Happy Thanksgiving to the fellow Canadians out there reading the blog today. As a Thanksgiving gift of sorts it’s going to be hockey all day starting at 1:00 EST. What I don’t understand is why all of the early games aren’t being played in Canadian markets. For one, sentimental reasons seem to say that they should be played in Canada. However, I think for attendance more than anything. I’m not being paid to make those decisions, but somebody is, and it doesn’t make too much sense to me. In any case, we’re just here trying to make money so I really don’t care if the game is being played on a homemade backyard ice pad. If we can make money of it, then great. There was only one game in the NHL yesterday, a 3-0 win for the Canadians in a game where the Habs gave Carey Price the night off. Mike Condon got his first start in the NHL and you could have confused Condon for Price because he played great out there.
Today we take a look at an early game. So, if you want to bet this game be sure to bet it before the puck drops. For Americans if you’re bored at the office and want something to bet on there will be a few afternoon hockey games to wager on. Canadians enjoy the hockey as you get ready for turkey and everything else that goes along with it. I take a look at the Lightning and Bruins today. The Lightning, the defending Eastern Conference Champions, have gotten off to a nice 2-0 start.
The Blackhawks earned another Stanley Cup, with the Lightning coming up short in the finals. The Lightning have the core present that got them to the finals and should be in fine shape to make another run. The big news with the Lightning is what will happen to Steven Stamkos. His contract is expiring soon and the star centre will be looking for some money. Question being, who is going to give him the paycheck and will it be from the Lightning? The Bruins know what it’s like getting to Stanley Cup Final, but their road looks a little more treacherous in 2015 than in the past. They’ve gotten off to a 0-2 start and don’t have the same talent they had when they won the Cup. It would be a nice way to notch their first win of the season by beating a favorite like the Lightning. Find my NHL pick for Canadian Thanksgiving here.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins Pick
Without a lack of big playmakers on the Bruins’ roster they’re going to need to lean on their bread and butter. The defense needs to play near the top of the NHL, like it has in recent years. But even with that in place, I don’t think they are going to have enough on the offensive end to make up for it. They need just a little something, but don’t have it. However, the defense is going to have lapses this season. They are relying on a young group that features the likes of Torey Krug and Joe Miller. Even more, Zdeno Chara has started injured and isn’t look like he’ll be ready against the Lightning. Goaltender Tuukka Rask already stated to the media that playing without him is a big blow.
The Bruins have already given up 10 goals in only two games. 6 in their opener against the Canadiens and 4 against the Canadiens. It shouldn’t get any better with the kind of personnel they are putting on the blue line. They can’t really do much about it at the moment. The Bruins are starting their hand out with 7-2 unsuited and need to work with what they have been dealt to start the year. Conversely, the Lightning possess one of the finest defensive units in the NHL. It’s kind of hard to wrap your head around because this is a team that looks like they are all offense, but keep in mind the defense is great as well. Ben Bishop is one of the best goaltenders you’ll find in the league. In both of his last two seasons in net he had a GAA less than 2.40, a 2.23 and 2.32. Glad you got rid of him Senators? They’ve started off well, allowing 1.5 goals per game while scoring 3.5 per game.
The Lightning aren’t a team you want to see when you’re stumbling. Unless the Lightning take this game off mentally they should be able to defeat the Bruins Monday afternoon. The Bruins have a lot to plug up on the defensive end before they start to get better.
PICK: LIGHTNING TO WIN -135