The Tampa Bay Lightning look to shake off a loss against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday. It wasn’t their best look of the season, as they endured a 3-2 loss in a shootout to the Knights. Shootouts can be a coinflip, you’re basically playing roulette when the game goes that long. We certainly found that out last night, as the Bruins and Rangers went to the seventh-round in a shootout before the Rangers finally scored.
Fortunately, in the playoffs nobody is going to have to deal with a game that comes down to a shootout. The Lightning were on the losing side of that one, but still sit comfortably with 81 points. They are the only team in the league with 81 points and are 8 points ahead of the Flames, who are the next closest team in the standings.
The Bolts certainly haven’t been as dominant as they’ve been to start the season, but this is still the most dangerous team in the league. Their offence can ring a scoreboard up at the drop of a hat. Considering how easily they were steamrolling the competition, it definitely made sense to see a little bit of variance in Tampa.
Tampa has won six of their last ten games, which is considered slow for them in 2018-19. The Blues enter with some momentum, as they may have started to realize that they need to get some points if they want to go to the playoffs. They’re currently the first team out in the Western Conference with 53 points. That doesn’t mean they are far out, though. The Canucks are ahead for the final wildcard by just 1 point. The Canucks?
Yeah, the same team that was projected to be a bottom team in the Western Conference. It’s the NHL folks, expect the unexpected to happen every season. With that said, a .500 record in the Eastern Conference will put you several spots behind a playoff spot. Unlike the Western Conference where the Canucks are 24-24-6 and would be going to the playoffs if the playoffs started today. Head below for our free Blues vs. Lightning pick.
St. Louis Blues vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Pick
I think it is safe to say that the Jake Allen era is over in St. Louis. Allen had his chances, multiple chances to show that he should be a franchise goaltender for the Blues. Management put their faith in him when they didn’t renew Brian Elliott’s contract. Elliott was an All-Star with the Blues, so it wasn’t like they were saying goodbye to a run of the mill goaltender.
With Allen struggling, the Blues called up Jordan Binnington up from the minors and he has made no mistake about it between the pipes. He’s led the Blue back to give his team a chance to compete for a spot in the playoffs. The 25-year-old has been flawless with a record of 7-1 and 1.88 GAA. There is no way the Blues can consider Allen in a starting capacity again, unless Binnington gets injured or goes completely cold.
This will be his most difficult test of the season. Some of the teams he has started against include the Kings, Senators, Ducks, and Panthers, so Binnington hasn’t really seen an elite offence yet. He will on the road against the Lightning. Tampa rank 1st in the league with an average of 3.83 goals scored per game.
At home they are averaging 4.23 goals per game, while the Blues have recorded just 2.58 goals per game on the road. The Lightning are on a three-game winning streak against the Blues with a winning margin of 2.3 goals. After their defeat against Vegas, expect the Lightning to come out with a much better effort at Amalie Arena. This is a play on a nice price of +140 on the Lightning puckline. Their firepower should be too much for the Blues to handle on Thursday night.