If you didn’t realize this was Rasmus Ristolainen’s sixth season in the NHL, we’d forgive you. The Sabres have been an afterthought for so long now, if you keep up-to-date on their roster besides Jack Eichel and like, two other dudes, you’ll be making statements about yourself you’re not going to want to revisit. And also the noise about Ristolainen has died down now that the Sabres have a real d-man in town.
Because the thing with Rasmus The First is that despite the proclamations and protestations of Sabres fans (and boy are they surprisingly loud), Ristolainen has always blown chunks. While his consistent settling in the 40s for points in a season is fine, his metrics would clear a large room.
In terms of simple possession, he’s always been significantly behind the team rate, and it only gets worse when it comes to scoring chances and high-danger ones at that. Only last year was he above water in Corsi and scoring-chances. Even now, with greater protection provided by Rasmus The Second, or Rasmus The Greater, Risto can’t seem to make it all work.
Sabres fans for years tried to sell everyone on Rasmus The Lesser. First it was because it was so young. Then it was because he was playing on an inept team. Then it was because he was overburdened. He’s out of excuses now. And it would behoove the Sabres to try and cash in on his name this summer to free up some more money to throw at a prize free agent, as they will always have to overpay to get someone to want to be in Buffalo.
At least with the arrival of Rasmus The Greater, we no longer hear the bleating from Sabres Nation about the other one. He’s just scenery now, which is what he’s always been. It’s just that finally, Sabres fans are ready to accept that.
Game #52 Preview Suite