Tampa Bay Lightning at Detroit Red Wings


Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been one of the best teams in the NHL once again and after winning two of three against the Chicago Blackhawks, they will hope to continue their winning ways against the Detriot Red Wings. The Red Wings on the other hand have looked like one of the worst teams in the Central Division and NHL this season, winning only 7 of their first 26 games. This looks to be one of the more lopsided matchups on the season thus far but can the Red Wings surprise everyone and pull the upset.

Tampa is led by Hedman’s great all-around play

Victor Hedman is one of the best players in the NHL both on the offensive and defensive side and is the leader in the Lightning’s success. Hedman, as a defenseman, is the leader in the team’s assists with 24 and scored a key goal in the 6-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. Hedman has also led a great defense with 2.0 defensive point shares and 36 blocked shots and with the help of Andrei Vasilevskiy as the Big Cat in goal, the Lightning are only allowing 2 goals per game.

While Hedman has been dominant from the point, scoring 5 goals when given the space, the Lightning offense is still filled with talented goal-scorers, which helps the team score 3.6 goals per game. Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat combine for 21 goals on the top line while Brayden Point, Yanni Gourde, and Anthony Cirelli combine for 20 goals on the second line.

Red Wings offense has struggled

The Red Wings have one of the worst teams in the NHL with a lack of depth in their later lines and a lack of true star power on the top lines to match up with the other teams in the Central Division. This has been more prominent on the offensive side, with Bobby Ryan and Anthony Mantha scoring 6 goals each but the rest of the lineup struggling to find offense.

Likewise, for Detriot, the defense is allowing 3.3 goals per game in large part to the lack of talent on the backend of the defense. Marc Staal and Jonathon Merrill make a good top pairing, combining for 2 defensive point shares and 54 blocked shots but the rest of the unit has struggled. In addition, the goaltending duo of Jonathan Bernier and Thomas Greiss has been a liability for the Red Wings as both goalies allow 2.9 or more goals per game, and Bernier being the only one with a save percentage higher than .900.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

On paper, this looks like one of the more lopsided matchups of the season thus far. The Red Wings can pull off the upset but the Lighting outmatches them in every facet of the game and should be able to take advantage of their lack of depth. The Lightning should be able to find plenty of scoring with their top line of Stamkos and Palat overwhelming the Red Wings defense while Victor Hedman constantly finds open shots from the point or creating scoring opportunities from the point as well. In addition, the Red Wings terrible offense should be blanked by a strong Lightning defense with Andrei Vasilevskiy potentially shutting out the Red Wings. The Lightning should not only win this game but cover the spread easily in a dominant win.

Lightning -1.5 (-117)

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Full-Game Total Pick

The Lightning have one of the best defenses in the NHL and the Red Wings’ strength is their defense but the goaltending duo of the Red Wings has been awful and the Lightning should be able to take advantage. The Lightning should pile on the goals in this game with their deep-scoring lineup and playmakers throughout their lineup while the Red Wings struggle to stop them throughout the game. The Red Wings meanwhile, should be able to find the back of the net once or twice in this game to help make this a high-scoring game despite the Lightning possibly being able to shut out the Red Wings in this game. Expect the Over to cover with the Lightning piling on the goals.

Over 5.5