NHL Hockey Betting: New York Islanders at Buffalo Sabres

NHL Hockey Betting:  New York Islanders at Buffalo Sabres

There’s no better example of just how much qualitative depth their is in the NHL than this last place game between the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Islanders. In most sports a matchup between two last place teams would be a complete grease fire like in the NBA where you’d be treated to games like the 7-18 Minnesota Timberwolves against the 8-18 Phoenix Suns. That’s not the case in the NHL. Buffalo is in last place in the Atlantic Division but are 11-11-6 on the season and 5-3-2 in their last 10 games. The New York Islanders are 11-13-5 on the season and 5-4-1 in their last 10 games. And unlike the NBA where the overpaid and under motivated athletes would ‘phone it in’ this game should be a highly competitive battle.

On paper, the Islanders should be a contender. They finished with 100 points last season but this year they’ve suffered from bad defensive play, injuries and unfortunate ‘puck luck’. They’ll roll the dice at goalie tonight as they give Jean-Francois Berube his first start of the season. The Islanders enter on a three game losing streak but have overall been playing well. They had won five of six games before hitting a Columbus, Washington and Chicago buzzsaw.

The Sabres have been plagued by injuries all season long but they’re starting to get healthy. Most significantly, second year scoring machine Jack Eichel is back in the lineup and making life miserable for opposing defenses. Eichel is in a tough position–he’ll go through his career being compared to Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and being compared to a guy they call ‘McJesus’ is unfair. Eichel would have been the #1 draft choice by a long shot were it not for McDavid and he’s a sniper extraordinaire. He might not be a ‘generational player’ a la McDavid but he is a player that can be penciled into the lineup for the next decade plus and produce a dependable 30+ goals per season. He’s more of a Mike Bossy than a Wayne Gretzky and that’s no insult–teams can always use a dependable goal scorer and Eichel can become one of the best.

Buffalo just the better team and particularly against a goalie that hasn’t played much this year.