Tampa Bay Lightning (19-6-2) vs. Colorado Avalanche (12-12-2)

NHL: Thursday, December 7th, 2017, 7:30PM @ Amalie Arena SunSports

Line: Tampa Bay -245, Colorado +218

Pick: Tampa Bay


The past few seasons haven’t been too great for the Colorado Avalanche, but they come into Thursday night’s matchup with a much improved record and knowledge that they can’t let the losses pile up.  They are very vulnerable right now, losing five of their last six, and need to get out of this drought as soon as possible.  Their most recent defeat came against the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 4-2 on Tuesday.  Colorado got a couple power play goals, but gave up three goals on 34 shots and ultimately lost.  The Sabres were struggling coming in as well, but goals by Benoit Pouiliot and Jake McGabe led the way for Buffalo.  Goaltender Robin Lehner had 35 stops to stop their four-game losing streak.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have shown fans some worrisome signs after a promising start to the season, losing four of their last six contests.   However, they have won two in a row and have given people reason to confirm their beliefs in them.  Tampa Bay is coming off of a one-sided defeat over the New York Islanders, coming away with a final score of 6-2.  On the struggling New York side, the goals came from Jordan Eberle and Mathew Barzal, and goaltender Thomas Greiss made 28 stops.  For Tampa Bay, Yanni Gourde had a couple of goals to himself, while Brayden Point, Andrej Sustr, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Chris Kunitz joined the party.  Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 29 shots in the victory.


Both the Avalanche and the Lightning have been losing a decent amount lately, but there’s a main difference.  The Avalanche have lost five of their last six games, and the biggest thing here is that they are currently losers of three straight.  The Lightning, on the other hand, were in a four-game drought but revived hopes when they won two straight in dominant fashion.  The records are also something to notice, as Colorado has failed to win half of their games while Tampa Bay stands at an impressive 19-6-2.  While an upset is always possible, I think there is too much going right for the Lightning to lose this one against a struggling Avalanche team.  I’ll take the home team here to bring their streak to three straight wins.

Pick: Tampa Bay

Stralman: "Now is the time when you really have to look yourself in the mirror and...push ourselves here and really make sure we hammer down those details because you look at that game today it looked like they're on it." #Bolts

Stralman: "We lost to the better team today. I think they played better. They had a structure. They played good structure, good defense, good offense. I think for sure we shot ourselves in the foot a little bit, a few turnovers. They were better." #Bolts #BOSvsTBL

Anton Stralman on tonight's loss: "It looked like one team preparing for the playoffs and one team playing game 71...They just played a better game." #BOSvsTBL #Bolts

Stamkos: "It's not easy to beat good teams and that's a good team over there. We have some work to do. We realize that. By no means are we sitting here hitting the panic button. We need some more positivity and some more urgency starting the game." #BOSvsTBL #Bolts

Stamkos: "There's just been a lot of negativity around the team lately. We've just got to swing that and get some positive emotion in here, have some fun again. I think that's when we play our best, when we make our plays, when we make the right decisions." #Bolts #BOSvsTBL

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