Rolston where is the structure/clearly defined roles? and other confusing things

Discussion in 'Buffalo Sabres' started by joshjull, Oct 9, 2013.

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  1. joshjull

    joshjull Moderator

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    That was the one thing that had me keeping an open mind about Rolston. The idea that he was going to bring better structure and clearly defined roles to the team to help players develop.

    I've seen little of that with the forward lines and the team overall so far. Which has me a bit surprised with what he did at the tail end of last season and how it helped the team. They started playing better last year, as did individual players, due in part to the adjustments he made.

    One example was putting together a checking line last year instead of blended lines in the top 9. Ott/Porter/Flynn were pretty effective in this role. It also reduced the amount Ennis and Hodgson were in defensive situations. But for whatever reason he refuses to do that again this year. Even with those 3 players still here. Its not as if we lost them and need to find new players to attempt that role. We've gone back to three blended lines in the top 9 with three defensively suspect centers.

    Where is the top minute eating d-paring we had at the tail of last season? Myers/Hoff were an effective top pairing late last year. Instead we have a blended set of dmen again. Its as if Ruff never left


    -Another confusing aspect of Rolston's handling of the team is the roster choices. Why is Larsson even on the roster right now? If he isn't going to dress or just get 4th line duty then send the kid down and get him ice time. I truly don't understand what he is doing with him.

    -Rolston's obssession with lefty/righty and guys playing on their same side as their handedness has our best dman (Ehrhoff) playing on the opposite side of where he prefers to play. Its not that he has been bad but don't you want to put your players in the best position to succeed? His obsession with this is also why we have disproportionately more righties than most NHL teams. Its kept McBain in the press box until Tallinder got hurt. With an anemic PP, you would think dressing someone that could help it would be a priority.


    I knew we would struggle this year but Rolston is making life harder for the team with not sticking to his promise of better structure, more clearly defined roles and some curious roster decisions. Its as if he forgot last season all together and is starting from scratch with no familiarity with the team.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  2. heartsabres*

    heartsabres* Guest

    I completely agree. His obsession with Porter is getting out of hand. Porter is not part of the future moving forward but is leaned on heavily.
    What ever Grigorenko´s problems are I don´t believe they will be sorted out on the bench this kid needs minutes. Win or lose he has got to play to get better.
    The constant line shifting, which should for the most part be sorted out in practice aside from trying to get the offence jumo started.

    I don´t know who looks more lost, the sabres or Rolston.
     
  3. Chainshot

    Chainshot Give 'em Enough Rope

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    I see the same sort of thing that plagued his Rochester teams -- long stretches without the puck, high shot totals against, etc....

    As for Larsson, I don't get how he is being used either. Your point about a lack of a checking line and yet one of the guys who has the potential to be a key contributor in that aspect is sitting in the press box. We know they have guys who are not playing smart hockey -- we've seen it over four games where there is enough body of evidence to show it -- and Larsson could easily draw in for one of those other players (*ahem*Stafford*ahem*). Or send him down so he's getting higher minutes and perhaps continuing to grow as a player. They have the option to send him down and help what looks like a lackluster AHL team, even with the amount of injuries they have on the big club.

    If they are going to be bad, giving some of the youngsters more regular roles shouldn't be that much of a stretch. Having Grigorenko and Ristolainen on the second PP unit, getting Larsson and Girgensons out there as PKers (Risto already is) -- let them get hard-core OJT and learn by experience. This is a bad team. At least let the kids play a regular role.
     
  4. Jame

    Jame Registered User

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    With Regards to the lines... we were also very happy to see an "earn" your ice time treatment of the players. And Rolston was quick to hold people accountable, and staple them to the bench... and we liked that... BUT along with that type of treatment, of a very young team... it makes keeping a veteran laden checking line together (ott-porter) very difficult.

    That doesn't change how flabbergasted I was that we suddenly went back to Ennis at center right before the start of the year...

    It's odd that during a complaint about lack of structure, you are complaining about the adherence to lefty-righty (structure)

    I am glad we are going with that structure... Ehrhoff's preference has been blown way out of proportion and is a non issue.

    hopefully we start to see some structural changes... again, it's early in the season, and with so much youth there was bound to be a lot of trial and error.

    Hopefully Larsson becomes a permanent fixture shortly... god knows Grigorenko hasn't done a thing to earn his keep. And Ennis at center is a waste of everyone's time.
     
  5. mcove

    mcove Registered User

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    Absolutely agree.
    Rolston is beginning to lose my credit of trust and it has nothing to do with losing four in a row.
    I did not expect them to do well and I have no problem with finishing last in the league.
    This season is not about winning it is about among other things:
    - how long the rebuild will take
    - which young guys prove themselves to be our future core
    - and whether Rolston can be an NHL coach and take the team over rebuild stage to contending stage.

    I don't think there is much (if any) pressure on Rolston to win games, Darcy promised "suffering" and Rolston should just concentrate on developing young players and getting the best out of them.
    But he seems to think that the best he can get out of Ennis is play him at center and the best he can get out of Grigs is to play him on the fourth line with goons.
    Apparently Larsson is best suited in the press-box and Porter is a top-six center.
    I would be fine with all the experiments and shuffling if after the game it was clear the line combinations did not work and everyone looked terrible with each other.
    But he starts every game with the same lines as the previous game and then begins shuffling them after one period, even when some of them look good.
    I though the kids line looked decent last night and the fourth line did a good job before he swapped the centers.
     
  6. Sabresfansince1980

    Sabresfansince1980 Registered User

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    This is why I'm so disappointed with Rolston, after being optimistic about him. He's jumbled lines every game so that pretty much blows "defined roles" out of the water. Putting Ennis back at C is a curious joke, scratching Larsson doesn't make any sense. The idea of "accountability" and awarding ice time accordingly makes sense with vets, not with rookies (unless they just aren't putting in the effort). If Rolston wants to develop rookies/prospects, they should be playing and working through their mistakes. As long as they are trying they should get the ice time to learn.

    Going away from the Ehrhoff-Myers pairing is a mystery to me as well. They should be the 24-27 mins per game duo. They were very good in March/April, and Ehrhoff didn't have any issues being on the left side then, so I don't understand why Rolston broke them up.

    What I'm seeing through four games is a mess that doesn't make any sense. I thought I'd see generally the same line-up (including Larsson) and watch the rookies/prospects make mistakes but slowly get better through the season. Instead it's helter skelter with almost no forecheck and no offense being generated.
     
  7. Jame

    Jame Registered User

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    He put FES back together, plays grigs with 4th liners, split up Ehrhoff-Myers, and has the most predictable and easy to defend zone exit strategy... i thought we fired Lindy Ruff?
     
  8. jBuds

    jBuds pretty damn valuable Sponsor

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    Um.

    Agreed.

    Ennis hovering at 25 minutes of toI - AT CENTER - is enough to induce suicidal tendencies. What the ****?

    Like I said in all of the GBU's to date: it's early. Things can change. But right now, I am extremely worried about our coach. Chainshot also hit on something I was thinking but never stating, in that this type of unidentified team who fails to possess the puck and looks awful and scrambled in the D zone is eerily similar to his Rochester teams that underachieved and looked abysmal at times in the process.

    We shouldn't be this inept looking. It's not nearly "only the coach's fault"... But he isn't helping. At all.
     
  9. jBuds

    jBuds pretty damn valuable Sponsor

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    Pick a ****ing forecheck and DEPLOY IT, bouchedag.

    And stop being so monotonous. Your voice irritates me. As do your glasses.

    Not sure if serious. Y U heff2bmehd
     
  10. jBuds

    jBuds pretty damn valuable Sponsor

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    And for ****'s sake, if miller starts to hinder the full charge of the tank, ill move him out myself.

