Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning - 12/15/15 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Tampa Bay Lightning (14-13-3) at Toronto Maple Leafs (10-13-5)
NHL Hockey: Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm (Air Canada Centre)
The Line: Toronto Maple Leafs +103 / Tampa Bay Lightning -133 --- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Maple Leafs look for their third win in a row on Tuesday night as they welcome back Jonathan Bernier to the crease and roll out the red carpet for Steven Stamkos and the Lightning.
The Tampa Bay Lightning haven't had the dominating season many expected from them in the preseason thanks to their appearance in the Stanley Cup last year and while they are only four points out of a playoff spot they haven't looked the part this year and could very well blow things up soon if they can't right the ship. There have been a ton of rumors surrounding Steven Stamkos and his desire to play for the Maple Leafs with the latest coming via a tweet that was liked from his account with the content suggesting the Leafs should pursue the Lightning sniper and that story line will be front and centre here from the media and fans at the ACC. Anderi Vasilevskiy will get the start as he will face off against Bernier who has responded very well since getting demoted to the Toronto Marlies.
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The Leafs have won two straight and have points in six of their last 10 overall but they remain in the Atlantic division basement, trailing the Sabres by four points for seventh. The Buds are hoping a return from the minors will lead to a resurgence from Jonathan Bernier and if Toronto is going to get out of this funk and make a push towards the playoffs they need their play in the crease to step up. Toronto is expected to finish near the bottom of the league standings and on the whole that is perfectly fine with Leafs Nation as they are anticipating a rebuild and an influx of talent coming in is only going to help that process along. As for tonight there will be plenty of focus surrounding Stamkos but the bigger story line will be the return of Bernier and I think he shows up big time and gets the Leafs a victory.