Sabres just rattling wins

Oct 24, 2006 1:02 AM

Coming off victories against Boston and defending Stanley Cup champ Carolina, the Sabres are late October’s NHL flavor.

Buffalo is off to an 8-0-0 start and winners of a franchise record 13 straight regular season games. The Sabres have outscored the opposition 42-22 during the run in snatching the early lead in the Northeast Division. Preseason favorite Ottawa is last and a quick 10 points out of first.

If you have noticed the ”˜over/under’ posted totals, most have wound up 6 or 6½. The natural tendency is to go ”˜under’ when in doubt. Nearly half (14-of-30) of the NHL teams had surrendered less than 20 goals through last Friday’s results (or basically seven games.)

Buffalo’s 42 goals was way above next highest team Chicago (32) during that span. Toronto followed with 31 goals, but the Leafs had a goal differential (scored to allowed) of only +1 compared to Buffalo’s league leading +16.

Ottawa, the preseason favorite to win the NHL Northeast and lead all of hockey in total points (projected at 108½ by Caesars Palace), is already 10 behind the Sabres in the division.

Ottawa at Toronto (tue): The Senators remember that 6-0 thrashing they took a few weeks ago in Toronto. Look for some revenge. OTTAWA.

Vancouver at Chicago (wed): The Blackhawks are scoring goals in bunches and should get a good home price. CHICAGO.

Atlanta at Philly (thurs): The Thrashers led NHL Southeast at 5-1-1 after seven games, which is Carolina’s division. Timing is right to beat Philly. ATLANTA.

Anaheim at Minnesota (fri): Two of the best defensive teams square off in what should be a beauty in the Twin Cities. It’s just Ducks now. UNDER 5½.