The Buffalo Sabres already lost this season when they didn’t get Connor McDavid in the draft. He of course went to the Edmonton Oilers, and the Sabres were left wondering what if. The Sabres ended up nabbing Jake Eichel with the 2nd overall pick in the NHL draft. Thus far, it hasn’t looked like a terrible scenario for the Sabres. Eichel already has 6 goals and 4 assists while McDavid is out with an injury. Years from now I think we’ll be saying McDavid is the better player, but I don’t believe the Sabres are going to be too disappointed in Eichel. He has stepped in right to the NHL and asserted himself as a guy that can make plays at only 19. The fact that he came from college to the NHL is all the more impressive. Seldom to college players just come right in without some development in the AHL. The instant success is usually reserved for players that previously played JR hockey. Eichel became the youngest player to score a goal for the Sabres.
There is work to do for the Sabres, but they are heading in the right direction. They opened last season in embarrassing fashion, but look like a respectable club here. With a record of 8-11-1 they have been showing improvements, especially on the defensive end. They couldn’t stop a high school last season, but they really rectified the issues they had on that front. The Sabres need to get the offense going as well, but adding Eichel in the draft is definitely a step in the right direction.
The Sabres welcome the Nashville Predators this evening. The Preds are having a fine season at 11-6-2 but I lump them in the same category with the regular season heroes but playoff duds. I can’t say they are on an Anaheim Ducks or Washington Capitals level, but they have had good teams, yet haven’t been able to capitalize. They are in a bit of a slump right now, losing three straight games and failing to score a goal in all three. The Sabres are also on a skid with five straight losses. We will see how it goes down tonight in Buffalo.
Nashville Predators vs. Buffalo Sabres NHL Pick
The Sabres were 8-6 before their five straight losing efforts. Unfortunately a five game skid can end all of those good vibes and thoughts. However, with a young team like the Sabres you need to take the good with the bad. They have only scored 5 goals during that time. No team scored more than 3 goals on them, but if you can’t score anything it isn’t going to matter. On the year the Sabres are averaging 2.05 goals per game for 27th in the NHL.
The Predators losing streak, offensively speaking, has been even worse than the Sabres. In those three games the Predators didn’t score a single goal. They had a couple of huge offensive outings, scoring 7 goals on two occasions the last ten games. But since the last game they scored that much, the Preds have averaged 0.75 goals per game. I think Nashville finds a win in this game, but I like the UNDER more here with the price.
PICK: UNDER 5 GOALS (+105)