What a comeback by the Lightning the other night to absolutely steal a game, and possibly the series, from the Detroit Red Wings. Heads had to be laying low for the Wings on the flight to Tampa recently. Not only did they have that game in the bag, but they had the series in the bag, because it would have been very difficult for the Lightning to overcome a 3-1 series deficit. Games like that sometimes change the course for teams drastically and they end up getting on rolls. In this case it would be a roll all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Wings have to be feeling down, but when you take a step back and look at it, they are tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team many people thought were going to tear the Wings up. Making the playoffs didn’t seem like much of a reality either, so if you’re the Wings you have to look at in a positive light. Here we are tied at 2-2 with one of the top teams in the NHL with another game at home to come.
It is critical the Wings keep this a competitive game. After the loss they took in game 4 this would be a shot to the jugular if they came out with little effort against the Lightning. I suppose if they play their hearts out and still come up empty, it would be equally as defeating. Point is the Wings really need to bounce back with a great showing on the ice after a tough beat. Tough beats happen to sports teams, and tough beats happen to gamblers. Did you check out my loss last night on my MLB pick? Ouch. I feel your pain Red Wings, I really do.
Detroit Red Wings @ Tampa Bay Lightning
There is no one to have in your corner but Mike Babcock. If there is any coach in hockey you want it would be him. But will Babock be enough? If the Red Wings win this game I give all the credit to the Wings. But they had a very good team on the ropes and let them get off. They now need to travel to a place where the Lightning have played very well in Tampa. Tyler Johnson carried the Lightning, it didn’t even have to be their best player in Steven Stamkos to get the job done. There is a reason why the Penguins are sitting home, and its because they need to rely on one player. The Lightning, however, have a multitude of players that can show up on any given night. If Stamkos shows up to the party today then it could be lights out for the Wings in game 5 and maybe the series.
The Lightning were proficient at home in the regular season, sporting a 33-9-1 record. Compared to the Red Wings who were much better at Joe Louis Arena with a 22-16-3-2 record on the road. Tampa got by the Wings by a score of 5-1 the last time in Florida. Looking at this game it has to come down to Mrazek. The guy already stole the show in game 4, but he wasn’t rewarded with a win for those efforts. Can he possibly play any better than he did then? I don’t really think so. I think out of all the Wings he has to feel the most defeated after giving his team a glorious opportunity to take a stranglehold on this series. The speed for the Lightning was ultimately too much to keep up with for a full game and overtime. I’m going to get a little ballsy with this particular pick, but I think the Lightning run the tables in game 5. With a price of +162 I think it is worth the odds.
PICK: LIGHTNING -1.5 (+162) 5DIMES – BEST ODDS