Is it too little, too late for the Buffalo Sabres at this
stage of the NHL season? Maybe not, as the Sabres are playing their best hockey
of the year and still have chance to see the post
season can they upset the sportsbook odds tonight?
Handicappers and touts
have been burned by them all season long as the Sabres were a massive
disappointment following a seemingly successful offseason. But as we enter
Saturday’s action, the Sabres are merely four points out of a playoff spot with
two games in hand on the team they are chasing: the Winnipeg Jets.
Buffalo is 5-0-1 in their last six games but Saturday
figures to be their toughest test yet as they visit the NHL’s best team in
Saturday, March 3rd
NHL Odds: Canucks -195
The Buffalo Sabres can win because…
Ryan Miller is playing out of his mind. As per usual, the
Sabres seem to go as Miller does and right now, that direction is up. Miller
has posted back-to-back shutouts and has allowed only seven goals in his last
six starts. He has a .964 save percentage and 1.35 goals-against average in
that span. Prior to the All-Star break, Miller had a 3.07 GAA with just one
shutout in 30 starts. Since the All-Star break, his GAA is 1.67 and he’s posted
four shutouts in 14 starts.
The Sabres are 10-3-3 in their last 16 games and the key
to their success has been good starts. The Sabres have scored first in eight
straight games and are 5-1-2 in that span. On the season, they are 20-7-6 when
they score first and just 9-20-2 when they don’t.
The Canucks have hit the skids a little recently and
while they lead the league with 90 points, they are just 3-3 in their last six.
There’s definitely an opening for the Sabres here.
The Vancouver Canucks can win because…
The Vancouver Canucks are the better team overall.
For the Sabres to win on Saturday, Miller has to
stonewall a much more deep and talented offense, and the Sabres have to find a
way through the Canucks stellar defense and goaltending as well. For the
Canucks to win, they really just need to put a couple of pucks past Miller.
It’s not like the Sabres are scoring much these days.
Yes, they are 5-0-1 in their last six but they’ve tallied just nine goals in
their last five games. It’s going to be tough for them to walk into Rogers
Arena and leave with a win with only one or two goals.
The Canucks are 3-1-2 in their last six but at a closer
look, losing to Nashville, Phoenix and Dallas by a combine four goals – three
hot Western Conference teams – is nothing to be embarrassed about. Overall, the
Canucks have just one regulation loss in their last 18 games.
Vancouver is a particularly tough team to be at home with
a record of 19-6-4. They’re also 6-0-1 in their last seven while the Sabres are
just 13-16-1 on the road this year.
Outlook & NHL betting prediction:
The two teams that swung arguably the biggest trade at
the trade deadline will meet on Saturday but it’s not a time for nostalgia. The
Sabres need wins to keep up in the playoff race while the Canucks need points
to protect their home-ice advantage in the playoffs.
It’s a tough call on the side and I am steering clear from this in my NHL picks for today. While the Canucks are
probably the slight lean, the price tag seems a little high given how well the
Sabres arep laying these days.
Take a look at the under given the way Miller is playing
these days. Look for this game to be low scoring and under the number.
NHL Picks: Under