Tuesday, January 15, 8:35 pm ET
Free NHL Pick: Lightning ML
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
Tampa Bay Focused on the Road After Rare Ugly Loss
Tampa Bay wraps up their three-game road trip at Dallas tonight. The Lighting has been as hot as lightning, in putting together an 18-3 period since Nov. 29th to take total command of the Atlantic Division and firmly establish themselves as the best team in the NHL.
Tampa Bay has a rare clunker at the New York Islanders, where they were outworked in a 5-1 setback. The Lightning was sent out as -130 ML favorites and by Monday evening were swiftly the choice for NHL picks, sitting at -150.
Besides the fact head coach Jon Cooper has a talent-laden roster, they have shown the ability to quickly put any loss behind them, as only once has his squad lost consecutive games and that was over two months ago on Nov. 10th and 13th.
Dallas briefly played well after their CEO Jim Lites ripped his two best players, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. Now, they have lost three of four and the Stars have lit the lamp only seven times in five games.
That has been an ongoing issue for Dallas, listed 28th in scoring. The blame does not rest at the feet of Sequin or Benn as their line is in the Top 12 in scoring in 5-on-5 hockey. Instead, the blame falls to GM Jim Nill who has failed to supplement the Stars roster with more players who can find the back of the net.
Dallas has a shot since they are 16-6 off a home loss. Still, Tampa Bay is 20-3 having won three of their four and is 16-7 on the road, which is the best mark in the NHL.
Tuesday, January 15, 7:05 pm ET
Free NHL Pick: Islanders ML
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
St. Louis Singing The Blues Thanks To Schedule
This will be St. Louis third contest on their four-game road trip and it’s a difficult team to face and situation. The Blues opened the trip at Dallas and won 3-1 and were at Washington last night, whipping them 4-1. St. Louis is an above average club at 8-7-2 (9-9, +3.0 units) in the traveling white sweaters, but three games in four nights, all in different cities, is a nasty spot for any team.
The New York Islanders are only 11-10 SU on home ice, yet they are on their game at the moment, having won six of eight. One the setbacks were the back end of a home and home with the rival Rangers Saturday. The Isles rebounded the next game with one of their best performances of the year in lighting up Tampa Bay 5-1 Sunday.
New York was supposed to be trending downward after losing John Tavares. Maybe signing Tavares would have helped, but, they made what could well be determined as a smarter move long term in signing Barry Trotz as head coach, immediately after the Cup champions Washington decided not to pay him.
The Islanders offense is weaker, yet, still 14th overall, but the defense has gone from 31st last season to 3rd. Plus, New York is only five points behind Washington for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division.
Look for the Blues to be singing the blues with +135 NHL odds and slipping to 1-9 when playing three times in four days.