Date/Time: October 1st, 8:00 p.m. ET
Television: NBC Sports Network
Moneyline: Detroit -185
For the very first time in their history, the Detroit Red Wings will be playing in an NHL betting battle as members of the Eastern Conference. The first foe on tap is the Buffalo Sabres, who know that this could legitimately be one of the more frustrating seasons in their team history.
The Sabres really only have two stars of note on their team in G Ryan Miller and LW Thomas Vanek. Aside from that, there are a lot of kids that are still learning how to play the game that are paired with some veterans who the game has probably passed by. The end result is going to be ugly, and many figure that this will be a team near the bottom of the Eastern Conference this year. To make matters worse, LW Marcus Foligno, one of the younger guns on the team, has a shoulder probably and might not play tonight. If he doesn’t give it a go, that’s going to throw a real kink into the works of the front two lines for the Sabres and cause some offensive problems. Hopes are high this year for C Cody Hodgson, who had a strong season last year with 15 goals and 19 helpers, and outside of Vanek, he is probably the only other man on the team that has a legitimate chance of tallying 25-30 goals here on the season.
The Red Wings are the superior team by far, but that doesn’t mean that they have a team that should be laying this type of a price on the NHL odds with regularity. We would love to know more about the status of all of the injuries on this team, as the club will look a lot different with RW Daniel Alfredsson in the fold. It does seem like RW Johan Franzen is going to start the year in the lineup in spite of his strained hip flexor, while LW Justin Abdelkader is going to give it a go as well. All of the rest of the stars that you have come to know and love from Detroit are still here, including C Pavel Datsyuk, who has the supreme talent to be able to put up tremendous numbers against anyone that he faces. What really makes this team go though, is G Jimmy Howard. Howard is continuing a long tradition of great goalies for the Red Wings, and if he was able to get last year’s team into the playoffs to keep that streak going, he can do a lot with a team that, at least on paper, is better than the one that was on the verge of the Stanley Cup Finals last year.
When the oddsmakers find out just how bad Buffalo really is, we’ll all see that this is a game in which the Red Wings should really be -200 or so in. We really love what the Wings are bringing to the Eastern Conference this year, and we think that their road to the playoffs will be umpteen times easier now. It starts with two points on Wednesday night.
Buffalo Sabres @ Detroit Red Wings Pick: Detroit Red Wings -185
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.