NHL Hockey Betting: Winnipeg Jets at Tampa Bay Lightning

NHL Hockey Betting:  Winnipeg Jets at Tampa Bay Lightning&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The NHL is back with a full schedule tonight and plenty of Canadian teams in action. We’ll take a look at a non-conference matchup between the struggling Winnipeg Jets and the improving Tampa Bay Lightning in this write up. The Jets are trying to hang on to the tail end of the main pack of teams in the Central Division. They’re currently in fifth place with plenty of margin over hapless Colorado (12 points) but need to move up if they’re looking for a playoff berth. Currently, they trail Nashville by 1 point, Dallas by 2 points and St. Louis by 8 points. They’re losing sight of first place Chicago (14 points ahead) and second place Minnesota (13 points up).

The Lightning are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games and in fourth place. They’re stalking the top teams in the Atlantic Division and are now two back of the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins who are in a tie for second. After that, they’re 8 points behind the division leading Montreal Canadiens who are just 4-3-3 in their last ten and face a tough game at Nashville tonight and possibly without offensive cog Max Pacioretty. Tampa Bay has been very good at Amalie Arena this year with a home record of 11-5-2. That could be trouble for a Winnipeg team that has struggled on the road going 7-11-2 away from home.

The fact that Tampa Bay has taken points in four of five since Ben Bishop went out with a lower body injury has just about ended any doubt that the Lightning will try to re-sign their massive 6’7″ goaltender. Bishop was all but gone to free agency before his injury but Andrei Vasilevskiy strong play since has made it a fait accompli. Tampa Bay will miss Brian Boyle who is ‘expected to miss’ this game with a lower body injury but will get Ryan Callahan back in the lineup. Callahan has missed 15 games with lingering soreness after hip surgery but is ‘expected to be in the lineup’ here.

Just not much to like about Winnipeg right now and the Bolts should get a boost from Callahan’s return. Tampa actually looks cheap at this price.


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