The Sabres are at a loss; they cannot seem to find a rhythm that even gives them some breathing room as they get over powered on defense and pushed back into what looks like a bunch of chickens running with their heads cut off. The Bruins are a very meticulous teams, they attack in groups and look to surprise you, their ability to hit the puck is very good and they have guys that are specialist at 10 to 15 feet out. Buffalo will really have to concentrate on controlling their own rebounds and staying out of the penalty box.
Boston Bruins vs. Buffalo Sabres
8:00 PM ET, October 23, 2013
First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York
Boston is 5-2 as they have looked great in their offensive lines, moving the puck well and rotating personnel off the bench has been their high point. The Bruins seem to attack in waves as they come and control their own rebound as well as the back of the opposing teams net, making it hard to catch them off guard for transition opportunities. I see Boston really just controlling the puck possession in this game and frustrating the Sabres into opening up too much looking for the counter.
Buffalo ranks dead last in goals per game at 1.2 as well as in penalty kills with a 1.65; this team seems to have lost its identity given the lack of attention they are placing on defense. Their offense is good but they are always playing from behind so it seems that they are actually forcing the play, getting upset and committing bad penalties is also dragging them down but I don’t see much of that changing in this game.
What to Expect:
Boston is the high favorite at -205; I really don’t see how the Sabres can beat them without some kind of defensive strategy. Buffalo needs to push the puck more up the ice and control it better behind the blue line, winning face offs would help them but the veteran leadership that comes with Boston will simply over power them. I’m giving this game to Boston but I don’t like the line this early in the season.