Red Wings vs. Lightning Pick
Stanley Cup Betting fans sure are getting their money’s worth from the free nhl picks we give out here at Capperspicks.com. There are now eight teams competing for Lord Stanley’s Cup. Stick with us for the entire 2015 NHL Stanley Cup playoff run.
NHL Playoffs Betting
Thursday, April 16 @ Tampa Bay, 7:30 pm EST, NBCSN
Saturday, April 18 @ Tampa Bay, 3 pm EST, NBCSN
Tuesday, April 21 @ Detroit, 7 pm EST, NBCSN
Thursday, April 23 @ Detroit, 7 pm EST, NBCSN
Saturday, April 25 @ Tampa Bay (if necessary), TBA
Monday, April 27 @ Detroit (if necessary), TBA
Wednesday, April 29 @ Tampa Bay (if necessary), TBA
Lightning vs. Red Wings Odds to Win 7-Game Series
Detroit +300, Tampa Bay -400
Odds from Bovada
The Red Wings, perennially in the playoff mix, rather limped into the postseason in 2015, while their opponent, the home team Lightning, looks to make a deep run.
Detroit head coach Mike Babcock guides the Wings to the postseason year after year, but it seems like the Wings’ watertight formula might be finally springing leaks – at least until some more super-prospects come up from the AHL.
Like a lot of teams, goaltending has been a bit of a head-scratcher for Detroit this year. Jimmy Howard, the club’s tenured starter, has been in danger of losing his job to backup (and relative unknown) Petr Mrazek; Babcock has called Howard out at various points of the year for his lacklustre performance.
Instability at that key position won’t cut the mustard in the NHL’s “Second Season”.
Especially when a team is facing a flock of goal scorers like the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bolts finished second in the Atlantic division, only two points behind Carey Price (sorry, I mean the Montreal Canadiens).
The Bolts ranked tops in the league in goals per game (3.2 on average) and also feature a Top 10 penalty kill.
Tampa Bay is a team that possesses a young nucleus and solid chemistry to go with its high skill level. It equates to a team that should make some noise this season and make fans forget about Tampa’s early playoff exit in ’14.
Everyone is familiar with Brett Hull Version 2.0, aka Steven Stamkos. But Tampa also gets remarkable production from Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Ryan Callahan, Alex Killorn and bell-cow defenseman Victor Hedman.
Add in the capable netminding of lanky 28-year old Ben Bishop, and it’s a winning formula.
The Red Wings have a real challenge on their hands. It’s easy to think that this series will not go its seven-game duration. It’s too easy to conjure a scenario in your mind where Stammer, Johnson and Friends light up either Howard or Mrazek early and often.
The Wings are not without their bright spots – a sizzling power play, guided by Hank Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Tatar and Gus Nyquist, for one – but you should have more faith in Bishop than you should have in Detroit’s goalie-by-committee approach.
NHL goaltenders are essentially the 60 best in the world at keeping rubber discs out of the net, so obviously any goalie at this level can get hot. That can change the balance of the series. Yet, Detroit’s documented struggles between the pipes against lesser competition does not bode well.
If Detroit does end up getting stout goaltending, the Wings certainly have enough veterans and playoff acumen to be a threat. This wouldn’t be the first time that people have counted out the Red Wings, only to be made a fool later.
But Tampa Bay is really good. Were it not for the netminding wizardry of Vezina and League MVP-deserving Price in Montreal, the Bolts definitely would have won the Atlantic.
Expect some push-back from a Detroit team with a strong dressing room and a resilient coaching staff, but ultimately the Red Wings should be despatched with little trouble from the home ice Floridians.
Prediction: Tampa Bay in five