NHL Hockey Betting: Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs

NHL Hockey Betting:  Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Buffalo and Toronto enjoy something of a symbiotic relationship. The Buffalo Bills are one of Canada’s ‘adopted’ NFL teams and they occasionally play home games at the Rogers Centre, home of the CFL Toronto Argonauts. The cities themselves are separated by 99 miles along the Queen Elizabeth Way. So while this game technically involves only one Canadian team the Sabres are as close to being Canadian as you can get.

There are other similarities between the teams. They’re both franchises that have hit rock bottom and are trying to rebuild from the ground up. The Sabres are probably a year in to that process and they’ve got some nice talent on the roster. They did what they could to lose all the time and get the worst record in the NHL last year but only wound up with the #2 pick. With that they chose a player that would have been a #1 draft choice in any other year, Jack Eichel. They’ve got other young talent–Ryan O’Riley is an ‘elder statesman’ at age 25 but he figures prominently in the Leafs’ long term plans. So to does Sam Reinhart–he’s something of a surprise but has given the Sabres more depth up front. The rest of the team is a good mix of veterans and prospects. Buffalo isn’t anywhere near the playoffs but they play hard on most nights and youngsters Reinhart and Eichel have shown frequent flashes of brilliance.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are where the Sabres were last year. They’ve shed as much money as possible off of their payroll and are doing everything they can to lose games. They’re looking for the top pick in the 2016 draft (almost certainly forward Auston Matthews) and have turned the team over to youngsters that would likely be better served playing with the AHL Toronto Marlies at this point in their career. Toronto has only two wins in their last thirteen games and although they’ve won five straight at home over the Sabres it sure doesn’t look like they’ve got the firepower to hang with Buffalo right now. In this cross border rivalry, Buffalo is simply the better, more complete team at this point.


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