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Bruins vs Sabres Picks – Sabres Should Be Careful What They Wish For

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/13/2010 2:42:27 PM
NHL Odds: Bruins In Six

The Buffalo Sabres chose their destiny. Now they’ll have to beat the team they chose to face. The Sabres will face the Boston Bruins, whom they were 2-2-2 against this season. Also, in the last seven playoff series between the two, online betting cappers have seen the Bruins win five of them. This will be a tight series with good goaltending on both sides, but Boston is very comfortable going toe-to-toe with Buffalo.

Bruins vs Sabres Odds: Bruins In Six

The Story

The Sabres had a chance to get the No. 2 seed on the last day of the year had they defeated the New Jersey Devils, but in a 1-1 tie they actually pulled their goalie and decided to face Boston instead.

Buffalo finished with 100 points for the ninth time in franchise history and behind Vezina candidate Ryan Miller, they feel confident heading into the postseason. In many ways, a lot of NHL betting fans know that the Bruins are wounded, especially with Marc Savard out, so the Sabres choice to go after someone vulnerable makes sense.

Now we’ll see if that works out.

Who Has The Edge On Offense: Bruins Or Sabres?

While the general perception is that with Savard out, the Sabres have the advantage. That’s not exactly the case as they have plenty of injury concerns of their own. Tim Connolly, Jochen Hecht and Drew Stafford are out and that trio were the second, sixth and eighth leading scorers for the Sabres, combining for 52 goals.

Sports betting fans need to take a closer look at this matchup as the offense is actually fairly even between the two. The Bruins are without their best player and that hurts. He’s their playmaker and a lot of players feed off of Savard.

Based on depth, the Sabres get the slight edge.

Edge: Sabres

Who Has The Edge On Defense/Goaltending: Bruins Or Sabres?

Both teams have stellar goaltending, which is where this series will be won or lost.

Tuukka Rask finished first in goals-against average (1.97) and save percentage (.931). The Bruins were sneaky-good with Rask in net as they finished 22-12-5 with him between the pipes and just 17-18-8 with Thomas in net.

Ryan Miller is no slouch, and in the grand scheme of things, he gets an edge because of experience and because he has proven to be a primetime netminder. At the same time, the Bruins have a better team defense concept.

The Bruins allowed just 200 goals this year, which was the fewest next to the Jennings Trophy-winning New Jersey Devils. They also haven’t been outshot by their last 15 opponents.

Sportsbook odds makers know that this matchup is very close.

Edge: Even

Who Has The Edge In Experience?

Both teams have playoff experience, but the slight edge has to go to Buffalo.

Behind the bench, there isn’t much that head coach Lindy Ruff hasn’t seen. While Claude Julien is no slouch, Ruff has taken his teams farther into the playoffs (including the Finals).

Also, in net, while Rask may best Miller’s numbers this year, Miller has proven that he can carry his team in the tough times like the playoffs – or as he did with Team USA in the Olympic Hockey Tournament – and that is worth quite a bit. We haven’t seen much of Rask in the playoffs and we don’t know how he’ll respond.

Edge: Sabres

Who Will Win The Bruins vs Sabres Series?

Here’s an interesting note: the Bruins played far better under Rask than Thomas, and had Rask hypothetically started all 82 games, the Bruins would have finished with 103 points and ahead of Buffalo.

There isn’t much of a difference between these two teams and while the Sabres have a slight edge with home ice advantage, the Bruins won’t be intimidated to play in Buffalo.

This series will go down to the wire and don’t be surprised to see the Bruins win in six or seven.

Pick: Bruins In Six



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