Jackets, Sabres to Roll 'Under' Total in Buffalo

sabres jackets

Dana Lane

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 11:47 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018 11:47 PM UTC

The Buffalo Sabres will increase their 'under' streak against the Eastern Conference when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets at the KeyBank Arena on Thursday night with a puck drop of 7 p.m. ET.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Buffalo SabresFree NHL Pick: Under 5.5Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Once again, you guys know how I feel about impact players returning to a lineup. I think it takes a player at least two games to find chemistry with linemates. The Columbus Blue Jackets have activated Alexander Wennberg off IR after being without their star center for eight games. He’ll most likely center the first line with Pierre-Luc Dubois moving back to his spot on the wing. There are too many moving parts for me to get involved with the OVER until I can be for certain that the Jackets are back at full strength.

On Thursday, the Jackets visit the Buffalo Sabres, who are the league’s worst offensive team (2.23 goals per game). In addition, the Sabres have always given off the impression that there are some locker-room issues. Just when you think that’s quieting down, another issue comes to the surface. At practice on Wednesday, there was a scuffle, which wouldn’t normally be a big deal except for the parties involved. Justin Falk and Evander Kane had to be separated, which caused head coach Phil Housley to say that he’s good with his team showing some emotion.

Normally this would be brushed off as nothing, but there have been too many flares sent up to ignore at this point. It’s fair to say that some players on the team may not be fond of each other. If true, it’s hard to imagine that this will lead to an increase in offensive production from the Sabres. These things are expected from a team that is 2-7-3 in their last 12 games, although you don’t hear things like this coming out of a similar situation in Arizona.

Kane has to be a little frustrated, or eager, because it’s almost certain that the Sabres will deal him before the trade deadline. He’s on pace to be a 30-goal scorer this season and probably would have been in previous seasons had it not been for injuries. He’s been quiet for the better part of a year and a half, but knowing his time is coming to end there I don’t think the perception is that Kane will play hard until the end. He comes across as a guy who will pout while being chippy in practice. The incident was started by Faulk, but it’s another example of the lack of harmony on Housley’s team.

When you have one team that may just quit one of these games it’s difficult to find a reason to bet the OVER when you may only have one team playing hard to win.

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