The Tampa Bay Lightning stay out west for one more game, as they wrap up their lengthy road trip with a trip to Edmonton. So far so good for the Lightning, as they’ve gone 5-2-0 thus far. Another win and they’ll finish their eight-game trip with six wins out of eight, not too bad at all. The Lightning are going to come off their road trip atop of the standings. Vegas are on their heels, but the Bolts are still a point up on the Golden Knights.
Behind the Knights is the Winnipeg Jets. Predicting that the Lightning would be 1st in the standings wouldn’t be too much of a reach. However, who had the Golden Knights and the Jets as 2nd and 3rd in the NHL? It almost makes you want to laugh out loud at how silly that would have sounded back in September. If it weren’t for the Knights, the Jets would be getting a lot more attention for their efforts.
The Oilers, on the other hand, have been a big letdown in 2017-18. They were expected to build off their loss to the Ducks in the playoffs a year ago, but we haven’t seen any evidence of them playing as a better team. With a record of 22-24-3, they’re well off the pace from where they were last season. The Wild are currently holding on to the final wildcard with 61 points.
The Oilers have 48 points at the moment, so there is a lot of work here for Connor McDavid and the Oilers. McDavid has been performing this season. He has 17 goals and 39 assists with a +/- of 11. In other words, needless to say, McDavid is not the problem in Edmonton. There’s still a lot of hockey left to be played, but as a team, they have to get going. Head below for our free Lightning vs. Oilers pick.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Edmonton Oilers Pick
We’re waiting on the Oilers to go on a big run, but we’ve been waiting for it since the start of the season, and it hasn’t come, yet anyway. It’s going to have to happen soon, because they aren’t leaving themselves with much slack. The defence has been leaving their team out to dry this year. Cam Talbot hasn’t been at his best between the pipes, as he enters tonight with a 0.901 save percentage and 3.14 GAA. Along with getting better play out of Talbot, they must get their defence to step up and help out. The Oilers are allowing 3.2 goals per game for 27th in the league.
The Oilers face a tall order on Monday night against Kucherov and Stamkos. The Bolts are 1st in the NHL with 3.56 goals per game. They’ve scored 11 goals in their last two games, including an offensive explosion for 7 goals against the Flames. The Oilers have allowed 12 goals in their last three contests. The Lightning have allowed 3.1 goals per in their last ten. It’s probably more of a reflection of getting sloppy on a road trip than a bad defence. Talbot said that the Oilers are going to make the playoffs. He must be better for that to occur. Against the high-octane Lightning, I don’t see it looking much better for them. They might be able to keep this a game by getting a solid performance out of their offence, but I can’t see them containing Kucherov and company. The OVER has gone 5-2 in the seven road games for Tampa. It should continue tonight in Edmonton.
PICK: OVER 5.5 (-110)