Colorado Avalanche vs. Tampa Bay Lightning - 3/2/14
Tampa Bay Lightning (33-21-5) at Colorado Avalanche (38-17-5)
NHL Hockey: Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Pepsi Center)
The Line: Colorado Avalanche -152 / Tampa Bay Lightning +138 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
The Avalanche looks to close the gap in the Central division as they host the Lightning in Denver on Sunday.
The Lightning have been one of the game’s biggest surprises this season as they have taken the rest of the Atlantic division by charge without the services of Steven Stamkos who has been out for most of the year with a fractured tibia. However, reality is starting to set in a little bit for the Bolts as they have gone on a bit of a losing skid and are now in a huge logjam for second place in the division and are in the midst of some off ice turbulence surrounding the trade rumors of Martin St. Louis. I haven’t really been a huge believer in this Lightning team but with Steven Stamkos slated to return soon and Ben Bishop showing he can steal a game they could very well be a team that can surprise their opponent in a seven game series.
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The Avalanche have been just as surprising as their Eastern Conference counterparts and Sunday’s opponent as they have gone from drafting first overall in last year’s draft to all but wrapping up a top six playoff spot in the West. Colorado is a team last year that underachieved in a big way and could have been a playoff team in what was a less than competitive Western Conference last year but this season they look like a team on a mission. Colorado could benefit themselves by acquiring a solid blueliner to add to their unit at the trade deadline but the availability could be limited to the likes of a veteran like Chris Phillips from Ottawa but any addition would be better than none. The Avs are favoured in this spot but to me are getting a little too much love as Tampa isn’t a bad team despite playing on the road here. However, I think the Avs have the better make up here and should have no trouble getting the win.