What were the Chicago Blackhawks doing the night before their game against Vegas? Because it surely wasn’t time spent preparing for the Golden Knights. Their feet weren’t under them or moving, as they looked like they were bingeing on whatever temptation you can name in Vegas the night before. There is going to come a point where teams are going to need to exert some effort to beat them, because as it is now, clubs are going in thinking it’s going to be a walk in the park.
In their most notably wins, they’ve now defeated the Blues and Blackhawks on back-to-backs. The win propels the Golden Knights to a record of 7-1-0. Go figure. The Golden Knights are on a heater right now. Good luck pegging a time it comes to an end, because it ultimately will, and they may fall hard when it comes. In the near future, I’m just staying away from their games, though, until the second-half.
Moving on to tonight, with just a couple of games on the landscape, we go to Columbus where the Buffalo Sabres and Blue Jackets do battle. Columbus is a college football town through and through, but it’s quickly become a hockey haven as well. Thanks to the resurgence of the Jackets, Columbus has become more of a hot ticket than they were in the past.
The turnaround can be accredited to the arrival of head coach John Tortorella. The Blue Jackets were just fortunate enough to have Tortorella on the market at the right time. He was hired early in 2015 and quickly turned the Jackets around. They come into this season with expectations and a target on their back, though. The Blue Jackets are far from a team you can just show up against and expect to win. They enter Wednesday night with a record of 5-3-0 so it’s been an adequate start. Head below for our free Sabres vs. Blue Jackets pick.
Buffalo Sabres vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Pick
The Sabres are coming off a hard fought 1-0 win over the Red Wings last night. It was a good win for a team who advanced to 3-5-1 with the victory. Robin Lehner played his heart out, blocking 32 shots of 32 that came his way. It was the best performance for Lehner thus far this year. However, we expect to see backup Chad Johnson in net tonight, as the Sabres give Lehner the night off. Lehner is the clear starter in Buffalo, as he holds a 2.73 GAA and 0.913 save percentage. Compare that to Johnson, who has a 3.84 GAA and 0.881 save percentage.
That comes in four starts for Johnson, the worst coming against the Devils where he allowed 6 goals. The Sabres have allowed an average of 3.50 goals per game this season, so it was a nice showing for their defence to get on track last night against the Red Wings. However, they will be facing a Columbus team who have scored at least 4 goals in three of their last four games. Every decent offence Buffalo has faced this season, they’ve been hit pretty good. On the year, the Jackets are averaging 3.13 goals per game, and allowing 2.63. If Johnson does in fact start, which it appears like he will, the OVER looks like a nice play on the ice in Columbus.
PICK: OVER 5.5 (-110)