Free NHL Picks: More Talented Lightning Will Strike The Sharks

Dana Lane

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 12:54 PM GMT

Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016 12:54 PM GMT

The San Jose Sharks look to solidly their top three spot in the Pacific Division against the Tampa Bay Lightning who are desperately trying to catch the Bruins. Let's review the NHL odds now!

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NHL Pick: Tampa Bay -122
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Sharks vs. Lightning
It appears that Steven Stamkos will remain a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning which made the most sense all along. Now the team can get back to focusing on hockey. It was clear that the process was effecting the teams play on the ice. Well, everyone except Stamkos. Tampa has lost three of their last four and Sunday against St.Louis they were out hustled. Their 2-1 loss snapped a nine game home winning streak, one short of the record. Stamkos has eight goals and five assist in nine career game against the Sharks  

Tampa is hoping to beat San Jose for the third consecutive time.

Most games are decided by special teams where the Lightning have been phenomenal. They have killed 35 of the last 37 power plays in their last 11 games. As impressive as that is, allowing 37 power plays in 11 games is not.

In just under two months the Lightning have gone from being 11th in the East to being just a point out of the playoffs.

There are still some rumors out there that the Lightning want to deal goaltender Ben Bishop who's current deal is up next season. They are very high on his backup, Andrei Vasilevskiy. I would be shocked if a Bishop trade went down this season considering he is the main reason they are in a position to make the playoffs. Don't forget,  It was just over a year ago that Bishop was the leading the Bolts to the Stanley Cup Finals.

In order to beat the Sharks it's extremely important to not play from behind. When San Jose has the lead they become even more aggressive trying to force opposing teams to make mistakes. Most teams take the opposite approach while clinging to a lead but first year Head Coach, Pete Deboer, has mixed things up. It's the equivelant of a football team taking deep shots down field with a seven point lead and two minutes left. High risk, high reward if you believe in the players running your system. As a result the Sharks have the second best record ( 24-2-1) when scoring first. They are unbeaten when leading after two periods (21-0-2). To them the best offense is the best defense. 

There does seem to be a small problem developing for the Sharks and that's putting back to back wins together. They have dropped their last four games in an effort to do just that.

When deciding who to financially back I still have to put my cash behind Tampa because they have historically been one of the best plays at home. Heading into this game the Lightning have won 54 of their last 79 home games.  Even more impressive is that when an opposing team has a road winning percentage of more than .600 the Lightning are an incredible 36-15. We're backing Tampa Bay with our NHL picks in this one, where they are favorites in the NHL odds boards.

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