Winnipeg To Step Up, Lightning Will Strike On Sunday

Sunday, February 10, 2019 1:02 PM UTC

Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019 1:02 PM UTC

With nearly every team playing yesterday, today's picks will breakdown the no-rest factor for each club and try and knock down two NHL winners.

 

Winnipeg (34-17-3, 34-00 SU) at Buffalo (26-20-7, 26-27 SU)Sunday, 3:05 p.m. ET (ESPN+)Free NHL Pick: Jets MLBest Line Offered: Bovada

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In mid-afternoon action in upstate New York, Buffalo will try and improve upon 15-11 SU home record (thru 2/8) against one of the top clubs in the Western Conference in Winnipeg.

Both teams were in action Saturday afternoon, thus, they got the proper amount of rest. The Sabres' players at least got to sleep in their own beds, while the Jets took a jet over from Ottawa.

As far as no-rest games this year, Winnipeg is 5-2, which includes a five-game winning streak. Buffalo has a positive record also at 5-4, yet they have dumped their last two.

In similar fashion to Tampa Bay, the Jets have been misfiring a bit, with a 3-4 record (thru 2/8) since Jan. 19th. Winnipeg players and coaches have talked about just fighting through this dull period and leaving any defeats behind when the sun rises the next day. “It’s just flushing it, honestly. Just leaving that game where it was and try and not let those lost two points affect the next possible two,” said Andrew Copp.

A loss at Buffalo might cause more rethinking.

The Sabres already have been doing some rethinking, as their defense has been like the magician with the quarter trick, it's just disappeared. Scratch the 1-0 loss at Dallas on Jan. 30 and in Buffalo's other nine conflicts they have been stung for at least three goals with an average allowed of 4.8 goals a game. Suffice to say that place a lot of pressure on the offense just to stay in any game.

For the most part, the goaltending has been atrocious. Yet, don't think the Sabres defensemen are not to blame also, as you need a calculator to count the errors they have made in combination with poor play in net.

Look for Winnipeg to ready to play and be favored according to the NHL odds and they are 19-7 when playing a third game in four days. And for whatever reason, the Jets are sensational 23-5 on Sunday's.

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On the ice for warm up!#GoJetsGo | #WPGvsOTT pic.twitter.com/0TIFq7WTA9

— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) February 9, 2019
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Tampa Bay (39-11-4, 39-15 SU) at Florida (22-22-8, 22-30 SU)Sunday, 6:05 p.m. ETFree NHL Pick: Lightning MLBest Line Offered: Bovada

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Both these Sunshine State rivals played Saturday night, but Tampa Bay had the shorter trip, flying into Miami from the west side of the state, while Florida was in Washington last evening.

The Lightning has been the best team in the NHL almost from the start of the season. Coach Jon Cooper's team is deep, talented and has crossed all the I's and T's the majority of the season. That was until recently.

Tampa Bay is only 4-5 SU in their last nine tilts (thru 2/8) and it's for a very unusual reason. The Lightning top-rated offense has gone polar vortex. Toss out the six-goal game against San Jose, Cooper's club has tallied three goals or less in the other eight contests. In that group was the first shutout of the season against St. Louis last Thursday.

Over an 82-game season, every team, no matter how great they have played, they going to have mini-slumps. Having this happen in the first part of February is not nearly as concerning as it would in the first week of April, right before the playoffs begin. “You’re not going to score at the rate we’ve been scoring all year,” Cooper said. “Sometimes you have to go through some of these trying times to see ultimately what doesn’t work.

After playing five in a row at the BB&T Center and flying to D.C., Florida next opens up a lengthy seven-game homestand. The Panthers are 12-8-5 at home (12-13 SU) but have shown signs of defending the home ice better in winning four of their past six.

As far as the no time off between contests, Florida is 7-3 and Tampa Bay 4-2. Not sure how you go against the Lightning for NHL picks. They are 20-6 playing a fourth time in six days and beaten the Panthers five consecutive times.

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