Duff’s Lock of the Week: Can Lightning Strike Twice?
Posted at 23:54 2010-02-09
Thanks to Bet247 we’re back with another lock of the week!
So my last lock of the week got the cash, let’s see if we can go streaking with another Ice Hockey underdog.
Wednesday morning will see the Tampa Bay Lightning (25-21-11) host the Vancouver Canucks (35-20-2). Both teams have been on the up of late with the Canucks winning eight of their last ten, while Tampa Bay have claimed seven wins in their last ten.
Tampa Bay are currently fighting a playoff battle and holding onto the seventh seed at the moment. Absolutely every game, especially home games are important to that team right now. Vancouver on the other hand are currently homeless with their home arena being prepared to host the Winter Olympic Games. Thus the Canucks are currently on their third game of a road trip that will span 14 in total. There will hopefully be many fading opportunities against a road-weary Canucks who start the majority of their games with favouritism.
While it is true that the Canucks have won eight of their last ten, the cracks began to appear in their last outing on Saturday (US time). Vancouver needed overtime to beat out a Boston team who recorded their tenth consecutive loss on that night. If the Canucks had lost that game it would have been their third straight loss.
The all important starting goaltender produces another interesting point. Rewind three games and the Canucks very well could have lost against the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs. Starting goalie Roberto Luongo lasted just a single period between the pipes, before being pulled for his backup after conceding three goals. He has played two games since then and conceded three and two goals respectively, earning player of the game honours in his last start.
Tampa goalie Antero Niittymaki has been hot of late. With his last start victory he improved to six wins and one overtime loss in his last seven starts. While Vancouver have outscored Tampa 14-12 over the team’s last five games, the Lightning have been the better defensive outfit, conceding almost half the goals Vancouver have in the past five games (7-13).
Tampa has a favourable home record going 16-6-6 at the St Pete Times Forum. Vancouver haven’t been a bad road team either going 12-13-1 away.
With Vancouver facing up to their third consecutive road game and showing some sketchy form, I’m going with the home ice underdog Tampa Bay Lightning on Bet247 at $2.11. The puck drops at 11:35am AEST Wednesday morning.
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