    Joe Sacco will finish the season as interim head coach. Then a LEGITIMATE SEARCH, WITH REAL CANDIDATES, would occur? And interviews and due diligence and the like? Waaaaooooowwwww! Management !
     
  11. Sabre Dance

    Sabre Dance Make Hockey Fun Again

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    My only guess as to what is going on so far is they are showcasing players for a trade. the Larrson stuff is confusing. Everyone could see he was probably the most ready of any young player on the roster, coach spoke so highly of him, and then they arent giving him any time.
     
  12. MacOfNiagara

    MacOfNiagara Blue&Gold from birth

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    Didnt like the hire when it happened, dont like it now. Hope he proves me wrong at some point.

    I just dont think he will be a good NHL coach.
     
  13. Sabre Dance

    Sabre Dance Make Hockey Fun Again

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    To be fair, the roster is garbage. There is not one center on the roster Rolston can depend on. Any coach would struggle to find an identity with this group.
     
  14. MacOfNiagara

    MacOfNiagara Blue&Gold from birth

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    I'm not judging him on the W-L column. I am primarily judging him on structure, in game decisions, competitiveness, setting a course for the team / players. I also judge him on the things he says, pre/post game, on ice practice, and his demeanor.

    Just IMO, but I dont think he will be a successful HC in the NHL.
     
  15. Myllz

    Myllz #justbogothings

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    Rolston's just playing tank commander, that's all. I applaud him in his efforts to sink this ship directly to the bottom for the greater good.
     
  16. Jim Bob

    Jim Bob Now do we believe?

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    RR is reminding me of Tom Renney.

    A guy that has the rep as a teacher, coaches rebuilding teams, the records are horrible under him, and then he gets replaced with guys that are intended to get the team "to take the next step".

    Honestly, the only concerning thing to me is the whole Larsson being a healthy scratch in 2 out of 3.

    I will like it if RR's decisions aid in the tank.

    I've fully embraced the rebuild.

    :laugh:
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  17. Sabre Dance

    Sabre Dance Make Hockey Fun Again

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    Its hard though when there is no one on the roster he can feel confident in.

    Ott - Porter - Flynn line did do a good job, but this really wont change the team.

    Rolston just doesnt have anyone he can throw out there against top lines. He doesnt have a line he can put out there and generate offense. In fact, he may not have a single player that can generate offense. Vanek has never been that type of player, he is a finisher.
     
  18. Sabre Dance

    Sabre Dance Make Hockey Fun Again

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    Ask yourself, if the Sabres need a big shift offensively who do you put on the ice? Now defensively?

    I mean any answer would be a guess basically.
     
  19. Chainshot

    Chainshot Give 'em Enough Rope

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    It does seem like they are right back to the beginning of last season or mid-point of the season prior, doesn't it? What happened to accountability? Was that only part of the internship last year?

    Maybe Lindy has deployed Bot-Ron.
     
  20. Push Dr Tracksuit

    Push Dr Tracksuit Gerstmann 3:16

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    The top 6 is made up of a player almost everyone want gone, a player who just wants to be gone, an undersized forward that doesn't bring any value on the wing and doesn't make smart enough decisions at center plus an agitator who probably should be on a checking line, but who else do we have that would generate more offense.

    On defense our "best" player is tolerable most nights and atrocious on the rest, the middle of our lineup has a combined 33 games of experience, and our top point producer is half useless at even strength.

    We have good goaltending.

    This roster blows hot ice and Lord Stanley himself couldn't build a sport that these guys could contend in. Any coach you wanted could come in here an we'd be having the same exact discussion.

    You can't build structure when only half the pieces are available. Despite what you want the team is attempting to win games with a laughably lacking roster. It gets harder when you start pulling vets off the ice to send out rookies. It's my guess that you won't start seeing that until after the Olympic break. 1) because then the rookies will have half a season of game time and 2) the playoffs will have evaporated completely and no one will be focused on wins. Like it or not Rolston is trying to fight it out in only way he can; lean on the veterans and pray to the hockey gods someone pulls their heads out of their ***** long enough to win a game. I'd guess that strategy continues for another 3 months.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  21. Moskau

    Moskau Registered User

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    Exactly what I said in another thread. This guy is our version of Tom Renney and I think it is by design. He's here to teach some young players off the ice and during practice but he's completely inept during game time.

