NHL betting cappers are wondering is whether or not this will be a long series. Let’s take a look & see if this series has the chance to last the full 7 games or if it’ll be done long before then.
Why It Might Be A Short Series
It might be a short series if experience becomes the deciding factor. Althought Chicago opened as underdog on NHL odds for game 1, the Blackhawks are loaded with players that have been here before and have sealed the deal. The Lightning have not. If Tampa Bay is nervous in any way – and they have been at times in the postseason – they are going to get worked over by Chicago. We saw Tampa Bay play very tentatively against the Detroit Red Wings in Round 1. While they took control in Round 2, the old problems definitely cropped up in the Eastern Conference final – especially in Game 6 when they lost 7-3 at home instead of clinching the series.
The Blackhawks are going to be ready for this series and they know exactly the level of play that they have to get to in order to win this series. The Lightning might not know it yet. If that’s truly a big difference, then this series could be over rather quickly.
Why The Series Might Go The Distance
Because both teams have been uneven this postseason. With Chicago, we’ve seen a team that at times pulled goaltenders and needed miracle goals in double and triple overtime just to survive. At the same time, we’ve also seen a Blackhawks team that rolled the Minnesota Wild in four games in the second round and also smoked the Anaheim Ducks on the road in Game 7.
With Tampa Bay, we’ve seen all sorts of Jekyll and Hyde from them. They struggled against Detroit and then also dominated Detroit. They struggled against the New York Rangers and then they also dominated the Rangers. Goaltender Ben Bishop has allowed 17 goals in his last five games but he also has two shutouts in that stretch, which shows just how good or bad he can be.
If both of these teams are going to be so uneven, there will be times when each of them dominate but we’ll end up with a long, protracted seven-game series.
What Will Happen
I see this as being a six-game series. I like the Blackhawks to get a split with Tampa Bay in the first two games, then I expect them to protect their home ice – or at the very least, win two of the next three – and then seal the job in Game 6 at home. Tampa Bay is just 5-5 at home this postseason and Bishop has been unreliable at times. Meanwhile, Chicago looks like they are getting stronger. That being the case, I like the Blackhawks experience and savvy to be the dominant factor here and for them to take care of business in six games.