Tampa Bay Lightning vs. San Jose Sharks - 1/18/14
San Jose Sharks (30-12-6) at Tampa Bay Lightning (28-15-5)
NHL Hockey: Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 2:00 pm (Tampa Bay Times Forum)
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning +114 / San Jose Sharks -126 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
Two of the league’s best meet up in Tampa Bay on Saturday afternoon as the Lightning host the San Jose Sharks.
San Jose heads into Saturday’s date with the Lightning sitting in second place in the Pacific division amidst a two game winning streak and will look to further their standing in the Western Conference playoff picture with a win today. The Sharks have been business as usual as the powerhouse Western Conference favourites have been as consistent as ever and look like a team once again poised for a deep playoff run. San Jose is littered with veteran talent and have one of the more underrated goalies in the league in Antii Niemi plus a splash of young talent in the form of Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl that gives plenty to be happy about moving forward in California. The Sharks are 30-12-6 this season and if not for a ridiculous start from the Ducks they’d very much be in the running for the game’s best record but at this juncture it looks like they’ll be competing for second best.
Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
The Lightning have been one of if not the biggest surprise this season as many had the Bolts on the fringe of the Eastern Conference playoffs with a healthy Steven Stamkos let alone contending for the Atlantic division without him. The Bolts have received a special effort from Ben Bishop this season as the castaway prospect from St. Louis and Ottawa has been brilliant and has certainly played his way into the Vezina Trophy discussion. While the Bolts have been strong all season and are due to get Stamkos back soon I am still not completely sold on their roster as I think they have some serious holes they need to address at the trade deadline or it could be a one and done situation for them come playoff time. As such I will always take the Western Conference over the East when it comes to marquee matchups with the exception of maybe Pittsburgh and Boston and this doesn’t stem far from that philosophy.