Free NHL Picks: Play Lightning -135 as Decreasing Bruins Host Matinee Affair

Ross Benjamin

Monday, October 12, 2015 2:00 PM GMT

Monday, Oct. 12, 2015 2:00 PM GMT

Our NHL handicaper examines Monday’s game between Tampa Bay and Boston. Join us in reading this revealing betting preview article that concludes with his money line pick.

NHL Matinee Affair on Monday in Bean Town
Boston (0-2) hosts Tampa Bay (2-0) on Monday in a Columbus Day matinee affair. The opening faceoff at TD Garden in Boston is slated for 1:05 PM ET. Current NHL betting odds at 5Dimes has Tampa Bay as a -135 money line favorite. These teams split their four meetings a season ago, and the home team won on each of those occasions.

 

The Starting Goaltenders
Ben Bishop is scheduled to make his third consecutive start in goal for Tampa Bay today. Bishop has developed into one of the top goaltenders in the NHL during recent seasons. In his first two starts this year, Bishop is 2-0 with a terrific .940 save percentage.

Tuukka Rask has been shaky in his first two starts of the year for Boston. He’s compiled a below average .882 save percentage during those outings.

 

Lightning on Ice
The Tampa Bay Lightning are off and running again evidenced by their 2-0 start. They’re coming off a workmanlike 4-1 win at Buffalo on Saturday against a much improved Sabres club. They’ve had very little changeover from a team that advanced to the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals. This young club struggled a bit on the road during the 2014-2015 NHL regular season campaign, and then were very good in that role during their deep playoff run. Those who’ve followed the Lightning throughout training camp have indicated that they were a bit listless, and wondered how much a short offseason had to do with it. Although they’ve been far from spectacular in their first two games, they still possess enough overall talent to win at a very high percentage until they fully get it going.

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Julien on the “Hot Seat”
There were many who were befuddled with new General Manager Don Sweeney opting to retain Claude Julien as the Bruins head coach. However, reading between the lines it’s quite evident he’s on a short leash, and Boston’s inauspicious start certainly hasn’t helped his cause. Boston will be playing in their third consecutive home game to start the season, dropping their first two in a convincing manner against Winnipeg and Montreal. They were outscored 10-4 and outshot 70-52 during those losses. They were thoroughly outplayed by Montreal during Saturday’s 3-1 loss, and that game wasn’t near as close as the final score indicates.

 

Final Analysis
One team (Lightning) is on the rise and soaring, and the other (Bruins) appears to be on a path of rapid decline. Until I see a change in those patterns which extend well beyond this year’s start, I’m siding with the road team for one of my NHL picks on Monday.

NHL Picks: Play on Tampa Bay -135 at 5Dimes

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