Free NHL Pick: Canucks vs Lightning Lines
Looking for Vancouver Canucks vs. Tampa Bay Lightning free NHL picks? NHL betting sees the Canucks taking on the Lightning on Thursday December 8, 2016 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NHL hockey matchups so stay tuned for more FREE daily NHL predictions.
(11-13-2) Vancouver Canucks vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (14-11-2)
Date: Thursday December 8, 2016
Time: 7:30PM EST
Venue: Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay, Florida
NHL Hockey Moneyline Odds: Tampa Bay -220
NHL Hockey Betting Odds: Tampa Bay -1.5
NHL Hockey Betting Total: 5
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Thursday night, the Canucks of Vancouver head down to Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida to take on the Steven Stamkos-less Tampa Bay Lightning.
The 11-13-2 Canucks have not been having a season to be proud of so far this year and have found it difficult to keep consistency on the offensive side. They have been shut out four times in their first 26 games.
A 3-8-1 road record has plagued the team, which doesn’t bode well for them considering they play in Tampa on Thursday night.
Brothers Daniel and Henrik Sedin have been a solid first-line for the Canucks for quite a while now, and are both having good seasons this year. Henrik has five points (2G, 3A) in his last five games and left winger Daniel has four (2G, 2A) in those games.
Center Markus Granlund has had a rough go as of late. Through his last five games, he’s only recorded one assist and is a minus-6 overall. They’ll need some solid play from him and line partner Michael Chaput against Tampa.
The road has not been kind to the Canucks this year but they’ll look to capitalize on a Lightning side without their best player in Steven Stamkos and limit their shots on goal.
Tampa Bay Lightning
In what was looking to be another great season for the Lightning, the Tampa Bay squad suffered yet another devastating Steven Stamkos injury in mid-November and has been hard-pressed to get a win ever since.
Losing five of six, including a tough 1-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday night, the Lightning are desperate for an identity, and a center to lead their top line. Tyler Johnson, their current top-line center, has struggled in his new role (3pts in previous seven games).
The bright spot of the Bolts has been right winger Nikita Kucherov (29pts, 13G, 16A). He has played extremely well overall this year and will look to continue his good run despite the loss of line-partner Stamkos.
All signs point to starter Ben Bishop (8-9-1) in goal on Thursday. He has had his own struggles, but has clearly not had the help he needs on the scoring front.
Steven Stamkos is out for the next four months, which means the offense has to find a new identity. It will be up to Kucherov, standout rookie Brayden Point, and top-line center Tyler Johnson to carry this team and generate goals to take pressure off the defense.
NHL Hockey Handicapping Trends:
- Vancouver is 26th in goal scoring this season
- Tampa Bay is 8-0-0 when leading after period 1
Free Vancouver Canucks vs. Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Prediction:
Tampa simply can’t get the job done without Steven Stamkos. A lack of goal support will put too much pressure on Ben Bishop to win.
The Canucks have seen recent success thanks to the Sedin brothers and will keep pushing that top line to pressure the Lightning defense.
Vancouver will take this game.
4* Free NHL Betting Pick: Vancouver +197
Vancouver is a better team as of late, despite the two teams’ overall records. The loss of Stamkos has clearly caused the Lightning offense to stagnate and Thursday night will be no different.
NHL Free Score Prediction: Vancouver 3 – Tampa Bay 2
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