NHL Betting: Lightning Will Be Too Hot For Predators To Handle

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Phoenix Coyotes

There's unlikely to be a festive mood within the respective Phoenix and Toronto camps over the next week - unless they can pull themselves out of their current Winter slumbers.

Only Buffalo have taken fewer point than the Maple Leafs from their last ten outings but the odd result gives them hope. A mostly barren last six game stretch is naturally punctuated by a thrashing of the league leaders.

Phoenix have found it difficult to maintain the level required to keep up with the West's elite but have games in hand to close the gap. They were emerging unscathed from a number of high-scoring games and when everything drops a little suddenly you end up on the wrong end of it.

Goalie Mike Smith hasn't played to the level expected all season and their offence is now coming in bunches in a similar way to the Leafs. Again both clubs have strong Powerplay units and a poor penalty kill, staying out of the box should be a prerequisite when you're struggling and whoever keeps composed should win the day. With pride at stake and going up against another side searching for a few answers I think the Maple Leafs are a solid price at 2.45.


Tampa Bay Lightning vs Nashville Predators

Categorising the Nashville Predators as a patchy team is a fair claim with their tendency to turn up for a few contests at a time. Their three-game winning streak ended at the hands of Chicago on Tuesday but a visit to Tampa Bay affords them a chance to get back on track.

They've spent most of their time back at home in recent weeks and have actually won four of their last five road games without having much chance to bank on that form. For a limited offensive team like Nashville, when they actually do manage to get a few goals it gives them belief since they have only scored three and lost once - only three of their sixteen wins have come when they haven't.

Jon Cooper has done outstanding work turning around Tampa's defensive work from being one of the worst in the league last season and the Predators will have to work hard to get the scores they clearly need, goalie Ben Bishop has been central to it but also defencemen like Victor Hedman and Matt Carle.

Not only that but it still holds true that the only two teams to neutralise the Bolts at home in regulation are the East's leading duo, back Tampa to take the points.


Best Bet: Tampa Bay Lightning to win at 2.10.

Read more from Unibet columnist Mike Fuller.