Sabres vs. Canadiens: NHL Picks for Teams on Opposite Ends of Performance Spectrum

David Lawrence

Tuesday, February 3, 2015 1:20 PM GMT

The Montreal Canadiens had a pretty easy layup on Sunday but blew a 2-0 lead and lost 3-2 at home to the Arizona Coyotes. On Tuesday, they’ll get a chance to make amends against another one of the NHL’s worst teams. The Canadiens are a massive -370 favorite on the NHL betting lines.

The Buffalo Sabres Can Win Because…
Montreal is coming off a discouraging performance. Let’s face it: if the Habs can lose at home to the Arizona Coyotes, they can surely lose at home to the Sabres too.

Although the Sabres are struggling, if there is one silver lining for them, it’s the fact that goaltender Jhonas Enroth has a strong track record against the Canadiens. He has actually won five of his last seven meetings with Montreal while psoting a 2.19 GAA in the process. If he plays like that again, the Canadiens are going to be in for a matchup much more difficult than the -370 NHL odds are indicating.

 

The Montreal Canadiens Can Win Because…
No team in the NHL is worse than the Sabres right now. Buffalo has dropped 14 straight games overall as well as 14 straight on the road. If they’re trying, it’s hardly noticeable as the Sabres have been outscored a whopping 61-21 during this skid. That means they are losing by an average margin of 4.4 to 1.5, which boils down to nearly three goals per game. And while Enroth has a decent track record against Montreal, that’s all in the past. It’s hard to overlook the fact that he’s lost eight straight starts overall while posting a 4.47 GAA in his last nine. That’s about as bad as it gets in this league.

As for Montreal, yes, they are coming off a loss but it’s no coincidence that they lost when All-Star goaltender Carey Price got the night off. He’s posted shutouts in back-to-back games and has won five straight. In that span, he has a sparkling 0.98 GAA. Price is 13-2-1 with a 1.43 GAA in his last 16 starts. Chances are, he’ll have a pretty good game against a Sabres team that is pulse-less these days.

On the whole, the Canadiens are 15-4-1 in their last 20 games. The Sabres are at the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of performance and momentum. Take the Canadiens here.

 

Outlook
This is just a bad spot for the Sabres. They are on the last game of their five-game road trip and could be a bit worn down. At the same time, the Canadiens are red-hot and are coming off a rare home loss. Rest assured that the coaching staff has torn a strip off the team and will expect them to play much harder on Tuesday. That being the case, we’ll lay the puck line with the Canadiens as they should get the job done here. Buffalo is nothing short of pathetic and has lost by more than a goal in 12 of their last 16 games. Take the Canadiens on the puck line with your NHL picks.

Free NHL Pick: Canadiens -1.5 at The Greek

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