NHL Hockey Betting: Montreal Canadiens at Buffalo Sabres

NHL Hockey Betting:  Montreal Canadiens at Buffalo Sabres&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Montreal Canadiens have done little more than ‘tread water’ since losing Carey Price but they’ve got a great chance to pick up two points in their division tonight as they head to upstate New York to take on the Buffalo Sabres. The Habs are three points out of a playoff spot and have a 4-6-0 record in their last ten games. They’ve been reeling since Price’s injury (and the team got some bad news on that front today) but have at least seemed to have stopped the bleeding for now.

Buffalo, meanwhile, looks to be reprising their strategy of last year–sink like a stone and build through the draft. It worked last year–they didn’t get the big prize but did pick up the very talented Jack Eichel in the draft. Although Toronto is the most obvious ‘losing is winning’ team at the moment the Sabres aren’t much better. Buffalo has 48 points giving them the #29 record in the league and have a record of 3-5-2 in their last 10 games. If the Leafs are ‘tanking’ that’s bad news for Buffalo–Toronto is also 3-5-2 in their last ten games. All you need to do to understand the Sabres problems is to look at the NHL stat table–teams that are bottom ten in goals for *and* goals against per game don’t win a lot of hockey games. Buffalo does better on special teams with the #7 power play and #12 penalty kill in the NHL.

The Montreal media is reporting today that Carey Price is done for the season and while the finality of that story is a blow to the fans it’s not exactly a surprise. More significantly, the team likely knew this long ago so it probably won’t be a huge emotional blow. Habs are 12-6 against divisional rivals this year and for whatever reason are undefeated on Friday nights (5-0). Sabres are 7-14 against divisional opponents and playing in the second of back to back games. Buffalo hasn’t done well when the losses start to pile up this season–after three or more consecutive defeats the Sabres are 4-7. Not sold on the Habs longterm but they should have enough to take care of business here.


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