Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tonight's Games (Oct 17)

Philadelphia at Buffalo - 7 pm
Calgary at Montreal - 7:30 pm
Phoenix at St. Louis - 8 pm
Vancouver at Edmonton - 9 pm
Dallas at San Jose - 10:30 pm


The obvious choice is Dallas at San Jose but I'm going to go with a different one:

Philadelphia at Buffalo

The Flyers have struggled out of the gate and come into Buffalo to face the 5-0 Sabres. Yes it's early in the year but this is absolutely a huge game for Philadelphia.

As if they don't need enough incentive to come out strong, the Flyers should be reminded that the last time they faced the speedy Sabres they lost 7-1 in Game Six and were knocked out of the playoffs. Furthermore, in their last two visits into Buffalo during that series they lost by a combined score of 11-2.

Games like this one will show Clarke and Hitchcock what kind of team they have this year. If the Flyers get blown out in Buffalo I wouldn't be surprised to see Clarke try to shake up the roster a little. Philadelphia has great young talent like Richards, Carter and Umberger but they haven't yet shown that they are capable of playing a key role in the offense. Those three have combined for just two assists thus far. The lack of secondary scoring allows the opposition to focus all their energy on shutting down the Forsberg line who have 8 of the Flyers' 11 goals thus far.

The Sabres have a much more balanced offense - they've already gotten goals from 11 different players and are led up front by Briere and Drury. In goal Miller has played very well so far and Buffalo has the edge there no matter who gets the call for the Flyers. Although Philly will be playing as close to desperate hockey as you can play in mid-October, Buffalo is too deep, too fast, stronger in goal and playing at home.

Pick: Buffalo

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