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What Kind Of Build In Buffalo?

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

There are a lot of reasons the job of an NHL general manager is a tough one. Here's the latest one to add to the list: How do you know what kind of team to build these days?

It sure seemed like the NHL was going back to a speed game when the Pittsburgh Penguins won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017. Last year's Washington-Vegas Cup final certainly highlighted speed but both of those teams were "heavy" as well.

This season seemed to be all about speed when you consider teams like Tampa Bay, Toronto and Calgary that roared to success over 82 games. Then the playoffs started. Upsets were everywhere. Columbus, Carolina and St. Louis were among the teams advancing. Boston forged on. The Lightning, Leafs and Flames were doused.

By the end, the final was between the Bruins and the ultra-heavy Blues. Speed seems to be what you want in the regular season. Brawn seems to answer the call in the postseason. What's a GM to do?

"It's always trying to find out do you have enough skill to go through it but is that skill willing to get into the hard areas and compete in certain areas?" Sabres GM Jason Botterill said here in the hours leading into the NHL draft. "What both organizations showed is that they faced injuries throughout their runs and they had the depth to step in. Guys could come in who had been out of the lineup and contribute right away.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

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The depth stood out to me too.

Boston did a great job getting Johansson and Coyle for reasonable prices.

And St. Louis’s depth was excellent.

Obviously it helps to have big, smart players who are mobile.

Willingness and grit are great things.
But when your opponents have size and depth and are hitting all series long,
it’s hard to sustain physical play against that if you have a smaller, more finesse lineup. Toronto did come close against Boston until the last game but you wonder how that team would have held up over multiple series.

Posted by lefty.30 on 06/24/19 at 04:43 PM ET

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com