Hurricanes & Lightning To Be Reduced To A Drizzle (So Go 'Under')

Dana Lane

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 2:41 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 1, 2017 2:41 PM UTC

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been very active leading up to Wednesday's NHL trade deadline, but will their moves give them enough offense to put their game vs. Carolina 'over' the total? Handicapper Dana Lane explains why the right side is on the 'under.'

2016-2017 NHL Selection Record:  68-57 (+13.92 Units)

Wednesday is the day that many hardcore hockey fans look forward to: the trade deadline. This is very important from an NHL handicapping perspective, because the quicker you can formulate what specific moves mean to teams the quicker you can get a jump on bad numbers -- and believe me, there are always bad numbers.

This is also a special trade deadline because the expansion draft will take place in June and we can finally begin to understand what these moves will mean to Las Vegas and which players might be available to that franchise.  Let the personal mock draft begin. 

As for Wednesday's schedule, we aren't left with much to choose from as there are only two games on the schedule, but the one that has my eye involves a team that has already made some moves, the Tampa Bay Lightning, who will take on the Carolina Hurricanes at Amalie Arena. Early NHL betting has already come in on the 'over' 5.5 goals, which is good news for us even though the opening number has yet to move much.  Give it time. 

The big news coming out of Tampa is the Lightning trading Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings. This leaves Andrei Vasilevskiy as the Bolts' starting goaltender, backed up by Peter Budaj, who came over from Los Angeles in the Bishop deal.  One thing that you can count on from goaltenders is that they will give their all when a situation like this occurs, as evidenced by Monday's 5-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators as Vasilevskiy turned aside 39 shots. I'm not sure I would count on him to be that spectacular every time out, but the first 2-3 games it's a safe assumption that he'll play inspired hockey now that he is the No. 1 netminder in Tampa.

Speaking of motivation, it's hard to think that Carolina, which is out of the playoff picture, will find much offense to put up a fight after dropping to 1-5-2 in their last 8 games. Jeff Skinner, the Hurricanes' leading scorer, was sent back to Carolina to be re-evaluated after suffering an apparent upper body injury in their loss to the Panthers on Tuesday. They also have lost Brock McGinn with a similar injury.  Hard to back a game going 'over' from the Hurricanes side if Skinner isn't in the lineup.

The 'under' is 5-1-1 in their last 7 meetings between these teams in Tampa, and I see very little reason to anticipate this trend changing.

NHL Free Pick: 'Under' 5.5Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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