    Darcy Regier's wet dream scenario is that Rolston keeps the team bad enough to draft Reinhart/Bennett this year and McDavid the year after while still teaching young players in the process. Then about 15 games into McDavid's rookie season when the team still sucks he can fire him for a real coach that puts us over the edge. At least that's what a GM with balls would consider.
     
  22. OkimLom

    OkimLom Registered User

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    If you don't have a center the coach can rely on, then that falls on your General Manager to get the players needed. If the coach possibly has a guy he CAN rely on and decides to not use him, then you need a New Coach.

    Either way, something needs to be done. We are not seeing anything he said he would have. Players earn their icetime? We are constantly seeing the same lineup for close to three seasons now. Yet he says he wants to experiment with guys. There is no creativity with this coaching staff. No passion from the team.

    Grigorenko, though not lighting up the scoreboard has played adequate two way play. He has made it a point to play responsible in his own end. The bad part is, he gets demoted to 4th line play by the 2nd period EVERY game. He is still a young kid, but is being treated as if he was a vet. ANY little mistake he makes he gets stapled to the bench, yet guys like Stafford can cough up the puck and get consistent icetime regardless of the play. If anything the vets should be scrutinized harder, but this must be from the Lindy Ruff school of coaching.

    If you want to see what you have come up with something more creative:

    Vanek-Larsson-Girgensens
    Foligno-Hodgson-Grigorenko
    Stafford-Ott-Ennis
    Kaleta-Porter-Flynn

    Myers-Ristolanien
    Pysyk-McBain
    Weber-Ehrhoff

    PK
    Flynn-Ott-Pysyk-Weber
    Foligno-Larsson-Myers-Ristolanien

    PP
    Vanek-Grigorenko-Hodgson-Ristolanien-Myers
    Foligno-Larsson-girgensens-Pysyk-Mcbain

    Miller
    Enroth
     
  23. TehDoak

    TehDoak He sure has a

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    One of the biggest problems facing the franchise is at the top.

    The refusal of the front office to even have an interview process and just hand the job to Rolston really shows an unwillingness to question/re-evaluate choices that were made years earlier.

    Ron Rolston had limited success in Rochester, limited success replacing Ruff, and was handed the keys for the team simply because, back in 2011, they anointed him as Ruff's replacement. His being named full time head coach was predetermined rather than something he earned.

    All that being said, there seems to be a long line of yes men at the top. Darcy will unquestionably due anything that is asked of him. This is the key to his long tenure. While is he very good as asset management, he seems to be a builder without a blue print. Ted Black is very much a PR guy, not a hockey guy. He is great at message spreading and project management....not so good at building a hockey team. If Bad decisions are made, no one seems willing to fess up to them and take responsibility.

    I'm willing to give Rolston some time....but early impression seems like he is not ready to be a NHL coach. He seems to have a simple system that worked well in Jr that is astonishingly easy to defend at the NHL level once teams got a bit of film of it. After the failure of the first 3 games for the Sabres, for them to come up and muster 10 shots through 2 periods and generate 0 even strength offense against a team that has a weak D like Tampa is very dis-concerning.
     
  24. Paxon

    Paxon ⚔Z E M G U S⚔

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    Answer: Kevin Porter
     
  25. ZZamboni

    ZZamboni Puttin' on the Foil

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    I agree with a lot of this.

    The only nitpicking thing I would change is that Rolston was handed the job without interviewing. As far as I know, he was interviewed for the Amerks job by Regier. Then again, another interview for the Sabres job by Regier. So technically he's had two interviews by this ownership/management group. Granted the details surrounding the hiring are lame like you mentioned. Yes it would have been better to interview several guys before choosing.
     

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