Boston Bruins @ Buffalo Sabres Free NHL Pick 2/8/12
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The Bruins are probably going to be happy to have a few days off before this game. They just haven’t looked like the same team that has dominated the league this year in losses to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes, but at least they were able to get back in the win column against the Washington Capitals on the road on Sunday. Tim Thomas, in spite of the fact that he has basically become a public enemy in the eyes of most American sports fans, continues to be one of the best goalies in the game. His 22 wins, 2.11 GAA, and .934 save percentage (and four shutouts to boot!) have him in the driver’s seat for the Vezina Trophy for the second straight season. He has the top rated offense in the league behind him as well, as the team is averaging an amazing 3.4 goals per game. What isn’t talked about enough with the Bruins is their well-balanced scoring attack. The team has three players with at least 40 points already on the season, and it has another five with at least 30 points. There are three more with at least 20. No matter who has an off day, there is always seemingly another star that can step up and get the job done.
While there are some teams that surprisingly got off to a good start this season that are starting to fade, the Sabres are at least showing some signs of life and might be back in the playoff picture sooner than later. They have won three out of four games and have taken at least one point from all four, and they are playing with some confidence on both sides of the ice and taking the close games. With Thomas Vanek out of the lineup, the only man on the team that has accounted for more than 26 points this year is Jason Pominville, who has 17 goals and 31 assists. He and Ryan Miller are the two leaders of this team. Miller hasn’t had the year that we expected of him, as he is clearly at the tail end of what was a great career, and his 2.88 GAA and losing record have given way at times to Jhonas Enroth, who has a GAA 0.41 points better than that of Miller.
Boston Bruins @ Buffalo Sabres Pick: Boston is clearly going to be the team favored in this one, but we just aren’t all that sure that it is justified. The Bruins are going to get all of what they can handle from the Sabres, and we think that the boys from Buffalo are going to be able to take another two points for the upset to help take another step back towards the postseason.
Free Hockey Pick: Buffalo Sabres
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