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Great White Buffalo

What an enjoyable game last night! There was plenty of intensity, desire, and drama to go around for both sides. The Canes came out on fire and outshot the Slugs 11-1, but couldn't put a goal on the board. That ended up being their undoing as Buffalo got their legs and played dead even from that point on. It wasn't a perfect game. You would see sloppy passing, ineffective powerplays, lazy penalties, and plenty of other mistakes for both teams, but you could still see the skill and effort. There will be lots to cheer about for Caniacs this year! In effect that game was a tie, but of course on the scorebook the Canes lost in a shoot out. I didn't walk out of the RBC disappointed though, I felt good. We have the Cup, a Banner, and a great future to look forward to! Most importantly we have an exciting hockey team who plays with heart and class.

I don't like Buffalo. I don't like the city, the team, the coach, or the fans. I don't even like Buffalo Wings. I'm not going to waste a whole blog post giving the dozens of reasons why I feel the way I do, but I will admit that they have a fine hockey team who will be extremely dangerous to play this year. But in typical Lindy Ruff fashion, the News and Observer reported this morning that the coach asked for permission to watch the banner raising ceremony. Why now Lindy? Where was this "class" back in 2002 when the Canes were celebrating a Ron Francis milestone? (his 1249 assists are 2nd in NHL history behind only Gretzky, his 1798 points are 4rth). Why couldn't you have shown a touch of respect to this deserving future Hall of Famer and watched that ceremony and maybe even paid a bit of tribute? Nope, Lindy Ruff refused and had the team wait in the locker room. This compared to the Canes sitting and standing at the vistors bench for 45 minutes during Scott Steven's night last year in New Jersey and Stevens isn't exactly a revered player in these parts.

Here are some quotes from the News and Observer from an earlier article:

This is, after all, the same team -- with the same coach and same general manager -- that decided to remain sequestered in its locker room while the Carolina Hurricanes honored Ron Francis before a game in January 2002.

"I was very, very disappointed in that, to be quite honest with you," then-Canes coach Paul Maurice said at the time. "This isn't somebody's 1,000th game or truck-giveaway night. ... I absolutely think they should have been there."

One can only speculate about the reasoning behind Ruff's recent request, but Canes management turned him down. Nice try Lindy, better luck next time.

The NHL swings into full gear tonight with almost a full schedule of games! I have not looked at the betting lines yet, (not very much anyway). Pre-season games are too tough to bet on anyway. Last night's odds did not appeal to me. Tonight there are some lines worth noting though!

A $10.00 bet will yield the following payouts for these favored teams:

Sens $3.85

Rangers $4.17

Red Wings $5.00

Preds $4.17

Wild $5.88

Yotes $6.25

Sharks $4.00

None of these lines thrill me because the payout is so little for the risk. In my opinion, why even bother to bet 10 dollars just for a $3.85 return? It's not worth it to me. All these teams are home teams, which are usually favored by the bookies. An exception to that is the Pens/Flyers game in Pittsburgh in which the Pens are big underdogs. On a $10 bet you would win $14 back with a Pens win. My feeling is that they won't win though.

But there are 2 games I like. Another exception to the home team/favorite rule of thumb is the Oilers/Flames game. This is an even matchup with virtual "pick em" odds. Either team will pay $9.09 with a $10 bet and a win. I pick the Flames.

A line which surprises me is one that makes the Thrashers favored over the Lightning in Atlanta where a $10 bet on the Lightning pays $12.00, and that's another bet I'll make.

Tonight's total bet is $20.00 for a chance to make $21.09. I have the Flames and Lightning. As I promised months ago when I started this blog, we'll examine odds and betting lines from time to time, make bets, and share the results here and keep a running total of wins/losses. Let's see if I do as well as I did last year!

Ted Nugent