post.......

    -Jack - two way line
    -Mitts -offensively skewed usage
    -Larsson - defensively skewed line
    -Sobotka playing limited minutes with rookies.

    That's a big departure from the line deployment we've had and in your mind was derailed from happening due to Mitts struggles this year.

    There really isn't anything to support your argument that Mitts was expected to slide into a top 6 role and force a change top our line deployment. So you've moved on to this odd argument that if Mitts was playing like Barzal or Pettersson he would be a top 6 center and play more than Sobotka (1). On what planet was Mitts expected to be a point per game rookie? 50 or even 40pts would have been a great rookie campaign in the role he has. You're effectively arguing that the plan for this season was to deploy the lines in with the expectation that Mitts would produce at a point per game pace. I would hope you'd see how unrealistic that is.


    (1). Don’t get hung up on the player and understand his minutes are driven by the role/usage of the line he centers. It gives him minutes inflated beyond what he should get. Its also why you're wasting your time thinking the difference in talent between the group to start last year (Jack, ROR, Sam) and the group this year (Jack, Sobotka, Mitts) is going to materially change how their respective lines are used. It may tweak ES minutes on the margins but not in a huge way. Its a maddeningly stubborn aspect of Housley's coaching. Its why a Sobotka plays as much as he has this season. There really is no other reason for it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  16. joshjull

    joshjull Registered User

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    @sabrebuild

    I would certainly hope Housley would make adjustments to his line deployments if Mitts had a break out season like Barzal/Pettersson. But our coach's conservative streak makes me doubt it. That streak leads him to double shift Erod instead of Skinner or Sam when Jack goes down.
     
  17. ValJames

    ValJames Registered User

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    Is it me or did Casey look thicker tonight ? Perhaps the weight room is starting to kick in ?
     
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  18. Jim Bob

    Jim Bob Let's go, Buffalo!

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    Or he's on the Phil Kessel diet. They both played at UM, so....
     
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  19. ValJames

    ValJames Registered User

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    Is there a hot dog cart at HSBC ?

     
  20. ZZamboni

    ZZamboni Puttin' on the Foil

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  21. Jim Bob

    Jim Bob Let's go, Buffalo!

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  22. Snippit

    Snippit Registered User

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    He's starting to produce. 5 points in his last 6 games.
     
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  23. Willgamesh

    Willgamesh Registered User

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    Yeah hes been pretty fire lately, way more confidence, playing with Samson doesn't hurt either.
     
  24. GellMann

    GellMann Registered User

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    We've come full circle

    (i think that was his stat line last season)
     
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  25. Mitts888

    Mitts888 Registered User

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    7 points in his last 9 games and much more noticeable. 4 game point streak as well.
    Ice time has increased ironically over the same period going from 11-12 minutes up to the 14-16 minute range.
     
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