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2010 Stanley Cup Playoff Picks – Bruins vs. Sabres

NHL Playoff Betting: Bruins vs Sabres Series Preview & Pick

Stanley Cup Betting fans sure are getting their money’s worth from the free nhl picks we give out here at Capperspicks.com. Stick with us for the entire 2010 NHL Stanley cup playoff run.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT OUR HOCKEY HANDICAPPING PLAYS FOR THIS YEARS PLAYOFF ACTION —–>

  • GAME 1: @Buffalo, Thu. 4/15, 7 p.m.
  • GAME 2: @Buffalo, Sat. 4/17, 1 p.m.
  • GAME 3: @Boston, Mon. 4/19, 7 p.m.
  • GAME 4: @Boston, Wed. 4/21, 7 p.m.
  • GAME 5*: @Buffalo, Fri. 4/23, 7 p.m.
  • GAME 6*: @Boston, Mon. 4/26, 7 p.m.
  • GAME 7*: @Buffalo, Wed. 4/28, 7 p.m.

Bruins vs Sabres Odds To Win 7 Game Series:

Bruins +150, Sabres -180

NHL playoff hype is flying all over the place this week. Will the Caps win? Will the Pens defend? Will the Sharks choke? But two teams lost in the shuffle are the Bruins and Sabres. In a way, it’s surprising to see them so forgotten, as they’re both built better for postseason hockey than regular-season hockey. Both teams have the same strengths: defense and goaltending.

Does that mean the Bruins and Sabres will give us a seven-game war?

(6) BOSTON BRUINS vs (3) BUFFALO SABRES

Because these two teams are so similar, the best way to separate the two is review each similarity until we find a difference.

We know both the Bruins and Sabres are backstopped by outstanding goaltending. Buffalo’s Ryan Miller gets the headlines. After all, he’s perhaps the top game-stealing goalie in hockey today and the frontrunner for the Vezina Trophy. He’s in his prime and he showed at the Olympics that he can be a special goalie in clutch situations. But we can’t be absolutely certain that the Sabres even have an edge in goaltending. Review the NHL stats leaders and, right beside Miller’s name, you find Boston’s Tuukka Rask right beside him in many of the categories. He’s been a star and, if he falters in his playoff debut, let’s remember that his “backup,” Tim Thomas, is the reigning Vezina Trophy winner. Goaltending shouldn’t be a problem for the Bruins.

The defense is anchored by a giant man who eats minutes, scores on the power play and battles opponents’ star players every night. Oops – I forget to mention which team. That’s because Zdeno Chara and Tyler Myers fill the same role for the Bruins and Sabres, respectively. Again, it’s hard to find a difference between each team’s blueline. Chara has the maturity and experience edge over Myers and he has a solid if unspectacular supporting cast behind him with guys like Dennis Wideman and Dennis Seidenberg. But Myers has an equally sound, stay-at-home group backing him with Toni Lydman, Craig Rivet and Steve Montador.

So where on Earth can we find the crucial difference between these two combatants? The forwards. Sports Betting at Sportsbook.com

The Bruins have the size edge, as guys like Milan Lucic and Michael Ryder can be beasts on the forecheck, but the Sabres proved all season long that they could handle the rough, tough forwards in the Eastern Conference. As gritty and defensively sound as Boston’s forwards may be…they can’t score. The Bruins went from leading the Eastern Conference in goals a year ago to finishing dead last in the NHL in scoring this season. They miss Marc Savard (concussion) dearly and, even though they gained a high pick from Toronto in this year’s draft, losing Phil Kessel’s 36 goals hurt badly. They made a trade for the future even though they were contending in the present; that was a head scratcher to me.

Buffalo isn’t an absolute powerhouse offensively but it has some talented offensive forwards in Derek Roy, Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, Drew Stafford and (if healthy enough to play) Tim Connolly. These guys aren’t consistent but they do have one consistent advantage over Boston: speed. They should beat the Bruins’ defense to pucks enough to score a handful of goals – and that’s all they’ll need against a low-scoring team like Boston.

I expect every game of this series to be a tightly fought war – every game may finish 2-1 – but I still see the Sabres outclassing the Bruins more often than not. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Buffalo, one of the NHL’s best true “teams,” win three games in overtime but still avoid a lengthy series. The Sabres’ defense and goaltending are just that good and the Bruins’ offense is just that bad.

Prediction: Sabres in five.

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