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Buffalo Sabres Odds - Sabres did nothing in offseason, will do nothing this season

Posted by Don Melrose on 9/11/2009 9:28:49 AM
NHL hockey oddsThe Buffalo Sabres odds don’t inspire much optimism for the 2009-10 season. While the Sabres have some offensive talent and a good goaltender, other teams around them keep improving their NHL odds and Buffalo’s tight budget hinders its growth. Can the young guns take a leap forward and get Buffalo back into the playoffs?

Buffalo Sabres Odds: Mediocre team did nothing to improve in offseason

  • Speedy forwards make Buffalo dangerous enough offensively
  • Faceless defense lacks talent, contributes no scoring
  • Ryan Miller remains the franchise’s rock

Buffalo Sabres odds maker breakdown: OFFENSE
While the Sabres don’t totally set the hockey betting world on fire, offense isn’t their problem. Derek Roy, Tim Connolly and Jason Pominville give them a handful of speedy, creative playmakers with silky-smooth hands; Thomas Vanek is one of the league’s best natural goal scorers and Drew Stafford still has time to break out.

Buffalo Sabres odds maker breakdown: DEFENSE
Here’s the topic that makes Sabres fans look at the ground and shuffle their feet awkwardly. “Who do we have on defense? Uh, well, there’s Craig Rivet…and Tony Lydman.” Ouch. The Sabres have an adequate collection of minutes eaters but arguably have zero true top-four blueliners. The stay-at-home group plays steady enough defense but contributes almost nothing offensively.

Buffalo’s forwards can use their speed to backcheck but they, and the Sabres as a team, seriously lack physicality. They’ll get bullied by the Flyers, Leafs, Bruins and the rest of the rough and tumble Eastern Conference teams. Adding burly checking winger Mike Grier will help slightly but not enough.

Buffalo Sabres odds maker breakdown: GOALTENDING
Ryan Miller had an off year but it was simply a result of playing too much over the last few seasons. He’s still an excellent goalie and far and away the franchise’s most important player, as he keeps Buffalo in games they don’t deserve to win.

Buffalo Sabres odds maker breakdown: SPECIAL TEAMS
Even without a strong blueline presence, Buffalo had a top-10 power play this year. Since the Sabres retained their slick-stickhandling forwards, they’ll score plenty with the man advantage again. The Penalty kill is solid thanks to Paul Gaustad’s steady efforts and will be fine again but nothing special.

Buffalo Sabres odds maker breakdown: SEASON OUTLOOK
Even in the salary cap era in which financial parity puts most teams on a level playing field, the Sabres are poor. As a result, they did almost nothing to improve this offseason. How, then, can they hang with division mates and fellow fringe playoff contenders Montreal and Toronto, each of whom busted its tail to acquire help in the offseason? The Sabres will miss the playoffs again and may even regress.

For full Buffalo Sabres odds to win the Stanley Cup, check out our world-famous sportsbook. For lots of sports betting tips for NHL games, keep reading the Betting Edge at

Don Melrose is's hockey expert.



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