Buffalo Sabres (3-11-2) at St. Louis Blues (9-4-1)
|Date & Time||Tuesday November 11, 2014, 8:00 PM (EST)|
|Location||Unknown Location Unknown Address|
The Line: St. Louis Blues -400 / Buffalo Sabres +354 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
Ted Nolan certainly has his hands full with this rebuilding process that the Buffalo Sabres are going through. It isn’t that the 3-11-2 record matters all that much, but the problem is that it’s not going to get better any time soon. This hockey club doesn’t just have a problem winning hockey games, they have a problem being even remotely competitive. Saturday night the Sabres actually mustered 21 shots on goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins. That isn’t a bad number for a club that is averaging a league worst 22.2 shots per game to start the year. Buffalo didn’t do themselves any favors by heading to the penalty box five times in the game, watching the Penguins convert one of those in the first period to go along with two even strength tallies and leave them trailing 3-0 after 20 minutes of play. Zemgus Girgensons scored his third goal of the season in the second period to get the Sabres on the scoreboard but Buffalo never stood a chance in this game, losing by a final of 6-1. Jhonas Enroth dropped to 1-7-1 on the season and the Buffalo goaltenders must just be thrilled going to the rink every day knowing that the opponent is always going to have the puck. Nolan isn’t the type of coach who will allow these players to get away with being lazy, but the problem is even if he gets the most out of this group it won’t be enough. Buffalo is simply over matched right now and until these players really start to develop, something that’s hard to do without a strong veteran presence around them, they’re going to continue to struggle. It doesn’t get any easier with a trip to St. Louis to take on the Blues on Tuesday night.
Saturday night it was a red-hot goaltender that finally brought the lengthy winning streak of the St. Louis Blues to an end. Pekka Rinne has been sensational all year long and he was able to turn aside 28 of 29 St. Louis shots to hand the Blues their first loss in their last eight games. The winning streak has propelled the Blues into second place in the Central Division standings. There has been a lot of good signs during this stretch of hockey but one of the most encouraging has to be the continued development of youngster Vladimir Tarasenko. The Russian looks like he’s matured a lot since last season and that’s a scary thing to think about for opponents who have to deal with his world-class skill. The type of skill that Tarasenko possesses is something that St. Louis has struggled acquiring over the years. Tarasenko’s nine goals lead the Blues and have him two off the pace for the league lead. Jori Lehtera scored his third goal fo the season in the loss to the Predators, giving the Blues a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. Nashville would tie the game in the second and win it with a goal in the third behind the play of their star netminder. Tuesday night should be a nice opportunity for the Blues to get back on the winning track.
This is one of the more astronomical spreads you’re going to see in a hockey game, but it goes to show you just how bad the Sabres are this season. At -400 on the money line this one is probably better off just staying away from. Even on the puck line it’s a lot. The total might be the better play in this one if you expect the Blues to dominate and light the lamp the way the Penguins did on Saturday.