The opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs gets started this week, and there are some intriguing match-ups to look forward to. We will cover all of them, and will hopefully give you some insight into where some of the surprises may lie. One of the biggest surprises this postseason is seeing the Detroit Red Wings in there. Yes, they have now made the postseason for 25 straight seasons, but the general consensus coming into this season was that we didn’t really know what to expect from them. This was a team starting the year with a new coach, a new GM, and a new direction. It’s fair to say that just making it into the playoffs is a success. They will face the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team that had to settle for second best last year in losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Final. This may well be their last legitimate shot at the title for a while, as it looks as though their start player, Steven Stamkos, may be on the move in the offseason, with all signs pointing to a Toronto final destination. Game 1 of this series is set for Wednesday night at 7 PM EST in Tampa. You can catch the action on NBCSN, and you can get all your wagers on at MyBookie.
Detroit Red Wings vs Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Odds Analysis
Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 1
TV: FS-D, CBC, NBCSN, TVAS
Live Stream: NHL Stream
Money Line: Tampa Bay -135
Why bet on the Detroit Red Wings to win the series
As I mentioned already, the Red Wings are something of a surprise package, and since they are really just playing with the house money at the moment, they may be the looser of the two teams at the start of this series. The Red Wings are not coming into this series on very good from, though, and it has to be said that they somewhat backed into the postseason after losing their final 2 games. They have performed pretty well against the Lightning this season, having split the 4 games in the regular season. Both of the losses they took to the Lightning were on the road, which is not good news when facing a team that has home ice advantage. The Red Wings are in the middle of the pack in most of the major stats, and they just don’t look ready to make a deep playoff run. Detroit are averaging 2.5 GPG, and are giving up 2.7 GPG.
Why bet on the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the series?
The Lightning have some genuine injury concerns heading into the postseason, with the biggest loss being Steven Stamkos, who will be out for another couple of weeks with blood clots in his shoulders. Tampa are going to have to rely on defense until he gets back, and the good news is that they have a top 5 defensive unit to help them do just that. Home ice advantage also helps, as this was a team that went 25-13-3 in their own building during the regular season. They have taken down the Wings twice on home ice this season, and need only maintain that trend to move on. How quickly Stamkos gets back will probably determine how far the Lightning can go. Tampa are averaging 2.7 GPG, and are giving up 2.4 GPG.
Expert Pick and Series Prediction
The Lightning could be in a little trouble without Stamkos on the line-up, but I believe that home ice advantage will be what carries them though here.