NHL Hockey Betting: Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Islanders

NHL Hockey Betting:  Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Islanders&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The 2016 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs has been a ‘good news/bad news’ situation for Canadian hockey fans. The bad news, of course, is that there are no Canadian teams in the field for the first time in decades. The good news, however, is that the playoffs have been very entertaining through the first round and a half. That’s one of the beautiful things about our national sport–what the Japanese call ‘wa’ or ‘fighting spirit’ of the teams involved. By way of contrast, consider the NBA playoffs first round which invariably has some downright excruciating series. Competitive first round matchups are the exception, not the rule. The NHL first round had two seven game slugfests between very evenly matched teams (Nashville vs. Anaheim, St. Louis vs. Chicago). Also emphasizing the competitiveness of hockey–there has only been one first round sweep in the past two years of action. That was Winnipeg vs. Anaheim last year and lost in the 4-0 game tally is the fact that Anaheim trailed going into the third period of the first three games.

This series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders is at a crossroads. Depending on the outcome of Game Four it could be a decisive win for the Lightning or a potentially classic series lasting six or seven games. Truth be told, New York got lucky to win Game One. They caught the Lightning napping and Tampa goalie Ben Bishop had a rare bad game. Bishop has been very dependable this season so that might not happen again. New York has been outshot in every game in the series, the first two games by double digits. They finally got some chances on net in Game Three with 39 shots but they gave up 41 to the Islanders in a 5-4 loss.

The situation is now dire for the home team. A win and the series is tied but a loss and they’re up against the wall facing elimination. As far as we’re concerned, it might be a good idea to ‘draw a line’ through the Islanders’ Game One win as it looks like Tampa Bay is the better team. It’s just a matter of time before they take control of this series.


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