NHL Hockey Betting: Buffalo Sabres at Vancouver Canucks

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

Short card of NHL action for Monday–in this preview we’ll take a look at West Coast action as the Vancouver Canucks host the Buffalo Sabres at GM Place. The Canucks are reeling at the moment having lost 8 of their last 10 games (2-5-3). They’ve sunk to fifth place in the Pacific Division just two points ahead of sixth place Edmonton and four points ahead of last place Calgary. They’ve been especially bad at home where they’ve got a record of 3-6-3 on the season. They just can’t buy a win lately losing five straight and ten of their last twelve games.

Buffalo is 3-5-2 in their last ten but have been in respectable form lately winning 3 of their last five. They’re coming off a loss to the Oilers in Edmonton on Sunday. Chad Johnson will get the start in goal for the Sabres facing a former Buffalo Sabre–Vancouver netminder Ryan Miller. Miller has struggled somewhat this season with a record of 7-9-6 to go with a goals against average of 2.59 and a 0.910 save percentage. Johnson’s numbers are similar–7-8-1, 2.45 goals against average, 0.909 save percentage. Statistically, Buffalo has a slightly better team defense than Vancouver. The Canucks are #21 in goals against per game while the Sabres are #19.

Both teams are still in the thick of it for a wild card spot. The Sabres are actually in a better position due to the parity in the Eastern Conference below the top few teams. Buffalo is currently six points out of a wild card spot. Vancouver is five points out of a wildcard spot but that might not be good enough. There’s a very good chance that the rugged Central Division will put five teams in the playoffs and take both wild card spots in the West. Not helping Vancouver’s cause is their lousy performance in non-conference games. The Canucks are 3-10 against the Eastern Conference this year though the Sabres aren’t much better at 3-7.

The bottom line in sports betting is value and there’s just not any justification for Vancouver as a -200 favorite here. Buffalo is a scrappy team that could take advantage of a struggling Canucks side.


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