Without Bishop in Net, Blackhawks Have Edge Over Lightning in Game 5

David Lawrence

Saturday, June 13, 2015 2:31 PM GMT

The Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning are tied through four games of the Stanley Cup finals. The Lightning are a small favorite on the NHL betting lines but it still feels like they’re the underdog in this spot.

The Chicago Blackhawks Can Win Because…
Momentum has shifted in their direction. Yes, they haven’t played great in this series but they are still in a good spot. The Lightning are still wondering how this series is tied up 2-2 and now they may have to go into Game 5 without goaltender Ben Bishop again.

When you’re examining the NHL betting lines in this spot, all you have to do is ask yourself this who you’d rather trust: Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and a Chicago Blackhawks team that’s been there and done that? Or would you rather go with a young Tampa Bay team that’s still learning on the job. The Lightning are similar to the Anaheim Ducks and the series is playing out a similar way. One or two goals here or there and Anaheim could have sealed the series. Instead, they let Chicago hang around and they eventually won it. The same can be said with Tampa Bay: so close, yet so far.

With the Bishop situation clouding Game 5 and the fact that Tampa Bay hasn’t played well at home this postseason, stick with the Blackhawks for your NHL picks.  

 

The Tampa Bay Lightning Can Win Because…
They’ve been the better team in this series. Had they not been missing Ben Bishop in Game 4, they probably could have won that game as well. And in the other three games, they’ve been the more dominant team. And one might argue that Tampa Bay still has room for improvement. When you start to look at the numbers on the series, Steve Stamkos has done very little. As has Tyler Johnson, who still leads all postseason skaters in scoring. If Tampa Bay can get everyone to produce offensively – and it’s possible as this was the highest scoring team in the regular season – then they should get the win.

The Blackhawks just don’t have much pep in their step right now as evidenced by the two shots they had in the first period of Game 1. Tampa Bay is outworking them and outhustling them, so it should eventually pay off.

Must Read: Check out this other NHL pick for Blackhawks-Lightning

Outlook
Chicago hasn’t looked great so far this series but that’s how it went against Anaheim too in the first four games. Then the Blackhawks kicked it up a notch and rocked the Ducks to sleep. I expect a similar effort in the final two or three games here. Bet the Blackhawks in this spot as Bishop remains a question mark in my eyes. Even with two days off, he’s not likely to be 100% - whatever the issue is. Whether he plays at less than 100% or whether it’s Vasilevskiy, I like the Blackhawks as a road dog.

NHL Pick: Blackhawks at GT Bets