Lightning vs. Flyers Pick – NHL December 16th

The New York Islanders ousted the Devils in a shootout to capture a 3-2 win to put them at 21-10 for the season. The troubles in New Jersey escalated even further with this loss, in a game that they very well could have won. I took the Isles -1.5 but I said if you felt more comfortable on the ML then to play that. If you had the ML congrats to you, but if you’re like me it is a frustrating loss. I was on a 8-1-1 run just a week ago, but regression has caught up to me lately. Like the New Jersey Devils I have been on a skid and need to break out of it quickly. A quick note before I get to my pick for tonight, I will have selective college football bowl picks on the blog here throughout bowl season. My first pick will be available on Saturday. I have turned in a profit in college football this season, and I look to continue on that path as we wind down the end of college football leading up to the first ever final 4 playoff. An exciting month of football awaits us soon.

Now on to tonight, where it will sure feel good to pick up a winning pick. We will examine the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers for our pick tonight. I don’t recall doing a Flyers game yet this season, so I am going in that direction tonight. The Flyers have been quite the disappointment the past few seasons. Expectations were there, but they haven’t succeeded in a while. The Flyers do have a good fan base and the team has a good history, so it has been sad for their supporters. They are just under.500 with a record of 11-13-1-4. With that said the Flyers aren’t completely out of the picture and with a good 2nd half of the season could squeeze into a playoff position. The Flyers have been playing good hockey at home, though, coming into tonight with a mark of 8-4-0-2. The Lightning fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins last night, 4-2, and will look to rebound tonight against a team that shouldn’t pose as much of a problem as the Pens did. We shall see.

Tampa Bay Lightning @ Philadelphia Flyers

A win against the Lightning tonight would go a long way for the Flyers. If they can build off that momentum is their choice, but a win like this should do great things for their confidence. If they are going to beat a team like the Lightning it would be at home catching them on a back-to-back against a tough team the previous night. After only scoring 2 goals last night, I think the Lightning offense is going to have different plans. Tampa Bay is 2nd in the NHL in scoring, accumulating 3.35 goals per game, just a shade behind the Maple Leafs who are at 3.37. Actually, the offense has been a little bit of a rut lately for their standards, they’ve only scored 2 goals in each of their last three games. Not awful, but not on their level. I believe they’ll break thru for a big night, which could come tonight against the Flyers.

The Flyers enter with the 23rd best defense in the NHL, allowing 2.83 goals a game. In their last ten games they have allowed 2.8 goals. But they aren’t very consistent. One game they will let in 1 but then they’ll go and get torched for 5 in the next game. Against a Lightning offense that has been held quiet lately, it might be closer to 5 allowed, because you rarely see them go four straight games without at least 4 goals scored in a game. The only thing keeping me off the Lightning is the fact that the Flyers are at home and the Lightning are on a back-to-back. I’ll look to go with the total, then, and see if we can get some goals come our way. This is a series that has notoriously flown over the number time and time again. Note that the OVER is 7-1-2 their last ten meetings. We’ll take it for Tuesday night.

Pick – OVER 5.5 GOALS (-115) @ (Best Odds)