Tampa Bay Lightning (0-0-0) at Boston Bruins (0-0-0)
|Date & Time||Thursday October 3, 2013, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Boston Bruins -200 / Tampa Bay Lightning +181 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins kick off their 2013-14 NHL seasons at the TD Garden as the Bolts look to get back into the postseason while the B’s strive for another Stanley Cup finals appearance.
The Lightning head into this season with a cloud of disappointment hanging over them as last year was supposed to be the season they would take a big leap forward and regain some credibility in the otherwise anemic Southeast division but they came up well short of the playoffs and their season goals. Tampa Bay does have a boat load of talent led by Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis and they added perhaps the most dynamic player in last year’s draft in Jonathan Drouin to their roster but he has since been returned to his junior team in Halifax. Goaltending was an issue all year for Tampa as former Predators castaway Anders Lindback couldn’t secure the number one gig and now former Senators goalie Ben Bishop appears to be the starter heading into Boston this evening.
The Bruins more so than any other team in the league have to be itching to get back on the ice after the way their season ended last year as they looked as though they were ready to force a deciding game seven against the Blackhawks in the Cup finals before allowing two goals in 17 seconds that ultimately cost them the game. Boston has made some changes from their Eastern Conference championship squad from a year ago with perhaps the biggest splash coming in the form of Loui Eriksson from the Dallas Stars as a part of the Tyler Seguin deal and while it may benefit the Stars in the long run I think the Bruins got the better end of the deal for this season. Boston also acquired Jarome Iginla in the offseason and I think the pieces Boston added makes them the favourite in the Eastern Conference and I expect they will get off on the right foot. Tampa Bay is still a player or two away from competing while the B’s might be the best team in the league right now on paper.