Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Pick
The Lightning do not need any help when it comes to their offence. There are teams out there who could stand to improve their forwards if they want to go to the playoffs and compete. However, nothing has to be altered in Tampa. What they likely need is a healthy Andrei Vasilevskiy. Louis Domingue has held up well in net in his spot, but I am leery of him when we start getting to the bigger games later in the season.
This is, of course, if Vasilevskiy reinjures his foot or suffers another injury. Vasilevskiy could make his return against the Leafs tonight, though nothing is guaranteed right now. It may not matter given how well their offence is playing, but in the playoffs, they’re going to need a timely effort in net. Tampa have averaged 4 goals per game and it gets better at home with 4.28 goals scored. In their previous 11 games at home, they’ve scored less than 4 goals only twice.
Frederik Andersen has a horrible history against the Lightning. He owns a 3.74 GAA and 0.878 save percentage in 9 outings. Toronto have given up just over 3 goals per game on the road this season. However, they are scoring just over 4 goals per game on the road.
I think they are going to need all of the goals they can get against the Lightning. It may not be enough, but expect them to get some pucks past Vasilevskiy or Domingue. Vasilevskiy could suffer from rust on the exterior in his first start in over a month. 888sport currently has this total at 6.5, with some shops putting up a 7. We should see a 5-3 or 5-4 final, so it may not matter, but the hook is always nice to have. Expect a fun game on Thursday night in Tampa, with snipers all over the ice at Amalie Arena.