NHL Hockey Betting: Chicago Blackhawks at Tampa Bay Lightning

Added June 06, 2015 by Levi Watkins

Game Two of the Stanley Cup Finals goes tonight as the Chicago Blackhawks try to open up a two game lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning when the teams play at the Amalie Arena. The Lightning are trying to regroup from a tough Game One loss where they outplayed the Blackhawks for two periods before giving up two third period goals en route to a 2-1 loss. Tampa Bay did a nice job defensively against the Blackhawks but were unable to get their own offensive attack going.

The Lightning are now in a tough emotional situation knowing that they played about as well as possible on the defensive end and yet are still trailing in the series. That’s especially bad news since they’re facing one of the mentally toughest teams in professional sports. The Chicago Blackhawks are not only laden with offensive playmakers up and down the roster they have exceptional team leadership with players like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, etc. Players with strong leadership like this can minimize the impact of bad emotional situations and maximize the advantage of good emotional spots.

Chicago has been underrated throughout this playoffs. They beat a tough Nashville team–one that would have been even tougher without some key injuries to players like top defenseman Shea Weber–and then dominated the Minnesota Wild who, up until that point, had been the hottest team in the NHL. They had some problems at the outset with a tough, physical Anaheim Ducks team but once they ‘figured them out’ had little trouble putting them away.

Not to dismiss Tampa Bay’s accomplishment making the finals but they had an easy draw beating a Detroit team in transition, an offensively challenged Montreal team and an overrated New York Rangers side. They’ve stepped up in class for the first time in the postseason and they’re facing a team that can match up with anything they want to do tactically with more experience, better defense and superior goaltending and coaching. Tampa will be lucky to win a game in the series and avoid the sweep. For tonight’s game, just can’t pass up the Blackhawks as underdogs.


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