After Chicago took home the 2015 Stanley Cup against the Lightning, Tampa Bay finally captured another crown in 2020. Now, two of the most dominant teams in the 2010s open up their season against one another. Will Tampa Bay start off on the right foot, or will an extended break help Chicago in this match up?
Free Picks: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Are the Chicago Blackhawks dark horses in the NHL this season?
With rumors that the team is rebuilding, Chicago will be an interesting team to watch this season. Normal circumstances have changed for Chicago as their division now features teams from both the Western and Eastern conference.
It won’t be easy, but the Blackhawks have several players that can turn a season in favor of the team. With that being said, we might need to wait a while to see these players in action. Both Kirby Dach and Jonathan Toews are out for the foreseeable future, which means players like Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat will need to carry the weight of Chicago.
Tampa Bay are dealing with their own injuries. Nikita Kucherov is out, the Lightning’s depth is stronger than the Blackhawks. This is where I think this game is won by Tampa Bay.
Chicago has a solid first line, but after that their team is rather sketchy. The Blackhawks’ top line on defense is ranked poorly, which opens the door for Tampa Bay.
I think this will be a game in which the Lightning terrorize Chicago in the offensive end.
Since January 1, 2016, the Blackhawks have only won once against Tampa Bay. Of course, Chicago won the Stanley Cup against the Lightning back in 2015, but the tables have been turned.
Tampa Bay are the defending NHL champions and are miles ahead of Chicago. I think with Toews and potentially Dach this outcome could be different, but I just can’t see Tampa Bay allowing Chicago to take this contest.
The Blackhawks’ goalie situation is sketchy (and that’s being nice), while the Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy is ready to rock the blue paint again this season.
Tampa Bay is stronger than Chicago in goal, on offense, and defense. Kane has the ability to steal a game, but it’s no surprise that the Lightning are heavy favorites entering this contest at -230 (888Sport).
- Tampa Bay are 8-1-1 against Chicago in last 10 games.
- Tampa Bay are 4-1 SU in last 5 games.
- Chicago are 1-5 SU in lats 6 games played on the road.
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Chicago’s last 6 games.
More NHL Free PicksSee more
NHL Draft 2021 Odds & Predictions
With the future of the NHL in the hands of all 32 owners, the NHL Draft is one of the most hyped events on the hockey calendar.
Free Picks: Wild vs. Golden Knights, 2021 Stanley Cup Round 1
The Minnesota Wild travel to Vegas to play the Golden Knights on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET in their round 1 playoff series. Vegas seems destined.
Free Picks: Hurricanes vs Predators, 2021 Stanley Cup Round 1
The Number 1 ranked Hurricanes battle it out against the underdog Predators in the Central Division. Can Nashville hang with the big dogs in round 1?
Free Picks: Islanders vs. Penguins, 2021 Stanley Cup Round 1
The Pittsburgh Penguins open at home in their best-of-seven playoff series against the N.Y. Islanders on Sunday. The Penguins are favored.
have always wanted to be a writer and sports are my favorite thing in the world, so I combined the two to make a career. I have been a long-time gambler and sports betting writer that isn't afraid to look at the underdog or specials. I am covering the NHL, MLB and NCAA Football for BetPicks.ca and am a huge fan of both sports - as well as many others. Follow me on Twitter (@Patrick_Trudeau) so we can talk betting, sports, or why ketchup DOES belong on Poutine.