Sabres vs Canadians Odds
|Above under||6.5 (-115 / -105)
|time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up to the minute NHL Odds here.|
The Buffalo Sabers head to Quebec hoping to snap an eight-game losing streak against the Montreal Canadiens. After a red hot October, the team from Western New York is having a hard time staying in the win column as they stand seventh in the Atlantic Division.
Montreal has been a beacon of contradiction all season. Either they are on a winning streak or a losing streak. The Habs are clearly still learning about themselves, but after beating Philly, they’ll be looking to start a new winning streak.
Can Montreal move up the standings, or will Buffalo end their losing streak?
Swords in Funk Annual
I feel like the Sabers always deserve an awesome stint every year.. They have a talented team, but there is always a time when they find themselves struggling.
I love this team despite their eight-game losing streak. Tug Thompson is an emerging star and Rasmus Dahlin has become a solid defenseman after a few disappointing years. Not only that, but Alex Toch averages just under a point per game, and Dylan Cousins is blossoming into a solid player as he gets older.
Because of this poor stretch, Buffalo found itself lower and lower in the predicted goal ratings. He plays the 18th best at 48.97 xGF% and generates 17th chances of high risk. While the Sabers’ 5-on-5 is nothing to write home about, their power play is excellent, posting an average of 23.3%.
I was expecting worse 5-to-5 defensive numbers, with Buffalo standing at a 17th-best 2.7 xGA/60, but what really hurts the team is the penalty kill. The Sabers don’t find themselves in the penalty area very often, and they still have the fourth worst penalties with a success rate of 70.2%.
Eric Comrie started most of Buffalo’s games, but found himself injured a few weeks ago. My guess is that coach Don Granato will be looking at 41-year-old Craig Anderson, since Oko-Pekka Lokonen took a beating in Toronto. Anderson wasn’t bad considering his age, but it’s impossible to predict a 41-year-old. He is currently posting 0.910 SV% and playing for a +0.9 Goal Save Above Expected (GSAx).
The numbers don’t line up with Canadians
Since earning the title of Captain of the Hab, Nick Suzuki has gone on to become the star and face of the franchise. He is enjoying the best start of his four-year career with 23 points in 18 games. Along with Suzuki, Cole Cofield is one of the league’s leading scorers, Kirby Dash is shining bright, and Sean Monahan is having a solid year. This Montreal team is definitely a team on the rise.
Even with all of the Hab’s talents, the models don’t favor them much. They are 26th in 5 targets vs. 5 targets predicted ratio of 46.22 xGF% and are in the top 5 in High Hazard Chances Created. The power play could also be better, as they only score 18% of the time. So overall, they’re an average team analytically, but sometimes the numbers don’t tell the whole story.
Defensively 5-on-5, she’s not very good at all, as she has a 2.87 xGA/60 but her penalty shot is solid. Montreal’s death penalty ranks eighth in the league with an 81.4% success rate.
I suppose Jake Allen got the nod tonight. He has been the most consistent net pointer playing at +3.4 GSAx and .898 SV%. While the save percentage is disappointing, Allen has been solid as can be in the gridiron. If coach Martin St. Louis decides to go for Samuel Montembault, he’s not a bad play either because he plays to 0.915 SV% plus +2.5 GSAx, so keep an eye on this close to game time.
Sabres vs. Canadians Peak
Buffalo’s recent losing streak is definitely a red flag. The Sabers have been an interesting team to look at at the start of the season, but their eight-game losing streak is nothing to be optimistic about. Not only that, but if Anderson grabs the net, I could see Montreal taking advantage of him. While Anderson holds on tight, you can never really tell what’s going on with a goalkeeper, especially at his age.
The Canadians have proven they can run and I think this is a match to continue their run. With Buffalo’s struggles and top-notch Montreal talent at the forefront, I can see the Habs taking this up a notch in regulation.
The Sabers have only reached overtime once in their last eight games and I think the Montreal talent can outpace them in organization.
pluck or pluck: Montreal Canadiens 3-way line +130
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