Showdown in Motown
The Red Wings will host the Sabres on Friday at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan with the opening face-off slated for 7:35 PM ET. According to NHL betting odds Detroit is a -265 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.0. These teams have seen their last 6 meetings all go under the total, in addition to each of the last 5 played in Detroit staying under. Detroit has won 10 of the last 11 meetings with the Sabres at the Joe Louis Arena. The Sabres are dead last in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings. Detroit is currently 4th in the Atlantic and 7th overall in the East.
Coming off a Huge Win
The Detroit Red Wings home win over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night was certainly a large one, especially since they were facing the top team in the Eastern Conference, and the President’s Trophy leader for the top regular season point getter in the NHL. When you measure the victory in terms of improving the Red Wings playoff chances, it certainly increases the magnitude of the triumph. Detroit can ill afford to have a letdown versus a Buffalo team they’ve dominated over recent years, in addition to facing an opponent that’s been the worst in the NHL since the start of the season. Even more so when you consider that after tonight, the Red Wings will play 4 of the remaining 5 regular season games on the road. Detroit is in control of its own playoff destiny, and as long as they take care of their business, it won’t be necessary to seek help from any other team.
Looking Toward the FutureI can’t recall in my recent memory when a team has gone wire to wire being as the worst team in the NHL. Well that’s exactly what’s transpired for the Buffalo Sabres this season. On a positive note they have three first round choices, and three second round picks in the upcoming 2014 NHL entry draft. They also just signed Teddy Nolan to a 3-year contract as their head coach, and thus removed his interim tag. The Sabres are coming off a 3-2 overtime home shootout win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, and at the time of this writing still had a game to play at St. Louis on Thursday. The win over the Devils snapped a 4-game losing streak, and was just their 2nd in the last 13-games. The Sabres have been anemic offensively this season averaging just 1.8 goals per game, which ranks dead last in the NHL.
Free Pick: Detroit -1.5 (+115) over Buffalo on the puck line