The Coach's NHL Puckline PUNISHER
(NHL) Colorado vs. Buffalo, 12/20/2014 2:00 PM, Score: 5 - 1
Point Spread: -1.50 | 260.00 Colorado (Away)
Result: Win
The Buffalo Sabres four game winning streak was abruptly ended in a 5-1 loss at Winnipeg Tuesday. Tonight they'll be hosting the Colorado Avalanche, a side that has played well below expectations lately. I like it's chances of winning big tonight against a Sabres side it's dominated over recent meetings.

Here are my keys to the game:

1. Defense - The Sabres may have started picking up wins with some frequency lately, but it has not been thanks to a rock solid D. They've allowed 15 goals over their last four games and ranks near the bottom of the league allowing 3.09 per game. Colorado may sit one spot behind the Sabres for goals conceded per game, but that number will drop drastically if Calvin Pickard can put up similar performances as against the Pens two days ago. He stopped 47 shots from Crosby and company, allowing only one goal in OT.

2. Recent Meetings - The Avs have won all of the last seven match-ups against the Sabres and outscored Buffalo 11-3 over two meetings last season.

3. X-Factor - Form is temporary, class is permanent. The Sabres recent hot streak has been nothing but that and I'm sure their play will regress sooner rather than later. The Avs are the better team and need to start making up ground in the Western Conference.

Selection: This is a play on the Colorado Avalanche -1.5 (8*)