The Tampa Bay Lightning is storming through the Eastern Conference with ease. Check-out how their NHL odds are looking for finishing the season at the top of the Conference and the post-season with Sportsbook Review's Megan Rochester.
On Tuesday, January 6th, The Tampa Bay Lightning zapped the Montreal Canadiens’ six-game winning streak and jumped to the top of the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division.
This comes as no surprise to fans and NHL odds makers alike. This team has been the talk of the league since before the season even began. What makes them so successful each night on the ice? It could be their perfectly balanced bench of talented veterans and fully charged rookies. It could be there fast and furious offensive game led by center Tyler Johnson (who single-handedly has gained 45 points, 26 assists and 17 goals). Or could it be the leadership shown in the goal by Ben Bishop? He’s saved over 700 goals with 91 save percentage.
Whatever it is, it’s working well for this Tampa Bay team, and they may be in great position to seal No. 1 for the rest of the the season. The highest ranked team they will play in the Eastern Conference until the playoffs will be No. 5 Detroit Red Wings, and after that, they don’t play a team higher ranked than No. 8 Toronto. There are many games to be played, but if they keep this momentum going, taking the Eastern Conference will be simple.
February, however, brings a good NHL title experiment for the Lightning on how competitive they will be against the Western Conference in the post-season. They will play all three of the top three ranked teams in the West (Anaheim, Nashville and Chicago) and will play No. 1 Anaheim twice over the course of 3 weeks.
When comparing the Lightning’s terribly disappointing loss in the first round of the playoff last season, the odds don’t seem to be in their favor, but this is a new season and a very different team. Bovada currently has them listed among the Top 4 contenders for the Stanley Cup along with the Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins. Sportsbooks like 5Dimes and TopBet seem to back up that opinion with only these for teams below +1000 in the betting lines.