Tip: Former Stanley Cup finalists compete for the victory at Amalie Arena

Nathan MacKinnon
The 2022 Stanley Cup finalists compete once again for the victory at Amalie Arena. Colorado Avalanche visits Tampa Bay Lightning, and important points are at stake in the pursuit of top rankings!

It's two strong teams that clash at Amalie Arena in Tampa on the night leading to Friday. Colorado is coming off a liberating victory against the Washington Capitals, ending a dip in form. Tampa Bay Lightning continues to perform well, but I remain skeptical of the team's construction and have a clear idea of the right direction to lean towards.

Important Turnaround for Avalanche

Colorado was on a roll until the All-Star break. After the break, they faced four consecutive losses before bouncing back in their latest game against the Washington Capitals. However, it should be noted that the losses were against high-quality opponents like the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, Carolina Hurricanes, and Florida Panthers. Currently, Avalanche is in third place in the Western Conference, two points behind division rival Dallas Stars.

In the game against the Washington Capitals, Artturi Lehkonen was particularly instrumental with his two goals and two assists. This shows that Colorado has strong offensive weapons beyond the feared first line with Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. Zach Parise, who recently joined the team, hasn't made a significant impact on the ice yet, but he at least contributes experience and adds depth to the forward group in a way that I don't feel Tampa Bay Lightning does.

Battle of the Point Leaders

The league's top-scoring players clash this evening. Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay) and Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado) have scored 90 and 87 points respectively. Quite incredible after just over 50 rounds, and the only one who might catch up to them is Connor McDavid. It's no surprise that Colorado has scored the most goals in the league and Tampa Bay the fourth most. Both teams' primary strength lies in their offensive play.

The difference between the teams is that I think Colorado Avalanche has a more complete team beyond the top line. There are more key players and a more solid backup setup, especially as Tampa Bay Lightning continues without Mikhail Sergachev. I expect a high-scoring game, but the odds are too tight to consider an over bet; instead, my focus is on the visitors.

Betting Tips and Conclusion

As I've mentioned on several occasions in previous texts, Tampa Bay Lightning is too thin beyond the first line. However, having such a competent line that scores heavily goes a long way, but when they face teams that belong to the very top, they risk being exposed in a way that weaker teams cannot manage. What we have in front of us is likely a fluctuating game with many goals. Colorado must be on their toes from the first minute of the match, and I'm confidently counting on that.

The bet is on Colorado Avalanche ML @ 2.00 on PointsBet!






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