Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
Tampa Bay Mayor Jane Castor said she wanted the Bolts to lose game four so they could come back to win the Stanley Cup in front of their home fans. Well, the Tampa mayor is officially one for one in the sports betting world. We don’t think she actually laid a wager down, but as far as making picks go, she’s got a pretty solid record. Now that Tampa is back on home ice though, will they be able to find what they’re looking for?
There’s a very good reason why, at the time of the writing of this article, the Lightning have received 70% of all bets. They’ve won 50 of their last 69 on home ice and only surrendered two goals in two games to Montreal last week in Tampa. The Habs do not line up well against this team even on home ice, let alone as a road opponent. While we’d love to just pick Tampa, that’s not going to make you any money and it’s not always easy betting against a do or die opponent. So we’re going off the board a little.
The best odds for this match
Odds provided by DraftKings
|Montreal Canadiens vs Tampa Bay Lightning Game Information|
|Team||Montreal vs Tampa Bay|
|Location||Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida|
|Time||July 7, 2021, 8:00 pm EST|
|How to watch||NBC Sports, Sportsnet|
This is not new territory for the Habs as they had this “pit of their stomach” feeling to deal with less than 48 hours ago. One win for T-Bay and it’s over. One win and its curtains for Canada. One win and a second Stanley Cup banner in as many years go up at Amalie Arena. We should have a game on our hands Wednesday night though.
Montreal has finally figured out how to beat these Bolts and are ready for the road ahead. It’s going to be long, steep, and windy. If they can pull it off though, it’ll no doubt go down as one of the greatest comebacks in NHL history – let alone sports. Now that’s inspiration, isn’t it?
Although the Habs took game four, it wasn’t hard to handpick the guys on the rink for these Canadiens that were truly the difference makers. It was nice to see Shea Weber throwing his weight around on the back end. That made a difference. It was nice to see Carey Price again acting like a brick wall. That was a huge difference-maker. The biggest by far though came in the form of Josh Anderson. He scored two massive goals including the overtime winner and was a dog on a bone all night.
Sadly, though, despite the win, Anderson was all the Habs had. Sure, some other guys jumped up, but Anderson was their stud. Having one forward better than the rest won’t work for long though. Montreal needs to look across the ice at Tampa and realize that more is expected and must be demanded from their main guys. The Bolts have B-listers playing like stars right now which is why they’re up 3-1.
To get the Hab’s heads back in the game, head coach Dominique Ducharme must do a better job of getting them hyped in hopes of hopping on the board first.
That first goal for Montreal will be key on Wednesday. Josh Anderson’s opening goal on Monday gave the Canadiens their first lead of the series and they carried that momentum from there. If they get scored on first, all live bets are going to turn to the Bolts very quickly. It’s that simple.
Tampa Bay almost won the cup in the final seconds of game four. A quick pass to the side of the crease hit Nikita Kucherov in the tape, but he just couldn’t beat the post. It was one of many chances handed to the Bolts on a silver platter because of their setup down low. You’d be hard-pressed to find a team that gets into formation quicker and better than the Lightning. Once they’re there too, their options are endless. Hedman from the point. Stamkos down the middle. Kucherov at the post. Maroon battling behind the net. Etc.
It’s well documented that these Bolts have a star-studded lineup. It’s also well documented that they’re dangerously faster than most and we all know about the strength of their goaltending. This is how teams have succumbed to the Bolts left, right and center and it’s how the Habs have been suffocated virtually all series long.
For the Bolts to win this game, they need to keep believing in their cycle and just keep moving it around. It was embarrassingly obvious on a number of occasions in game four (and before) that the Habs just couldn’t keep up. If Tampa can keep that puck movement crisp and constant, they’ll create endless opportunities yet again.
Montreal has gone winless through their last eight in Tampa Bay. The Lightning have taken four of their last five games on the money overall. Head-to-head, these two teams have hit the UNDER in five of their last seven.
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Ryan has worked as a sports writer for the past decade and sports journalism for almost 15 years. He has worked in television, radio, print, digital, and podcasting since 2006. He is also the former co-host of the NFL Weekly Pick 'Em and Best Bets Podcast along with the Prop Drop on WSN.com.More info on Ryan Sullivan
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