Buffalo Sabres (21-21-6) at Detroit Red Wings (24-16-8)
|Date & Time||Wednesday October 2, 2013, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Detroit Red Wings -186 / Buffalo Sabres +169 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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Last year there were many projecting the downfall of the Detroit Red Wings but that didn't come to fruition. This is an organization that relies heavily on veteran players but they're slowing implementing some youth into the lineup as well. Their transition to the Eastern Conference should really benefit them moving forward considering there will be more match ups with teams like the Buffalo Sabres on their schedule. Stephen Weiss was a big addition for Detroit in the offseason but just like in the past his injury concerns will be a focal point moving forward. The odds of him staying healthy over the duration of the season is virtually none but his upside could help this club immensely. Jimmy Howard should be very good again in goal but his defense is one of the biggest question marks facing Detroit this year. Theyv'e got a mix of young and veteran players on the blue line but there isn't much margin for error there.
For the Buffalo Sabres it's hard to see how this year isn't going to look a lot like the last. There weren't many changes to the roster and with Ryan Miller still in the fold who knows what to expect in goal. This whole sitaution could be extremely tumultuous even if it's not Miller's fault in the end. He's still a very good goaltender but he's in a place where the fans are waiting to pounce on him and he's not going to get much offensive support. Thomas Vanek can be elite but after that there just isn't enough consistency with the offense to make this team playoff caliber over the course of the season. The power play was a disaster last year and I just don't see how it's going to be much better with similar personnel coming back. Whether or not the Sabres can compete is going to depend on those specialty units.
This is a big line for the Red Wings but one that's mostly deserved. It's always hard to predict these openers and with nothing to go on yet it's anybody's guess but it's hard to like the Sabres right now before we see them on the ice.