Monday NHL Free Pick
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Maple Leafs and Lightning –104 on the money line, while the over/under total is currently sitting at 5.5 goals.
The Lightning enter Monday’s game with a 38-22-4-5 record overall, which includes a 16-13-3-1 road mark. According to latest NHL trends, the over is 37-31 in all games this season and 17-15 when Tampa Bay plays on the road.
The Maple Leafs are 30-29-5-5 overall and 16-3-3-4 at home. The under is 36-31 in all Toronto games this year and 22-13 when the Leafs are at home. They’re averaging 2.58 goals per game both at home and on the road, but allowing just 2.69 goals against at the Air Canada Centre, compared to 3.00 against on the road.
NHL Free Pick: There’s no way around it: Tampa Bay is struggling, losing six of its last seven games. But even though the Leafs are fighting for their playoff lives, they’re struggling as well while losing three of their last four. Thus, this game comes down to two things: talent and home ice advantage. The Lightning don’t have the latter, but they certainly have the former. Tampa Bay has better overall offensive and defensive play, has the better power play and penalty killing units and they have more discipline than Toronto, too. All of Tampa’s losses this month have been close, so it just takes that one night where they put it all together and get back on track. I think tonight will be that night. Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis have each recorded at least a point in four consecutive games for the Lightning, while Vincent Lecavalier has played well of late, too. Tonight’s the night Tampa Bay gets the ship pointed in the right direction again.
MONDAY NHL FREE PICK: TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING –104