No hockey fan is going to argue with you if you declare that the playoffs are the most exciting part of the season, but they might also say that the final couple of weeks of the regular season comes close. This is especially true when you still have some exciting divisional and Wild Card races going on, and we have a great pro hockey odds battle taking place in the Atlantic Division right now. The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers are tied for the top spot, and both appear to be wanting to play a game of leap frog coming down the stretch. The Lightning have a real shot at taking control on Thursday night, as they are up against a Montreal Canadiens team that has already been eliminated from the playoffs. That said, though, you can bet that the Canadiens will want to play some sort of role in deciding who wins the division.
How To Bet the Montreal Vs Tampa Bay NHL Odds, TV & Game Info
Why bet on the Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens (35-36-6) are the perfect example of just how tough it is to play at a consistently high level during the course of an 82-game season. During the opening month and a half, there was no team better than Montreal, but in the second half of the season, there have been few teams worse. The Canadiens have sunk like a stone, but they can still pose a threat when they play at their best. They are coming into this one after knocking off Detroit, and hurting the Red Wings chances of making the playoffs in the process. Montreal has already beaten the Lightning twice this season, so this may not be the slam dunk many fans are expecting. The Canadiens are averaging 2.6 GPG, and are giving up 2.9 GPG.
Why bet on the Tampa Bay Lightning
There were many people who believed that Tampa Bay (44-27-5) had blown their chances of winning the Atlantic Division when they lost to the Florida Panthers over the weekend. They bounced back with a shutout win over the Leafs, and then watched as Toronto went on to beat Florida to makes things all even at the top of the division again. If Tampa are to win this thing, they are going to have to take advantage of their remaining home games. They are a solid 24-12-3 in their own building this season, which should make them the favorites here. The Canadiens have been a bit of a bogey team for Tampa this season, so they will be taking nothing for granted. The Lightning are averaging 2.8 GPG, and are giving up 2.4 GPG.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
As troublesome as Montreal have been for Tampa this season, I just don’t see the Lightning passing up this opportunity on home ice. A fairly comfortable win in the end, I believe.
Montreal Canadiens 2 Tampa Bay Lightning 4