NHL Hockey Betting: Buffalo Sabres at Vancouver Canucks

NHL Hockey Betting:  Buffalo Sabres at Vancouver Canucks&h=235&w=320&zc=1

East meets West in a matchup between a couple of teams that are tough to figure. The Buffalo Sabres are 1-1-1 on the year and have looked decent following a season opening loss to the Montreal Canadiens. They hit the road and won big at Edmonton 6-2 before a 4-3 OT loss at Calgary. They’ll head East after this game ending and will get plenty of rest before they play at Philadelphia next Tuesday. Vancouver was expected to be in serious rebuilding mode this year but so far so good with a 3-0-0 record on the young season. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom has a 1.97 GAA and a 0.913 save percentage in two starts and will get the start again here as Ryan Miller recovers from a minor hip injury.

The Canucks have never been synonymous with tight defensive hockey but they’ve looked solid in their own end with the #3 goals against average in the NHL (1.67) and the #2 shots against average (23.7). And their three games have definitely been ‘tight’ with two wins in overtime and one in shootout. There are two schools of thought on this–either winning after regulation is a matter of luck and things will even out or that the Canucks may have some type of acumen at playing 3 on 3 hockey. Time will tell but for now Vancouver is 3-0-0 though it clearly hasn’t been easy.

Buffalo in many ways is just ‘treading water’ until they get two of their big name players back in action. Evander Kane is expected back in the lineup within 3 or 4 weeks but Jack Eichel’s return date is unknown as he recovers from a high ankle sprain. The Sabres have been good on special teams with the #7 power play in the league and they’re one of three teams that have yet to allow a man advantage goal along with Minnesota and Florida. They need to become more than a mediocre 5 on 5 team and while that’s obviously something that Eichel and Kane would help upon their return they can’t use that as an excuse.

Not really sold on the Canucks yet and they could be as much lucky as good with their OT and SO wins. Don’t see them as a team capable of putting together a string of wins to open the season so we’ll go with the scrappy Sabres.


Related Posts