After finally getting on a nice run between the pipes of late, let’s trying to keep it going with anticipated tight lines on with contests in Buffalo and Florida.
Minnesota and Buffalo have a lot in common and it’s just not the fact they have very similar SU records. Each team has lost their last two games to the same two teams in the same exact locations. The Wild and Sabres both lost at Dallas as underdogs and returned home as favorites and were handled by Chicago.
The question begs, who is better positioned to end a brief losing streak? It could well be Minnesota and here is why. The Wild come in as -105 underdogs according to the NHL odds. Offensively, each club is rather offensive if you must know, with Buffalo 23rd in averaging 2.84 goals a game and Minnesota 26th at 2.79. It is pretty clear like Bill Belichick is a HOF coach, the difference is close to wafer thin.
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The Wild, however, is the tighter defense group, ranked 11th (2.85) in stopping the hard rubber sphere and the Sabres down the line at 17th (3.04). Not a dramatic difference, but larger than the one on offense.
Here are a few points that stand out for the visitor. While Buffalo has made tremendous strides from last year, they still are 7-23 versus teams that concede 2.85 GAG in the second half of the season since last year. Minnesota, to use a sports cliche, they get tough when the tough gets going and Minny is 21-5 after two or more setbacks. Lastly, if you are making NHL picks, the Wild has won nine of 11 at the KeyBank Center. Grab the short dog.