Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
We’ve seen it all so far in this series and now we can expect one heck of a finish on Friday. Everyone and their cousin counted out the Isles in game six following their 8-0 demoralizing road loss. However, thanks to a little luck in OT, these Islanders have pushed Tampa to the brink in this series clincher. You’ll find New York +150 to take this game and the series, but if you’re looking for a little more action, there’s still New York +400 in the Stanley Cup futures too. If you’re going to take them to prevail here, you won’t find any better odds on them to take it all as well, if you choose to wait.
Not that anyone has responded – nor could they – but we believe (or maybe it’s make believe) that we’ve won people some decent dough by picking TIE’s as of late. Between this series and the Golden Knights and Habs, we’ve had two pairs of teams that are very evenly matched at this stage of the game. We’ve also had two pairs of teams that exercised a “Never say die” attitude, which has also helped the predictions as of late.
These Isles and Bolts have had toe-to-toe tilts all the way through, with game five of course being the anomaly. So we’re going to stick to our guns for this one too and we’re going to “let it ride” for game seven.
The best odds for this match
Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
|New York Islanders vs Tampa Bay Lightning Game Information|
|Who||New York vs Tampa Bay|
|Where||Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida|
|When||June 25, 2021 8:00pm EST|
|How to watch||NBC Sports, Sportsnet|
The Islanders have forced Tampa’s hand and now have the Stanley Cup favorites on the ropes. If New York wants to continue their trek, they need to be all over the Bolts like white on rice. The Isles must generate chances by throwing everything and the kitchen sink at the Tampa crease.
The Lightning, on the other hand, must rebuild that old familiar defensive wall. The same one that helped lead them to the 2020 Stanley Cup final and championship. They need to play like the reigning champs they are or it could be a very untimely exit for Tampa.
The New York Islanders had lost all momentum and were a team completely left to swing for the fences. They needed a hail-mary shot and their prayers were answered on a giveaway in the first overtime on Tuesday night in Uniondale. Now, they have an opportunity to pull off what very few have at this point in the game. The New York Islanders can bounce the top-seeded Stanley Cup favorites and returning champions from the postseason.
For that to happen, the Isles need to penetrate and expose the shifty Bolts back end. While Tampa Bay has been nothing short of deadly all year long (let alone the postseason) offensively, they’ve had a lot of trouble from the blueline and back. They’re allowing 31.9 Shots Against per game, which is the worst of any current club. They’re also allowing nearly two goals per game on average. However, if we subtract that one-off 8-0 win, Tampa is surrendering well over a pair a game. In other words, the Islanders need to pelt Andrey Vasilevskiy and pounce on every possible rebound. They need to go full blue-collar hockey and suffocate Tampa at the other end.
On Monday night, the Lightning delighted their home fans by serving up a colossal 8-0 blanking of the Islanders. Ever since that final horn sounded though, very few people have given Tampa the respect they deserved after such a win. The following game was split down the middle in terms of bettors on the money line. There was about a 52%-48% split in favor of the Bolts at puck drop which is pretty marginal considering. However, after watching the Lightning effort in game six, it’s pretty obvious why not too many people are putting all their trust in the white and blue. These guys have holes to repair and they better get on it quick.
The biggest and mostly glaring hole, mentioned just a few paragraphs ago, is in the form of defense around their own net. Their netminder needs far better protection, better rebound clearance and no more cough ups. And we emphasize, “no more cough ups”!
You see it all the time in playoff highlight reels. The defense chokes it up and just like that you have a game, set and match. That was the case on Wednesday and Tampa can’t let it become a habit. Smart clearings. Smart line changes and smart rebound control. They must stay in front of their checks and get a strong box outgoing so there can be no opportunities for garbage goals. While we went into great detail about the Bolt’s Goals Against Average in this series, they still have the strongest Goals For average at 3.35. The key will be not to put too much pressure on their offense though by allowing some weak ones on the back end. If Tampa can play a textbook 60-minutes, they should be defending their cup rings next week.
The Isles have won six of their last eight when surrendering two or more the game before. Tampa has taken 47 of their last 66 on home ice in general. Finally, head-to-head, the Islanders have only taken four of their last 14 in Tampa, Florida.
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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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