You won’t find many punters backing against the Tampa Bay Lightning ahead of this clash. Favourites to go on and lift the Stanley Cup this year, the Lightning have been sublime in 2018/19.
With 43 wins in 58 regular season games, Tampa Bay have made themselves difficult to beat and the Atlantic Division leaders look destined for glory. At the time of writing, punters can back the Lightning at 7/1 to win the Stanley Cup with William Hill.
On paper, Tampa Bay are the strongest side in the National Hockey League and it is easy to see why bookmakers have priced the Lightning as favourites to win the showpiece series. It would take a brave man to back against them on current form…
Meanwhile, it has been another hit-and-miss year for the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal were on an impressive streak before losing back-to-back games in midweek and fans will be hoping to get back to winning ways here.
It won’t be easy but a statement success over the Lightning will give the Canadiens a boost ahead of the business end of the campaign. A playoff berth isn’t out of the question and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Montreal sneak into the postseason.
At the time of writing, the Canadiens have the sixth best record in the Eastern Conference and that will be enough to put Montreal in the playoffs. Avoiding a heavy defeat in this clash could be key to maintaining momentum – the Canadian outfit are still in the mix.
When The Lightning Are Good, They’re VERY Good
Tampa Bay are a joy to watch when they get going. The Lightning have been sensational in recent weeks, scoring 22 goals in their last four NHL games. Montreal will try to keep things tight in the first period or else it could get ugly for the road team.
According to the latest ice hockey betting odds, Tampa Bay are priced at 1/2with 888sport to claim the win this weekend. Considering their superiority so far this season, that isn’t a bad price and hockey fans should consider siding with the Stanley Cup favourites.
Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point have been excellent this year but Nikita Kucherov has been on another level. With 92 points in 58 games, he is on track to challenge for the MVP award – and Lightning fans will be backing him for individual recognition.
Playoffs Are Realistic Target For Improving Canadiens
Consistency is key for Montreal. The Canadiens have failed to put together a solid run of results for most of the 2018/19 season but the Atlantic Division side are getting better. A playoff push now looks likely and supporters are dreaming of Stanley Cup glory.
It might be a little far-fetched to suggest that the Canadiens are capable of lifting hockey’s ultimate prize this year but Montreal fans are allowed to get carried away. With one playoff appearance in the last three years, this is huge for the organisation and its supporters.
The Canadiens will be up against it this weekend but optimistic punters can back Montreal at 2/1 with Betway. Tampa Bay are due an off-game and it may play right into the hands of this confident Montreal outfit.
It is almost impossible to back against the Lightning on current form. Barring a major injury to Kucherov, Tampa Bay are likely to be favoured in most games this campaign. That in itself is testament to the work of the Lightning organisation.
Montreal may sneak a couple of goals but Tampa Bay will notch four or five – that’s just the way it is. Expect the Lightning to continue their excellent run of form with another impressive show this weekend.
TIP: Tampa Bay Lightning to win
CORRECT SCORE: Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 Montreal Canadiens