The Red Wings look to send the Tampa Bay Lightning packing early in the playoffs with a win tonight. This series has had more twists than a soap, one instance it looks like the Lightning have all the momentum, then the Wings snatch it right back and are in complete control. It has been back and forth against two competitive teams, but there has been one that has shown a lot more heart and that team is the Detroit Red Wings. If the Lightning played balls to the walls playing like they are capable of, then I would probably be writing about them having a chance to end the series rather than the Red Wings tonight. Stamkos needs to step up and he needs to step up fast, or it is going to be a long offseason with lots of questions to answer. Instead of acting like a whiny 13 year old that didn’t get his way on the bench, its time for him to play like one of the best players in the NHL. The Lightning cant depend on Tyler Johnson to shoulder the load, Stamkos has to show up and get this series back to Tampa Bay for a 7th and deciding game.
The Senators were unable to do that last night, getting shutout by Carey Price and losing 1-0. Or were they shutout? In controversial fashion, the Senators appeared to capitalize on a loose puck around Price and put it in the back of the net. Price didn’t know where the puck was, nor did the officials, as they blew the play dead after losing track of the puck. By the body language of Price it appeared that he may have had control of it, but it was in fact sitting beside him. The ref on the opposite side without a clear vantage point blew the play dead before the Sens jumped on the rebound. Now the question of ‘what if’ will play over and over in the minds of the Senators. That goal counts and it is a tie game and who knows where the game would have went from there, and what would have transpired in game 7 if the Sens pulled it off. We will never know. All we know is the Canadiens are moving on and we luckily caught a break on that quick whistle. Jump below to get our free pick for another game 6 tonight being played out in downtown Detroit at the Joe Louis Arena.
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Detroit Red Wings
The Lightning need to start playing like a team that finished 1st in the NHL in scoring because thus far, other than the one win at home, they haven’t been that team. The Lightning are hoping for two more games in this series, so they offense could possibly wake up. It is going to have to if they’re going to win tonight. I recall all of the stress coming out of Detroit was what they were going to do with their goaltending situation. Jimmy Howard was looking like a shell of his former self, and the other option Petr Mrazek had never started an NHL playoff game before. Mrazek has looked like a seasoned vet, essentially bringing the Wings to this point and on the verge of making it to the 2nd round of the playoffs.
Something has to give with the Lightning, though. They are going to eventually catch some breaks and make Mrazek into an average goalie. The offense can’t be held down so well again can it? They were unsuccessful in scoring a goal in game 5 and have only scored 3 goals in the last three tilts. Looking at the history of the O/U in this series, one could come to the conclusion the UNDER is the play, but most of the totals were set at 5.5 in this particular series, so given a total of 5 only two of them went UNDER that. Otherwise it was a push or a win on the OVER. I think this game will at least get to a push on the total, with a chance of it going OVER 5 at the end of the game. I can’t see the Lightning being held down yet again offensively. I see Stamkos being productive and getting on the stat sheet. The best offense in the NHL should resemble itself in a must win situation. OVER 5 for me tonight in the NHL.
PICK: OVER 5 GOALS (-130) 5DIMES – BEST ODDS