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Sabres vs Red Wings Picks – Red Wings Will Stay Hot

Posted by Don Melrose on 3/12/2010 3:04:48 PM

The online betting activity surrounding the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings has changed significantly since the Olympic break. People doing the sports betting have noticed that the Sabres have won three in a row and the Red Wings have won four of their last six. The Red Wings are fighting for a playoff spot, and now that they are healthy they are making a serious run. The Red Wings are only one point out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, but they are chasing a Calgary Flames team that just keeps on winning.

Sabres vs Red Wings Picks: Red Wings Will Top Sabres At Home

  • Sabres G Ryan Miller leads the NHL in save percentage
  • Red Wings making a late-season run
  • Sabres top forwards are underachievieng

The Buffalo Sabres are first in the Northeast Division, and they continue to squeak out overtime wins and one or two goal victories. The Sabres made a living winning by one goal in the early part of the season, and the sportsbook bettors usually try to avoid the over in a Buffalo Sabres over-under bet.

Offense

When you consider NHL betting you have to consider offense and goals scored. The Red Wings have scored three or more goals in their four wins since the Olympic break, while the Sabres have scored three or less in two of their last three wins. The Red Wings have scored more goals this season and they have played four less games to this point. The offense is there for the Red Wings, but both the Sabres and the Red Wings lack that strong power forward that can consistently put the puck in the net.

Defense

The Sabres defense begins and ends with goaltender Ryan Miller. Miller has the best save percentage in the league and the Sabres as a team have the third best goals against in the league. The Red Wings are in 11th place with their goals against, and while Jimmy Howard has been good in replacement of Chris Osgood the Red Wings are still at a standstill in goal.

Last Meeting

The last time these two teams played it was on October 13, 2009, it was in Buffalo and the Sabres blasted the Red Wings 6-2. That was a different Sabre team, a different Red Wing team and in a different building. The Red Wings are getting older, but sometimes that combination of older players and very young players takes some time to gel together. The Sabres out shot the Red Wings 38 to 25 in that game and chased Chris Osgood out of the nets in the second period when they scored four times. That game was the beginning of the end of the Osgood era in Detroit and the start of the Howard era.

There is always a small back story that runs through these Sabre-Red Wings games as the Red Wings have Ryan Miller’s brother Drew on their roster. Drew Miller is a left winger that only has eight goals this season and has never been a deciding factor in one of these games. There is little to indicate that there will be a classic Miller showdown any time soon.

The Game

The Red Wings honestly believe they have found their future in goaltender Jimmy Howard, and they are probably right. The Red Wings still have one of the best defenseman in the history of the game in Niklas Lidstrom, and Lidstrom has spent the entire season bringing younger guys like Derek Meech and Jonathan Ericsson up to speed. That is why the Red Wings are winning now when they could not win earlier. The veterans have spent the season schooling the youngsters, and now the team is seeing the results of that.

The Sabres have an almost lock in the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year in defenseman Tyler Myers. Players like Patrick Kaleta, Adam Mair and Derek Roy have picked up their games considerably in the past few weeks. But the Sabres still make bad defensive mistakes in their own end that wind up either in a goal, or in the opposing team spending three or four minutes in the Sabres’ end with the puck. Bad giveaways, bad passes and sloppy play have hurt the Sabres significantly even in their recent wins.

The Red Wings are giving all that they have right now and it is paying off, but it is unusual to see a Red Wings team giving all that it has and have that be barely enough to make the playoffs.

The Sabres are sleeping giants. When players like Pomminville, Vanek and Hecht decide to earn their paychecks and put the puck in the net the Sabres will be a very dangerous force in the NHL. But for now, Sabre fans are stuck watching their highly paid superstars wander around the ice while the workforce players score the goals. That is not a sustained formula for success in the NHL. Even with one of the top goalies in the world playing in net, the Sabres will still need to figure out how to get their scorers motivated.

Pick: Detroit Red Wings 3-1

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